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[475] After a desperately contested fight of half an hour, I succeeded in gaining the hill, from which the enemy made three unsuccessful attempts to dislodge me by assault. However, owing to the conformation of the ground, the Fifty-eighth North Carolina was exposed to a galling fire from the front and both flanks, and, after losing about half its numbers, was compelled to fall back to a position of greater security. Just before this falling back, Lieutenant-Colonel Edmund Kirby, gallantly cheering his men, fell, pierced by four bullets--Major Dula having been wounded early in the engagement. At this juncture I was indebted to Brigadier-General Anderson for a reinforcement of one regiment from his command. Colonel Palmer, the only field officer with the regiment, was here wounded, but still continued in command. After exchanging fires with the enemy for about an hour and a half, I determined to attempt to dislodge him by assault, and for this purpose transferred the Fifty-eighth North Carolina from the right to the left of my line and moved forward, swinging somewhat to the right. When I arrived at the base of the hill, the enemy was heard to cry, “We surrender, we surrender.” I immediately stepped to the front, my horse having been previously killed, and called upon the officer who seemed to be in command, and demanded that if he proposed to surrender he should lay down his arms. He came to the front and said, “Wait a minute.” I replied, “No, sir; lay down your arms instantly, or I will fire upon you,” and turned to my command; but before I could give the command “ready,” he poured upon it a terrific fire, which, on account of its suddenness, threw the brigade for the instant into confusion, but it rallied and was re-formed within thirty yards of this position. I am confident that the enemy intended to surrender, and that his fire was drawn by an unauthorized shot from his ranks. Finding that my ammunition was almost exhausted, I sent to the rear for reinforcements or a supply of ammunition. At this juncture I met Colonel Trigg, commanding brigade, and informed him of the position of the enemy, asking him, at the same time, to co-operate with me in his capture. He agreed, and formed his line on my left, with the intention of swinging the whole force to the right. Just as the movement was begun, I was notified by one of his staff that the Brigadier-General commanding division wished to see me, and I repaired at once to where he was stationed in the field. During this temporary absence the enemy surrendered to Colonel Trigg. Immediately after the surrender, a force, supposed to be of the enemy, opened a heavy fire, which created considerable confusion, in which a large number of the enemy were making off. Colonel H. Hawkins, of the Fifth Kentucky, here captured two hundred and forty-nine prisoners, including two Colonels, one Lieutenant-Colonel, and a number of company officers. About this time I rejoined the command, and turned over to Lieutenant-Colonel Wade, of the Fifty-fourth Virginia, to be taken to the rear, my prisoners, except the three field officers, who were sent to division headquarters in charge of one of my staff. The night being far advanced, I made arrangements to replenish my supply of ammunition, and went into bivouac on the hill which the brigade had so gallantly won.

It would not be proper for me to close this report without tendering my thanks to the members of my staff and the officers commanding the regiments for valuable assistance rendered in handling the troops, and bearing testimony to the gallant conduct of the officers and men composing the command. It was the first time that most of them had ever been under fire, yet they acted with the coolness and courage of veterans. Fighting against a superior force, posted in an apparently impregnable position, they moved steadily forward, beat and captured the enemy, and slept in his strong place. When all did their duty so well, it seems almost invidious to make particular mention of any one; yet I must be allowed to speak of the gallant conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel E. Kirby, Fifty-eighth North Carolina; Captain C. H. Lynch, Sixty-third Virginia; Lieutenant-Colonel G. W. Connor, Major William Mynhier and Adjutant Thomas H. B. Cork, Fifth Kentucky, and especially Captain J. Desha, Fifth Kentucky, who, although painfully and severely wounded early in the action, remained at the head of his company until the enemy was defeated.

I took into the fight an aggregate of eight hundred and fifty-two, and lost, in killed and wounded, three hundred and three, and twenty-six missing.

I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

J. H. Kelly, Colonel, commanding Brigade.

Report of Colonel R. C. Trigg, commanding brigade.

headquarters Trigg's brigade, September 26, 1863.
Captain J. L. Sandford, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Captain: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part borne by my brigade in the battles of the Chickamauga, on the nineteenth and twentieth instant:

By order of Brigadier-General Preston, commanding division, I crossed the Chickamauga, at early dawn, the morning of the nineteenth, and formed line of battle near Hunt's house, on the prolongation of Brigadier-General Bate's line. Whilst occupying this position the enemy threw shot and shell into my lines from a battery on the right. The Sixth regiment Florida volunteers (Colonel Findley) lost one lieutenant, one sergeant, and one private killed, and two privates wounded. I promptly moved the brigade forward so as to get the cover afforded by the opposite hills.

About twelve o'clock M., by direction of Brigadier-General

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