War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0708 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND. N. GA.

Search Civil War Official Records

[CHAP. XLIII.

ascertaining that a better position might be had on the extreme left, I ordered him to that point, where he proceeded and kept up a brisk artillery duel with the enemy's battery, composed of two 3-inch rifled guns. Captain Kolb's guns were served with great coolness and signal gallantry, for which he is entitled to my thanks and the commendations of the country. His report is herewith filed.

Seeing from the position of the ground the obstructions presented by the intervening stream, the overwhelming force of the enemy, and his being sheltered by railroad embankment; and being advised by Colonel Grigsby, commanding cavalry, that a large force of enemy's cavalry had already succeeded in crossing the river above the mouth of the Chickamauga and moved out in the direction of Tyner's Station, I deemed it best to withdraw my command through the hills to the rear by the right of companies, which was done in admirable order and with but little damage from the enemy's artillery fire, Captain Kolb having opened fire upon him from an eligible position, on a route through the woods the woods [selected] for his battery which I had reconnoitered, to prevent the necessity, if possible, of his battery being exposed to the enemy's fire in endeavoring to return on [the route by] which we had approached.

In this action I lost from my command 1 killed and 11 wounded.

My regimental commanders behaved with their usual gallantry, coolness, and skill. My troops displayed the highest qualities of veterans, intrepidity and self-possession, where suddenly attacked by an unseen foe.

The horses of my staff and field officers not having arrived from the train, I was necessarily compelled to ride up and down the lines and convey the orders to the different commanding officers in person. My staff rendered me all the assistance that it was practicable under the circumstances.

I retired about a half mile into the hills and selected a high ridge, where I placed my command in position, directing Colonel Grigsby to occupy the right flank with his cavalry, while the left was protected by a precipitous bluff extending to the creek.

About 9 p.m. I received an order from Colonel Brent to move with the command to Chickamauga Station, which I reached in about an hour and a half. Finding three batteries there, I ordered them to be disposed for the defense of the station, and selected a position for my brigade to defeat an apprehended cavalry raid. The men were ordered to rest in their position.

At 2 o'clock on the morning of the 25th, I received an order to return to the railroad bridge, and in the act of executing it was taken ill with a severe chill, which was brought on by exposure during the preceding day. I immediately directed Colonel John H. Anderson, senior colonel present, to take command of the brigade and carry out the order, which he promptly did. You are respectfully referred to his report for an account of the subsequent operations of the brigade.

It affords me high satisfaction to express my acknowledgments to Colonel Grigsby, commanding cavalry, and Captain Kolb, commanding battery, who were not of my permanent command, for the valuable assistance rendered my command and the intelligent counsel which they rendered me. Colonel Grigsby's knowledge of the ground and his careful and thoughtful interest contributed materially to the successful maneuvering by which my command was saved from the heavy and useless waste of life.