War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0774 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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toona, Ga; at midnight. At 1. 30 a. m., after the disembarkation of the different regiments, I was ordered to form my command in close column of DIVISION in an open space east of the railroad track, in line with other troops, the Fiftieth Illinois being to my right; the Seventh Illinois was formed in my immediately rear. Arms were stacked and the men rested close by for about half an hour, when I received orders to form in line of battle on the foot of the hill east of the railroad, my right resting near the embankment, my left extending to the camp of the Ninety-THIRD Illinois, and about 100 yards in rear and running parallel to the Fiftieth Illinois, which was informed in like manner and behind a barricade of U. S. army wagons, being a Part to afford shelter in case of attack.

At daybreak the regiment in my front (Fiftieth Illinois) was ordered up the hill in our rear, while I, receiving no orders, remained in position. At the hours of 6 and 7 a. m. the batteries of the enemy in front, and occupying a range of hills about 1,500 yards distance opposite us, opened their fire upon the fort above, and some shots, falling short or with purpose, struck around and among my regiment, wounding several men slightly. I at once moved my line of battle a little forward in shelter of a small ravine and sent for further instructions up to the fort in our rear, and reported the exposed condition of my men. I was ordered to report with my regiment to Major Hanna, Fiftieth Illinois Infantry, who, with his regiment, occupied a position on the hill and rear of the fort east of the railroad. I moved my command by detachments through the railroad cut, ascending the hill from the rear, and formed in line of battle, my left resting on the right of the Fiftieth Illinois, in which position I remained for about one hour. The troops on the range of hills WEST of the railroad soon became hotly engaged. I was ordered at once to form my regiment in line of battle on the crest of the cut, facing west, and to direct my fire upon the hills and ravines north of the fort opposite us, from whence our skirmishers were seen being driven in. I took the assigned position with rapidity and engaged with my right wing the approaching enemy for about thirty minutes, losing I officer and 5 men wounded, when I received orders to throw my regiment across the railroad in support of the other fort; I moved double-quick by the left flank and gained the opposite hill under a heavy and severe fire of the enemy's artillery, killing and wounding some, but the men kept cool and self-possessed admirably. On reaching the summit I found the fort and the surrounding rifle-pits thickly occupied by other troops. I posted the left wing of the regiment to the right of the fort, behind the shelter of small wooden buildings used as quarters for a section of artillery there stationed; my right remained to left and south of the fort, and opened upon the enemy, who was trying to enter the town below, and succeeded in keeping him back in the woods. The men being much exposed to the enemy's fire from almost all sides, I took possession of the rifle-pit in front of the fort, facing west, toward the white house, where the enemy was seen thickest, the rifle-pits then being thinly manned, as the troops of other commands who occupied them were fast seeking shelter inside the fort, leaving the ditch almost empty. A small portion of my regiment for want of room in the out-works or shelter were placed inside the fort. The engagement lasted with terrible fury for about four hours, the enemy inflating great parts of the poorly constructed rifle-pits, but the men fought with veteran coolness, bravery, and determination without deserting their perilous position, the ditches filling fast with dead, dying, and wounded.