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[536] rear; he came forward, several lines deep, at a double-quick, and opened a brisk fire, but not before I had changed my front to receive him. My new line consisted of the Second Minnesota on the right, next one section of Smith's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Rodney, then the Eighty-seventh Indiana, flanked by Church's and other sections of Smith's battery, and on the extreme left the Thirty-fifth Ohio. The two extremities of the line formed an obtuse angle, the vortex on the left of the Eighty-seventh Indiana, and the opening toward the enemy.

The Second Minnesota and Eighty-seventh Indiana lay on the ground, and were apparently unobserved by the enemy, who moved upon the left of my line, delivering and receiving a direct fire, Church opening with all his guns, and Smith with one section. He advanced rapidly, my left giving way slowly, until his flank was brought opposite my right wing, when a murdering and enfilading fire was poured into his ranks by the infantry, and by Rodney's section, shotted with canister. Notwithstanding this, he moved up his second and third lines. Having observed his great force as well as the persistency of his attack, I had sent messenger after messenger to bring up the Ninth Ohio, which had not yet returned from its charge made from my original right. At last, however, and when it seemed impossible for my brave men longer to withstand the impetuous advance of the enemy, the Ninth came gallantly up, in time to take part in the final struggle, which resulted in his sullen withdrawal. In this last attack his loss must have been very severe. In addition to the heavy fire of the infantry, our guns were pouring double charges of canister in front and on his flank, at one time delivered at a distance not exceeding forty yards. During the latter part of the contest reenforcements had arrived, and were, by General Brannan, then present, formed in line for the purpose of supporting my brigade, but they were not actually engaged at this time. Our dead and wounded were gathered up, and a new line, under the superintendence of General Brannan, was formed. The enemy, however, made no further demonstration and quietly withdrew.

A small number of prisoners were taken, who reported that the force opposed to us was two divisions of Longstreet's corps, one commanded by General Hood. They fought with great obstinacy and determination, only retreating when fairly swept away by our overwhelming fire.

After resting my command for an hour or more, I was ordered to report to Major-General Reynolds. Immediately moving toward his position we arrived near Kelly's house just before sundown, and then, by direction of General Brannan, went into bivouac.

At eight o'clock the next morning, Sunday, the twentieth of September, 1863, my brigade was posted as a reserve in the rear of the First and Second brigades of the division formed in two lines of columns closed in mass, where we remained for about an hour. Slowly moving over toward the left, for the purpose of occupying the space between the Third and Reynolds's division, I received an order to move quickly on the left and support General Baird, who, it was said, was being hard pressed by the enemy. I wheeled my battalions to the left, deployed both lines, and moved through the woods parallel to the Chattanooga road, gradually swinging round my left until when, in rear of Reynolds's position, I struck the road perpendicularly at a point just north of Kelly's house, near and back of his lines. On approaching the road, riding in advance of the brigade, my attention was called to a large force of the enemy moving southward in four lines, just then emerging from the woods at a run, evidently intending to attack Reynolds and Baird, who were both hotly engaged in the rear, and apparently unseen by these officers. I immediately wheeled my lines to the left, facing the approaching force, and ordered them to lie down. This movement was not executed until we received a galling fire delivered from a distance of two hundred yards; at the same time a rebel battery, placed in the road about five or six hundred yards to our front, opened on us with two guns. My command continued to lie down until the enemy approached within seventy-five yards, when the whole arose to their feet, and the front line, composed of the Second Minnesota and Eighty-seventh Indiana, delivered a murderous fire almost in their faces, and the Thirty-fifth and Ninth Ohio passing lines quickly to the front, the whole brigade charged and drove the enemy at a full run, over the open ground, for over a quarter of a mile, and several hundred yards into the woods, my men keeping in good order, and delivering their fire as they advanced.

The rebels fled hastily to cover, leaving the ground strewn with their dead and wounded. We took a position in the woods, and maintained a determined combat for more than an hour. At this time I greatly needed my battery, which had been taken from the brigade early in the day, by command of Major-General Negley. Finding a force moving on my right to support us, and the enemy being almost silenced, I ordered it to return to the open ground south of the woods. This movement was executed by passing lines to the rear, each line firing as it retired.

I learned from prisoners that the force we fought and put to flight this day was the division of the rebel General Breckinridge. That we punished them severely was proven by their many dead and wounded, among the former of which were several field officers, and among the latter one general officer of high rank. I thence moved to a position on the road, and the house near General Reynolds, and there remained, resting my mean and caring for my wounded, for an hour or more.

Although I had not reported to either Generals Reynolds or Baird, as ordered in the morning, I believe I rendered them very substantial assistance, and at a time when it was greatly needed.


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