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[373]

Report of General Benning.

headquarters Benning's brigade, October 8th, 1863.
Captain,—I have the honor to submit to you the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the battles of the 19th and 20th ultimo on the Chickamauga:

At about 3 o'clock P. M., of the 19th, I was ordered to advance and support Brigadier-General Robertson, who was a little to my left. On advancing, I found him with his brigade hotly engaged with a superior force of the enemy's infantry, aided by a battery. The place was on the Chattanooga road near a small house, and a smaller outhouse with open ground for one hundred and fifty or two hundred yards in front and stretching to the right and left, through which ran the road from front to rear. Beyond the open ground all was forest, in which, on the right of the road, was the enemy's battery. Thus the missiles from this battery not only swept over nearly all of the open ground, but passed on with effect far into the level wood in the rear.

When we first encountered the enemy, they were at the two houses and on the rear side of the open ground. After an obstinate contest they were driven from this position and across the open ground into the road beyond. We then occupied the houses—my numbers were too few to venture with them alone to follow the enemy into the wood, and to the battery. The place we held was much exposed to the enemy's fire, but with the little cover furnished by the houses, some stumps, and a few scattered trees, I thought I could hold it till the reinforcements every minute expected should arrive, when a general advance might be expected and the enemy swept from the opposite wood. We did hold it for a long time driving back several charges of the enemy to retake it. No reinforcements came. Finally, towards sunset, the enemy's fire from his battery and from his infantry, protected by the wood, became so heavy, and so many of our officers and men had fallen, that we had ourselves to retire a short distance. We accordingly took up a new position a hundred or two yards in rear of the houses, where we remained till the close of the fight. We, in this engagement, felt much the want of artillery to oppose, not only the enemy's artillery, but to his infantry. But none came to our aid. None had been attached either to my brigade or to Brigadier-General Robertson's. My loss was very


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C. W. Robertson (2)
Henry L. Benning (2)
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October 8th, 1863 AD (1)
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