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[258] and recently in those near Knoxville, at London, at Campbell's Station, and, finally, around the defences on both sides of the river, while on the march, and in cold and in hunger, they have everywhere shown a spirit which has given to the army of the Ohio a name second to none.

By holding in check a powerful body of the enemy, they have seriously weakened the rebel army under Bragg, which has been completely defeated by General Grant, and, at the latest accounts, was in full retreat for Dalton, closely pursued by him, with the loss of six thousand prisoners, fifty-two pieces of artillery, and twelve stands of colors.

For this great and practical result, toward which the army of the Ohio has done so much, the Commanding General congratulates them, and with the fullest reliance on their patience and courage in the dangers they may yet have to meet, looks forward with confidence, under the blessing of Almighty God, to a successful close of the campaign.

By command of

Captain Montgomery's report.

sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this regiment, under my command, since the fourteenth ultimo:

At that date, my command was stationed at Lenoir's Station, on duty at headquarters Ninth army corps. About eight o'clock A. M., I received orders to strike camp and hold myself in readiness to move at a moment's notice. This order was promptly carried out, and, having formed line and stacked arms, waited for further developments. During the early part of the day, the camp of the corps headquarters was struck, and the wagons packed, numerous other calls made on my men to load forage and other Government property on the cars, besides furnishing several guards. My command was thus occupied till early on the morning of the sixteenth, when, at early dawn, I received orders to move and support a section of the Third United States artillery, under command of Lieutenant Bartlett. The roads impassable, and the horses worn out, great physical exertion was required on the part of the men to keep the section in motion. Beyond this, nothing occurred worthy of notice till reaching Campbell's Station, when I was ordered by General Burnside, in person, to take up position under cover, and support a section of Benjamin's battery. I had a good opportunity for doing so, in a defile, between two fences. While in this position, I was called on by order of General Potter, to detail a commissioned officer and twenty men, to take in charge some prisoners; and a like detail, to cover the road leading to Knoxville, to arrest and detain all stragglers from their commands; and another, of eighteen men, to assist in working the guns of Buckley's battery. I had thus under one hundred men available for fighting duty, should my command have been called into active contact with the enemy. Here I remained till the last gun had passed, and then followed in the march to Knoxville, reaching there about midnight, and encamped on the ground formerly occupied by General Potter's headquarters. On the morning of the seventeenth, I detailed, by order of General Potter, one captain, one lieutenant, and thirty men, to patrol the city, and arrest and turn over to their respective division provost-marshals all stragglers from the Ninth army corps; the balance of the command was under orders to move at any moment. About two o'clock P. M., I reported, with my command, to headquarters Ninth army corps, in Knoxville, and remained there till next morning, when I was ordered to report to the First brigade, First division, which I immediately did, and was assigned to duty in Fort Sanders, since which my command has constituted the major portion of the garrison.

I detailed, daily, two commissioned officers and forty-five men as a grand reserve for the skirmishers in front of the works. This party were posted on the crest of the hill, about five hundred yards in front of the work, with instructions to hold the position at all hazards, should the enemy attempt to carry it. No casualties occurred while on this duty, and the position was maintained till about half-past 11 o'clock on the night of the twenty-eighth, when the enemy advanced and drove in the skirmishers. Such was the impetuosity of his advance, that he had almost gained the crest occupied by the reserve before they could fire a shot, and they were thus compelled to fall back, only, however, for about fifty yards. Having gained the position which the reserve was thus compelled to relinquish, the enemy was contented for the night; and at five o'clock next morning, (the twenty-ninth,) I sent out, as usual, the detail to relieve the reserve, with the instructions, which I received from General Ferrero, that the position lost on the previous night was to be retaken at all hazards. This was accomplished; but no sooner so, than the enemy again made a demonstration, and, from the velocity of his advance, it was evident he meant to storm; nor was this impression incorrect. It is proper here to state, that my command only consisted of one hundred and fortyfour muskets, and, at the time the enemy made the assault, there were not more than fifty men in the fort. The reserve, which had been relieved, together with the party who relieved them, were soon, however, on hand, and in position in the front. The enemy steadily advanced, and quickly crowded on the ramparts and in the ditch. The fire from the artillery was rendered useless, the enemy having got within range, so that it was left to infantry entirely to defend the fort.

Now it was that the often tried mettle of the Highlanders was put to its severest test. Never were men more cool or determined. Officers and men alike were fully alive to the position they were placed in, and how much depended on their action. So fierce was the attack, that no less than three stands of colors were planted on the

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David D. Potter (3)
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