HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIFTH IOWA VOLUNTEERS, Near Ringgold, Ga., November 28, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I respectfully submit the following report of the part
taken by my regiment in the engagement with the enemy yesterday on Taylor's Ridge, near Ringgold, Ga.:
Our brigade approached Taylor's Ridge, marching by a right flank,
and, therefore, regiments were compelled to change front forward into line of battle (perpendicularly to the line of approach) in
succession, and my regiment being the left one, I came into line last. The ground over which I had to pass to reach the point where I had to ascend the hill was entirely open and in complete view and commanded by the enemy's sharpshooters, and the fire here was very annoying, but, as we passed it on the double-quick, I lost but two men here.
Arriving at the hill I immediately formed line of battle, the Thirtieth Iowa, Colonel Roberts, being on my right, and commenced to ascend the hill. The fire here from the enemy was very severe indeed, he having in addition to a direct fire one from my right and left oblique, thus commanding us from three directions, our front and each flank. Yet, notwithstanding his stubbornness, we drove the enemy's skirmishers back to the crest of the hill, and steadily advanced to within about 100 yards of the top of the hill,
the Thirtieth Iowa in plain view from my position, and fully as far advanced.
I was just completing my arrangements for an advance on the run to
a favorable position about 25 yards farther up the hill, when three regiments (I was informed, of the Twelfth Army Corps) came up, one on my left, one between me and the Thirtieth Iowa, and the other passing through a part of my regiment. I spoke to one of the officers of the center column, ordering him to go up the hill on my
left, but he refused so to do, and when asked by what authority he went up where he did, replied he was so ordered. The fire of the enemy now almost ceased, and I could very distinctly notice a fresh column of the enemy passing to a point commanding my left, and there formed. Anticipating from the lull that the enemy would soon
open a sharp fire on the three advancing regiments, I at once cautioned my men not to fall back if those three regiments shouldbe driven down.
All at once, when the regiments mentioned above had advanced above me some 25 yards, the enemy opened on them from three points as terrific a musketry fire as I ever witnessed. They stood manfully for a minute or two, and then came rushing down the hill pell-mell, like, I might almost say, a whirlwind, right through and over my regiment, and the Thirtieth Iowa, shouting "the enemy have flanked us and are coming."
In vain I endeavored to check them, or to prevent most of my men
from being carried down with them. They carried everything beforethem in a perfect panic.
My color bearer, a few of my officers and men, and myself, now being left in a position where we were in danger of being captured
by the enemy, now advancing down the hill, I ordered them back to
the next ravine, and proceed to collect my men. I reformed the regiment at the fence, within range of the enemy, and then with the Thirtieth Iowa again advanced up the hill, and gained the top without any more trouble.
I regret more than I can express in words the necessity of most of
the regiment having to fall back, but I do not believe a regiment of