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[341] Seventy-ninth Indiana, distinguished themselves by the vigor of their assault on Mission Ridge, and the ardor with which they attacked the rebels after the crest had been gained.

To the members of my personal staff, Captain Bestow, Assistant Adjutant-General, First Lieutenant Yargan, Fifty-eighth Indiana, and Second Lieutenant Shaffer, Ninety-third Ohio, Aides-de-Camp, Captain Bartlett, Forty-ninth Ohio, Inspector-General of the Division, and Captain Wells, Eighty-ninth Illinois, Assistant Commissary of Musters, who accompanied me on the field throughout the entire operations, my thanks are especially due for much valuable assistance, promptly and intelligently rendered. They all bore themselves with signal gallantry. Captain Bestow was slightly wounded by the fragment of a shell in the assault on Mission Ridge. To the members of my staff who were not immediately on the field, Captain Bradley, Sixth Ohio battery, Chief of Artillery; Captain Myers, Assistant Quarter-Master; Captain Mullen, Commissary of Subsistence; Lieutenant Haldeman, Ordinance Officer; and Captain Taft, Provost-Marshal, I must tender my thanks for the excellent manner in which they performed their appropriate duties. Captain Bridges, commanding the battery which was posted on Orchard Knob during the night of the twenty-third, did good service. Special praise and commendation are due to that accomplished officer and Christian gentleman, Surgeon W. W. Blair, Medical Director of the division, for the excellent arrangements, provided in advance, for taking care of the wounded, and for the prompt manner in which, so far as human power could do it, their sufferings were alleviated.

Though it may be unusual, I trust it will not be considered in bad taste, more especially when it is remembered that we commenced the career of arms together in our boyhood, if I return my sincere acknowledgments to the Commander of the corps of which my division is a part, for the prompt and hearty support he gave me throughout the brilliant operations which terminated in raising the protracted investment of Chattanooga and the rout of the rebel army.

Immediately after the termination of the operations around Chattanooga, my division, with another of the corps, was ordered to march to the relief of the garrison of Knoxville, beleaguered by the rebels under General Longstreet. Thinly clad, some of the men being absolutely barefooted, and all deficient in clothing, and after having been more than two months on short rations, the march was cheerfully commenced and rapidly made at a most inclement season of the year. The line of march having been changed after leaving Chattanooga, it was impossible to draw subsistence from the Commissariat Department, and during the remainder of the march it was necessary for the troops to subsist on the country. This their indomitable energy enabled them to do. And, I may add, they have been compelled to live in the same way, more or less, ever since. When we marched from Chattanooga it was understood that the object of the movement was simply to cause the siege of Knoxville to be raised, and that as soon as this was accomplished we were to return. On our arrival at Knoxville it was determined to hold us there, while the garrison pursued the retreating rebels.

After remaining at Knoxville a week, a report was received that Longstreet had turned on his pursuers and was driving them back. To support them we were ordered to advance to this point, and here we have remained ever since, suffering all the privations and hardships that insufficient clothing, insufficient shelter, and insufficient food, at the most inclement season of the year, can produce. When we marched from Chattanooga the troops were allowed but one wagon per regiment for the transportation of baggage, shelter, and cooking utensils.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,.

Thomas J. Wood, Brigadier-General U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

Tabular Statement of Casualties in the Third Division, Fourth Army Corps, in the operations before Chattanooga, on 23d, 24th, and 25th days of November, 1863.

commands. Third division, Fourth army
Commissioned Officers.Enlisted MenCommissioned Officers.Enlisted Men.Commissioned Officers.Enlisted Men.Commissioned Officers and Enlisted Men.
First Brigade74617267  337
Second Brigade78630399  522
Third Brigade21212148  174
Total1614459814  1,033

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James Longstreet (2)
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