War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0544 Chapter XLIII. KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA., AND N.GA.

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lines with great rapidity, but, fortunately, doing very little damage, owing to the fact that the elevation of the hill which they fired from demanded too great a depression of the pieces to permit an effective or an accurate fire, and also that a small proportion of the shells thrown actually exploded. However, 1 man in this regiment was seriously injured from that source. This artillery firing, which proved unavailing for the purpose for which it was designed, was kept up until the Federal troops had almost reached the crest of the ridge. But to resume the statement of events in the order in which they occurred.

We had probably lain ten minutes under cover near the outer rebel works, which we had already possession of, when we were ordered forward once more on double-quick time, now to make the main attack from the front on Missionary Ridge. At the point where the Seventy-fourth Indiana ascended it this ridge has an altitude of 500 feet, and it is so steep that at some places it required all the strength one could put forth, together with what assistance might be derived from holding on to bushes and pulling one's self up by them, to make the ascent. But, notwithstanding the difficulty of approaching the rebel position, the men, inspired with an uncontrollable enthusiasm and burning with a desire to avenge their recent disaster in September last, tugged up the hill as best they might, many of them at times, from exhaustion or the abrupt rise of the ground, being compelled to drag themselves along on their hands and feet toward the summit of that mountain ridge, which seemed alive with artillery, so rapid and incessant was its use. It seemed evident that these batteries would be staunchly supported by infantry, and after having escaped so well the missiles from that arm of warfare we had every reason to anticipate a warm reception from the latter. Nearly to the top of the hill you could discern the long line of breastworks, rudely constructed of stones and logs, behind which it was likely a strong rebel force would be posted ready to receive us-a force probably deemed by their general adequate to repel any direct assault from the front. But despite the discouraging appearance of the undertaking, the hose brave spirits who had faced the consuming fire and furious assaults of the enemy at Chickamauga were not the men to falter, however desperate the enterprise might seem, but advancing as rapidly as possible soon reached the brow of the ridge, and with fixed bayonets contributed their share to the work of driving the rebels from their rude fortifications, which were in turn used by us during a part of the ensuing fight, which on the left of the brigade, and near where Colonel Phelps (Thirty-eighth Ohio) was killed, raged with a great deal of severity for nearly half an hour, when, being completely routed, the enemy fled in the wildest confusion, leaving his deal and wounded on the field.

What I have here stated in reference to the part taken by the Seventy-fourth Indiana in the fight would apply equally well to every other regiment of the brigade represented in the affair. In fact it would be presumptuous to claim that any one regiment excelled the other in its efficiency in that severe yet decisive contest, for all the regiments were there represented, all fought gallantly, and however brilliant the results of the victory might be, each is equally entitled to share the credit which is so deservedly due to all. Some artillery, a great many small-arms and prisoners were captured, besides the dead and wounded which fell into our hands. Just at dark and directly after firing had ceased, I sent Captain Mann, with