War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0547 Chapter XLIII. THE CHATTANOOGA-RINGGOLD CAMPAIGN.

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Numbers 177.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel C. Wharton, Tenth Kentucky Infantry.


Chattanooga, Tennessee, December 2, 1863.

SIR: In obedience to orders just received from the headquarters of the division, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Tenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in the actions in front if Chattanooga on the 23d, 24th, and 25th of November, 1863:

At 3 p. m. on the 23d, Colonel E. H. Phelps, commanding Third Brigade, Third Division, ordered this regiment, together with the other regiments of this brigade, to take their respective positions in the rifle-pits in front of their camp, to the right of Fort Negley; in which position we remained (showing ourselves as much as possible to the enemy) until 5 p. m., when we were moved to the front, through the sally-port in front and to the left of the same fort, and took position about one-fourth of a mile in front of Fort Negley, fronting the Rossville road, with the regiment on the right of the brigade formed in column of division closed en masse in support of the First and Second Brigades of our division. Here we bivouacked for the night.

At 3 o'clock on the morning of the 24th, we were again moved to the left about one-fourth of a mile, and to the front near 1 mile, and took position with the right of the regiment on the Ringgold road, protected by a field battery of twelve guns, supported by the Second Brigade of our division, with our left joining the Fourth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry. By noon we had thrown up strong rifle-pits in our front, parallel with Mission Ridge, and a traverse protecting our right flank. All this was done in full view of the pickets of the enemy, but they did not fire a gun. We remained quietly at this point until about 11 a. m. of the 25th, when we were ordered to the left. We moved rapidly by the left flank along the whole line of the army of General Thomas, crossed Citico Creek near where it empties into the Tennessee River, thence up the bank of the river some 2 1/2 miles in rear of the position held by the army of General Sherman; when we were ordered to countermarch, and took our position between Citico Creek and Mission Ridge, in an open field behind a skirt of wood, our right joining the Ninth Ohio Volunteers, of Second Brigade, Third Division, on our left the Fourth Kentucky Infantry. We immediately advanced two companies of skirmishers, under command of Captains Hill and McKay, to cover our font.

The enemy were in full view in our front, in their rifle-pits at the foot of Mission Ridge, and in larger force on the top of the ridge beyond. We were ordered at the sound of the bugle to storm these rifle-pits, but before the signal was sounded our skirmishers had dislodged the enemy and occupied their fortifications. The brigade then went forward double-quick to these works, a distance of one-fourth of a mile, where we were compelled to allow the men to regain strength for the final assault on Mission Ridge.

During the ten minutes we remained in these works, although under a furious fire from a full battery with shells and spherical caseshot at easy range, the officers and men became wild with enthusiasm and desire to advance, although it seemed from there that it would be to a harvest of death, but they could see their comrades in Wood's