War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0656 SW. VA., KY., TENN., MISS., ALA., W. FLA., &. N. GA. Chapter LXIV.

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at this depot. On the evening of the 1st instant an appeal was made to the First and Second Regiments for volunteers to proceed to Johnsonville, Tenn., which was being besieged by the rebel General Forrest. On the afternoon of the 2nd instant orders were issued by you requiring the volunteers to report at the Chattanooga depot and placing me in command. The following forces reported: First company, Lieutenant William Martin, Company I, First Regiment, 44 men; second company, Captain Moore, Company B, Third Regiment, 62 men; third company, Captain Mosher, Company C, Second Regiment, 40 men; fourth company, Captain Conway, Company D, Second Regiment, 35 men; fifth company, Captain Avery, Company A, Third Regiment, 30 men; sixth company, Captain Fleming, Company H, First Regiment, 37 men; section quartermaster's artillery, 2 howitzers, 12-pounders, 21 men, Lieutenant Smith commanding; section Battery A, Second U. S. Colored Artillery, 2 Napoleons, 30 men, Lieutenant Meigs commanding; making a total of 299 men. The command reached JOhnsonville without accident on the morning of the 3rd instant. Immediately upon arriving I reported to Colonel Charles R. Thompson, commanding, and turned over my artillery to the chief of artillery at that post. The infantry was marched into the large warehouse near the river, when rations were issued and cooked, and the command properly organized. Pursuant to orders from Coloinel thompson, we moved into the trenches at 4 a. m. on the morning of the 4th and stood a arms till sunrise. During the day the command was subjected to a severe cannonading, yet I am proud to report that the conduct of my command could not have been better. In the afternoon the gun-boats were abandoned and fired, as also were the transports. The scene beggars description; it was awfully sublime. The roar of heavy artillery, the shrieking of shell, the vast, dark columns of smoke from the burning vessels, the fearful crash of exploding magazines, the terror of fleeing inhabitants seeking safety beyond the storm of iron, the demoralized panic of the gun-boat people flying with their personal effects, was enough to appal the stoutest heart, yet no man wavered, but executed the orders given them to change position with the precision of a parade.

On the morning of the 5th my force was increased by the arrival of Captain Wright with detachments of fity men from the First and Second Regiments. I commenced to improve the works we occupied, and was assisted by some 500 citizens that I pressed into service from the ravines in the rear of the town. Five buildings, private property, were torn down by my order and their material used in the works. It being officially reported to me that Forrest had crossed the river during the night with strong infantry and artillery force and would attack our rear, rendered this destruction expedient. The works erected were of sufficient strength to resist field artillery, and they were well protected from a flank fire by heavy traverses every fifteen feet. In the evening orders were issued to abandon that part of the town north of the rialroad. My command was posted in Fort Johnson and remained under arms during the night. We remained in the fort until Monday evening, when we were relieved from further duty by the order of Major-General Schofield, he, at the same time, amking the request that the artillery ramain. At first the quartermaster's section refused to serve longer than the infantry, and demanded to return to Nashville with them. I visited their quarters and made a strong appeal to them to remain, representing that the reputation of our corps would be sacrificed by their refusal. They ltimately agreed to remain, and arenow still on duty. I would respectfully ask that they be relieved at the earliest moment consistent with public interest.