Colonel Stone preferred the method of taking it by skirmishing and cautiously advancing, the regiments above named tried to go up as if on parade where the men could barely have gone up by clinging to the rocks and bushes. Colonels Stone and Roberts did all they could to hold their men together, and soon succeeded in restoring order and confidence, and again went up the hill.
Having no support on the right, and those regiments on the left having given way in confusion, I found it would be folly to try to carry the hill until I should be re-enforced, and accordingly made the best disposition of my force to hold the ground already gained, and sent a messenger to inform General Osterhaus of the act, and received from him an order to hold my position and await re-enforcements.
I held my position for a short time. No re-enforcements or support coming to my aid, and finding that the fire from the enemy had slackened, I again went forward and gained the top of the ridge and found the enemy retreating, and a strong force farther on burning the railroad bridge across East Chickamauga Creek.
I immediately went forward, keeping up a heavy fire, and drove them away before they accomplished their work.
I had the fire put out on the first bridge, and sent Major Nichols, of the Fourth Iowa, and a small party of men, who volunteered for the service, to put out the fire on the bridge farther on. This he accomplished, after driving a much larger force than his own away.
I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of Major Nichols throughout all the campaign, and especially in every action. First Lieutenant Charles W. Baker, of Company C, and Second Lieutenant Thomas H. Cramer, of Company K, Fourth Iowa, both distinguished themselves in the front of the fight, capturing prisoners from the very midst of the enemy. Lieutenant Cramer was instantly killed, after making a capture of a lieutenant and several men, and Lieutenant Baker mortally wounded (since dead) while heroically cheering the men on. Major Willard Warner, Seventy-sixth Ohio, and his officers and men won my unqualified admiration.
Many instances of heroic daring and bravery came under my observation, and would be reported specially if regimental commanders had furnished me the names of the parties.
Captain George E. Ford, my assistant adjutant-general, was severely wounded in the leg while trying to prevent the troops on my left from giving way, during the engagement at Ringgold.
Lieutenant L. Shields, aide-de-camp, also received a slight wound in the hip at the same time.
I am much indebted to my staff officers-Captain Ford, Captain Darling, and Lieutenants Shields and Stimpson-for their efficient services.
Accompanying this report you will find list* of killed and wounded of the several regiments in the different engagements.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. WILLIAMSON,
Colonel 4th Iowa, Comdg. 2nd Brig., 1st Div., 15th A. C.
Captain W. A. GORDON,
Asst. Adjt. General, 1st Division, 15th Army Corps.
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 86.