Reports of Colonel John M. Loomis, Twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry, commanding First Brigade.
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 15TH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, near Maryville, Tennessee, December 6, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the battle of the 25th ultimo, before Chattanooga, Tennessee:
In obedience to orders for Brigadier General Hugh Ewing, commanding Fourth Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, the four infantry regiments composing the brigade, Twenty-sixth Illinois, Lieutenant Colonel Robert A. Gillmore; Ninetieth Illinois, Colonel T. O'Meara; One hundredth Indiana, Lieutenant Colonel Albert Heath, and Twelfth Indiana, Colonel Reuben Williams commanding, marched from their bivouac on the morning of the 24th ultimo, and crossed the Tennessee River by steam-boat, near and below the mouth of East Chickamauga Creek. Forming on the right of the division, my right resting on the Tennessee, front looking toward Chattanooga and the enemy, we marched, left in front, until, having gained the designated point on Missionary Ridge, my brigade was placed in reserve and bivouacked for the night. On the morning of the 25th ultimo, in obedience to orders of Brigadier-General Ewing to push the enemy's skirmishers, but under no circumstances to bring on a general engagement, I advanced the brigade, under cover of two lines of skirmishers, my left hugging the base of the hills, into the open fields, when, finding myself exposed to a heavy cross-fire of artillery from the ridge (both sides) and over the tunnel, I halted and placed the brigade under the best cover afforded. An infantry brigade of the Eleventh Corps, commanded by Colonel Buschbeck, and a section of artillery having been placed at my command by Brigadier-General Ewing, I ordered the guns into position on my left, and opened their fire upon the enemy in the vicinity of Mr. Glass' house, where he appeared in force, his right resting on Tunnel Hill road, and occupying with skirmishers the house, log barns, and negro quarters on the Glass place, his left reaching along the railroad, to and including the log house beyond the right of my line. The abrupt hill-sides in his rear were occupied by three lines of skirmishers or sharpshooters. I succeeded in dislodging him from some of the buildings by artillery fire.
At this time, about 10.30 a. m., I received notice from Brigadier-General Ewing that Brigadier-General Corse was about to assault Tunnel Hill, accompanied with the order to advance simultaneously. The order was promptly obeyed, and the brigade of Colonel Buschbeck ordered into a supporting position. My brigade was suffering from heavy direct and cross fire of artillery and the infantry and sharpshooters of the enemy. Continuing the advance until the termination of General Corse's assault, I ordered a halt, placing the brigade under such cover as the low ground afforded. It was still suffering considerable loss from the enemy's fire, my skirmishers being hotly engaged, but unable to carry the railroad, and covers in from were developed beyond the right of my line of battle until they reached the log house on my right, which they quickly carried, with the railroad at that point.