Report of Lieutenant Colonel A. J. Jones, Twenty-seventh Mississippi Infantry.
CAMP OF TWENTY-SEVENTH MISSISSIPPI REGIMENT, Near Dalton, Ga., December 4, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, on the morning of the 24th ultimo, Colonel James A. Campbell was ordered out to the picket lines, leaving me in command of the regiment. I was soon after ordered by General Walthall, to put my regiment in line of battle across a bench of Lookout Mountain at or near where it had been bivouacked, and to hold that position as long as possible, and very soon the firing commenced between the enemy and our pickets, and the enemy approached rapidly our position, seeming to force everything before them as though there was no resistance. I ordered my men to hold their fire until all our brigade that was in front could pass, which brought the enemy in heavy force within easy range, and at the command "fire" our little regiment poured into their advancing columns a terrible fire with such deliberate aim and coolness, and repeated it, until soon their lines in our immediate front broke and retreated, at which my men raised a tremendous hurrah, and turning on their flanks many a Federal soldier was made to bite the earth, and here I saw one stand of the enemy's colors twice fall, and the contest was for awhile terrible; but the overwhelming numbers of the enemy enabled him to flank us right and left, and it was not long until we were entirely flanked on our right and nearly so on our left, and I gave the order to fall back, but so nearly were we surrounded in our front that 6 commissioned officers of the regiment and about half of the men were captured upon the spot.
Lieutenant Snowden, of Company K, was killed; Lieutenant Johnson, of Company L, dangerously wounded and left in the hands of the enemy. Captain Boyd, of Company E, was severely wounded, and a good many non-commissioned officers and privates.
I was ordered by General Walthall to rally my men on a little ridge running up and down the mountain, 300 or 400 yards from our first position, which I did, and where the men fought most bravely until, seeing we were flanked, or nearly so, by such overwhelming force, I ordered to fall back; but General Walthall immediately ordered me to hold that point, and I rallied as many men as I could, but in one or two minutes the enemy pointed their guns over logs and rocks within 8 or 10 paces of us, and I ordered to fall back again, in doing which many, compared with our number, were shot down. One or two unsuccessful attempts were made to rally, but the incessant shower of shell and shot from the enemy's batteries and the rush of their heavy force of infantry gave no time for doing so until we had passed around the point of the mountain several hundred yards south of the Craven house, where we, with the remainder of the brigade, formed line and checked the enemy until relieved by General Pettus' brigade, but was very soon ordered to his support, where we remained under the fire of the enemy until about 9 o'clock at night, and was again relieved and retired.
We were again in the fight on Missionary Ridge late on the evening of November 25.
Captains Kennedy, Baugh, Pegg, and Boyd did their part nobly. Lieutenants Brown, Bailey, Poole, Major, Welch