Numbers 12. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Armstead T. M. Cockeril, Twenty-fourth Ohio Infantry.
HDQRS. TWENTY-FOURTH REGIMENT OHIO VOLS., Blue Springs, Tenn., February 29, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the part taken by my command, together with the casualties thee in, in the recent movements before Dalton:
The regiment marched from its present camp on the morning of the 22nd instant in obedience to orders from headquarters Third Brigade, First Division, Fourth Army Corps, with an effective force of 180 enlisted men and 13 commissioned officers. I was compelled to leave in camp 40 men, who were unable to march for the want of shoes.
The regiment remained with the brigade on the 22nd and 23rd, during which days nothing occurred outside the usual line of duty connected with the march.
On the morning of the 24th, this regiment was in the advance, and two companies were deployed as skirmishers, though we did not meet with any resistance, and continued to march until we reached the cavalry command of Colonel Long, who then took the advance, and, coming up to the enemy, engaged him. I was then directed to take my position on the right of the brigade, on the ridge fronting the valley. After remaining in line of battle a short time, I was ordered to advance down the road into the valley to the support of Colonel Long, and again took position on the right, near the brick building known as Ault's house. While in this position I sent forward a company as skirmishers, who fired a few shots at the enemy's advance. When ordered to withdraw, I left two companies in the valley to cover the movements on the road, and they rejoined the regiment after it went into camp.
On the morning of the 25th, the regiment marched in rear of the brigade. Afterward, when formed in line of battle, it was placed in the second line and in rear of the Seventy-fifth Illinois. Before advancing I had my men replenish their ammunition to 60 rounds per man. When the order to advance was given the regiment moved in the same order as designated in line of battle. During the halt, which was made near where the road passes into the valley, we were exposed to the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, who were on our right and front. While in this position I had 3 men wounded. In the next advance I moved across the road on the western slope of the hill and halted, the left resting on the summit of the hill. While in this position the command became considerably exposed to the fire of the enemy's guns. I then moved to the right so that my right rested at the base of the hill, on the left of the road, and about 200 yards in advance of Davis' house. Before changing to my late position I had 9 men [all of Company B] disabled by the falling of a tree, which was cut off by a shell from the enemy's guns. I remained in the position to which I last moved until ordered to retire with the brigade, and marched in rear of the Thirtieth Indiana.
In the engagement of the 25th the regiment did not fire a single shot, being in the rear line throughout the whole day.