No. 17. Report of Colonel Robert F. Catterson, Ninety-seventh Indiana Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations November 22. HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, FIRST DIV., 15TH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, near Gordon, Ga., November 23, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the engagement between this brigade and the enemy, near Griswold, on the 22nd instant:
Early on the morning mentioned six regiments of the brigade, General Walcutt commanding - viz, the Forty-sixth Ohio Infantry, Ninety-seventh and One hundred Indiana Infantry, Sixth Iowa Infantry, the Fortieth and One hundred and third Illinois Infantry- were ordered to move on the road leading to Macon, Ga., for the purpose of feeling the enemy's position in that direction. Proceeding about one mile we met the enemy's cavalry, under Wheeler, and drove them beyond Griswold. The object of the reconnaissance having been accomplished the brigade was retired about one mile and took position at a point known as Duncan's farm. The enemy seeing this move followed up with three brigades of militia, numbering in all between 6,000 and 7,000 men. We had scarcely taken position in the edge of timber skirting the farm on the east when our pickets were fired upon. The brigade, thus posted behind a light barricade of rails hastily prepared after our pickets were driven in, lay anxiously awaiting his appearance. He was soon discovered emerging from the woods about 800 yards from our position, and rapidly running across an open field toward us in three lines of battle, either of which more than covered our brigade front. General Walcutt ordered Captain Arndt, of the First Michigan, Battery B, to open fire upon them, which he did with one section of his battery in position on the road near the center of our line, which was replied to sharply by four guns of the enemy in the open field, at a distance of about 800 yards, to the right and front, the first shot striking and damaging a caisson. On came the enemy, endeavoring to gain possession of a ravine running parallel to and about 100 yards to our front, but the fire was so terrible that ere he reached it many of his number were stretched upon the plain. It was at this moment that General Walcutt received a severe wound and was compelled to leave the field. I immediately assumed command, and discovered the enemy moving to the right. I supposed he contemplated turning my right flank. As I had already disposed of every available man in the brigade, and my left so strongly pressed that not a man could be spared from it, I sent to the general commanding the division for two regiments. The Twelfth Indiana t, and immediately placed in position on the extreme right; also, a squadron of cavalry to watch the right and left flanks, but the day was already ours, as the enemy had been repulsed and driven from the field. I immediately sent forward a line of skirmishers, who succeeded in capturing about 42 prisoners and 150 small-arms. The battle commenced at 2. 30 p. M. and lasted until sunset. During the engagement the enemy made three separate charges, and were as often repulsed with terrible slaughter.
I would gladly notice the many deeds of daring during the action, but to do so of every man who distinguished himself would be to mention each man by name in the brigade; but suffice it to say, the conduct of both officers and men was most superb.