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[223] simultaneously, a fire from at least fifty pieces of artillery, from the crest of Mission Ridge, was poured upon us. We moved in good order, at a rapid step, under this appalling fire, to the enemy's works, which were situated about three hundred yards below, and toward Chattanooga, from the crest of the ridge, the enemy fleeing from these works at our approach. The command, on reaching the enemy's works at the foot of the hill, covered itself, as ordered, on the reverse side as best it could, but very imperfectly, being so near and so much below the crest of the ridge.

The musketry fire from the crest was now telling severely upon us, and the crest presenting its concavity toward us, we were completely enfiladed by artillery from both flanks.

The position was a singular one, and can only be well understood by those who occupied it.

The command had executed its orders, and to remain there till new ones could be sent would be destruction: to fall back would not only be so, but would entail disgrace.

On commencing the advance, the thought of storming Mission Ridge had not entered the mind of any one, but now the necessity was apparent to every soldier of the command. Giving the men about five minutes to breathe, and receiving no orders, I gave the word forward, which was eagerly obeyed.

The forces of General Willich, on my left, had commenced the movement somewhat in my advance, and those of Major-General Sheridan, on my right, were a considerable distance in my rear. There were in my front the troops of General Breckinridge, forming the left of the enemy's centre.

Not much regard to lines could be observed, but the strong men, commanders, and color-bearers took the lead, in each case forming the apex of a triangular column of men. These advanced slowly, but confidently; no amount of fire from the crest checking them.

Lieutenant-Colonel Langdon, of the First Ohio, gaining a position where the conformation of the hill gave cover, till within three yards of the crest, formed several hundred men there, checking the head for that purpose; then giving the command, the column broke over the crest, the enemy fleeing. These were the first men of the entire army on the hill, and my command moving up with a shout, their entire front was handsomely carried.

The troops on my immediate left were still held in check, and those on my right not more than half-way up the hill, and were being successfully held back. Hurrying my men to the right and left along the crest, I was enabled to take the enemy in flank and reverse, and, by vigorously using the artillery captured there, I soon relieved my neighbors and carried the crest within a few hundred yards of Bragg's headquarters; he himself escaping by flight, being at one time near my right, encouraging the troops that had checked Sheridan's left.

The heroism of the entire command in this engagement merits the highest praise of the country.

Colonel Aquila Wiley, Forty-first Ohio, commanding First battalion, was shot through the leg, making amputation necessary.

The loss to the service of this officer cannot be properly estimated. He was always prompt and thorough, and possessed capacity and knowledge of his duties that never left him at fault. I know no officer of equal efficiency in the volunteer service, and none whose past services entitle them to better reward. The services and losses of his battalion, composed of the Forty-first and Ninety-third Ohio infantry, also stand conspicuous.

Lieutenant-Colonel Langdon, First Ohio infantry, commanding Third battalion, was shot through the face just as he had reached the crest of the hill, and, after lying prostrate from the wound, again moved forward cheering his men.

The services of this officer, in first gaining the crest, should be rewarded by promotion to the grade of brigadier-general. He has previously commanded a brigade with efficiency.

Colonel Berry, Fifth Kentucky infantry, was again wounded, just as he had reached the crest at the head of his battalion, being the third received in these operations. He, however, did not leave the field. A like promotion, in his case, would be not only fitting but beneficial to the service.

On the fall of Colonel Wiley, Lieutenant-Colonel Kimberly, Forty-first Ohio, assumed command of the First battalion, and, through the remainder of the engagement, fought it with his usual rare ability.

Lieutenant-Colonels Christopher, Sixth Ohio infantry, and Pickands, One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Ohio, commanding battalions, rendered valuable and meritorious service.

I have also to mention Corporal G. A. Kramer, company I, Forty-first Ohio, for his gallantry, in turning upon the enemy the first gun on the ridge, which he discharged by firing his musket over the vent. The same man, alone, ordered and received the surrender of twenty men with the colors of the Twenty-eighth Alabama on the twenty-third instant.

Sergeant D. L. Sutphin, company D, Ninety-third Ohio. on reaching the crest, captured a stand of colors in the hands of its bearer.

Corporal Angelbeck, company I, Forty-first Ohio, seeing a caisson filled with ammunition already on fire with two wounded horses attached to it, cut them loose and ran the burning carriage down the hill before it exploded.

The colors of the First Ohio, the first on the hill, were carried, while ascending it, at different times, by the following men and officers:

Corporal John Emery, company I, wounded.

Corporal Wm. McLaughlin, company I, killed.

Captain Nicholas Trapp, wounded.

Corporal Thos. Bawler, company A, wounded.

Corporal Frederick Zimmerman.

Major Stafford.

The foregoing are but a few of the many instances

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