Report of Colonel Wells S. Jones, Fifty-third Ohio Infantry, of operations May 13-16.
HDQRS. FIFTY-THIRD Regiment OHIO VET. VOL. INFANTRY,
In the Field, near Kingston, Ga., May 20, 1864.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my regiment in the actions [of] 13th, 14th, 15th May, near Resaca, Ga:
On the morning of May 13, by order of General Lightburn, I formed my regiment in line of battle along the road running from Dalton to Calhoun. Being on the extreme right of the Second Brigade, I immediately threw out a company in my front as skirmishers, and deployed another down the Calhoun road some 200 yards to my right. At this time I received an order from General Lightburn to send two companies forward to reconnoiter a hill some 600 yards in front of the right of my line. I immediately ordered Major Dawes to take Companies A and D, and advance them to the foot of the hill, throwing his line of skirmishers to the crest. This order was promptly executed by Major Daws, who soon reported to me that his men were occupying the top of the hill and exchanging shots with the skirmishers of the enemy on the opposite bank of the river. About 12 o'clock General Veatch formed his division on my right, when I received an order to retire my companies from the hill, and also the company on my right. At 1 p. m. advanced in line of battle, on the right of the brigade, toward Resaca, my skirmishers driving slowly the rebel skirmishers. Advancing in this manner for near a mile, the brigade halted to rectify its alignment. My regiment was fired upon from rifle-pits on the south bank of the Oostenaula River some 400 yards distant. In a moment I discovered that the fire was enfilading my line, and sent my adjutant to inform General Lightburn of the situation and request permission to change the front of my right wing to escape the enfilade and better return the fire. Receiving the order, changed front of the right wing to rear on fifth company and opened fire upon the rifle-pits, and in a few minutes almost entirely silenced them. Again moved forward in line of the battle with the brigade. just after crossing the crest of the hill west of Camp Creek, received an order to halt and rectify alignment, almost simultaneously an order to advance to the edge of the field at the base of the hill; moved forward, first strengthening the skirmish line. The moment the skirmishers emerged from the woods there was a fire from the enemy, posted behind trees and logs near the creek, which checked their farther progress. I determined to advance to their support with my entire regiment, and if possible, drive the rebels across the creek. Gave the order to advance at double-quick, the Thirty-seventh, at the same time, moving forward on the same line, and had the satisfaction of seeing the coat-tails of a regiment or more of rebels leaving Camp Creek bottom for their rifle-pits on the opposite hill. Halted in the bottom and delivered a few volleys, when the firing on their part subsided to the scattering shots of a skirmish line. With the Thirty-seventh Ohio remained in this position, with no support on the right until after dark, when I received orders to leave two companies as skirmishers, and retire a company at a time, to the edge of the field and join the brigade. Remained in this position till about 7 p. m. of