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Official Reports
concerning
Walthall's Mississippi Brigade
for the battles of
Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga
- November, 1863 -


No. 332.--Report of Brig. Gen. Edward C. Walthall, C. S. Army, commanding brigade. [Chickamauga Campaign]

No. 218.--Organization of the Hardee's Corps, Cheatham's Division, November 20, 1863.

No. 222.--Reports of Brig. Gen. Edward C. Walthall, C. S. Army, commanding brigade for:

[Lookout Mountain]
[Missionary Ridge]
Return of Casualties in Walthall's brigade for Missionary Ridge

No. 223.--Report of Col. William F. Dowd, Twenty-fourth Mississippi Infantry.

No. 224.--Report of Lieut. Col. A. J. Jones, Twenty-seventh Mississippi Infantry.

No. 225.--Report of Col. William F. Brantly, Twenty-ninth Mississippi Infantry.

No. 226.--Report of Maj. James M. Johnson, Thirtieth Mississippi Infantry.

No. 227.--Report of Capt. H. J. Bowen, Thirty-fourth Mississippi Infantry.


O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXX/2

No. 332.--Report of Brig. Gen. Edward C. Walthall, C. S. Army, commanding brigade. [Chickamauga]

[ar51_271 con't]

HEADQUARTERS WALTHALL'S BRIGADE,
Near Chattanooga, October 6, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle of Chickamauga in what concerns my own command:

On Friday (September 18), about 1 p.m., when the head of Major-General Walker's column reached a point about a half mile from Alexander's Bridge, I was ordered by Brigadier-General Liddell, commanding division, to form line of battle with the left of my brigade resting on the road leading to the bridge and to move forward, guiding left and keeping the road to my left. The line was formed almost at right angle to the road, the right slightly retired, and skirmishers covering my entire front were thrown forward about 200 yards. These dispositions made, I moved forward through a dense thicket, <ar51_272> and after advancing about a quarter of a mile the enemy's skirmishers were encountered in front of my left and center, the two regiments on the right (Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel McKelvaine, and Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment, Colonel Campbell) meeting no opposition, except in front of the two companies on the left of the Twenty-seventh Regiment.

The road on which my left rested in the beginning of the movement turns to the right at a point 200 or 300 yards from the bridge, forming a right angle. At this point, the Thirty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, Major Pegram commanding, and Thirtieth Mississippi Regiment, Colonel Scales commanding, in advancing passed across the road into an open field, and the Twenty-ninth Mississippi Regiment, Colonel Brantly (the center regiment of my command), being immediately opposite the bridge, was stubbornly resisted for about fifteen minutes, and in the meantime the regiments to the left of this, driving the skirmishers of the enemy before them, swung round under the enemy's artillery fire through an open field until the line they formed was nearly at right angle to that formed by the other three regiments, conforming in the main to the general direction of the creek. When the bridge was gained by the Twenty-ninth Mississippi Regiment it was done under a heavy fire from the enemy posted on the opposite bank of the creek, which along my line was narrow, but deep, with steep banks and impassable. The bridge had been torn up by the enemy, but this fact, owing to the density of the undergrowth, could not be ascertained until the bank of the creek was occupied. The Thirty-fourth and Thirtieth Mississippi Regiments, after swinging to the right as above mentioned, in the field, had been halted by their commanders and the men ordered to lie down, the enemy having disappeared in their front. I then directed the skirmishers of these regiments, which I had previously ordered to be pressed forward, to be recalled and the regiments to move by the right flank until they closed up an interval between the Thirtieth and Twenty-ninth near the angle in the line.

Fowler's battery, of my brigade, during the engagement, was put in position, by the brigadier-general commanding, on an eminence to the left of my line, to operate on a battery of the enemy which had been shelling my line, but the enemy withdrew his pieces while Captain Fowler was getting in position, and in the meantime the bridge was taken.

In this action the Twenty-ninth Mississippi Regiment lost heavily, and in the Thirty-fourth 1 officer and 24 enlisted men were wounded. The Twenty-fourth sustained no loss, and Twenty-seventh and Thirtieth but slight.

When the condition of the bridge was reported to Major-General Walker, he directed me to move my command by the right flank, under the direction of a guide furnished me toward Byram's Ford, about 1 mile below Alexander's Bridge, where my command, followed by the rest of Major-General Walker's corps, crossed without opposition, and moved about a mile toward Lee and Gordon's Mills on the Vineyard road.

Night in the meantime coming on, halted under orders from the brigadier-general commanding, and the next morning, soon after daylight, I moved out left in front, following Colonel Govan's brigade. The column had not moved more than three-quarters of a mile when it was halted and rested on the roadside until about 11 o'clock, when I received orders from the brigadier-general commanding <ar51_273> to advance in line of battle. After moving forward 200 or 300 yards he directed me to move by the right flank, and when my right was nearly opposite an old shop near the road, to halt and front and advance in line of battle.

Just here a staff officer from Major-General Walker came to me with orders to move rapidly forward, as Ector's and Wilson's brigades were badly cut up and largely outnumbered by the enemy. Soon the general came in person, and meeting me with my command gave me instructions as to directions, localities, &c. With Colonel Govan's brigade on my left I moved rapidly forward and encountered the enemy, before I had advanced 500 yards, in strong force. The firing indicated that the two brigades had met the enemy along the whole line of both at the same time. After moving forward 100 yards or so my line was checked for a moment by a heavy artillery and musketry fire, but when ordered to advance the whole line moved promptly forward with a shout, breaking the first and then the second line of the enemy, passing over two full batteries and capturing 411 prisoners, of whom 23 were commissioned officers. The prisoners in the main claimed to be from First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Sixteenth U.S. Infantry, and from Company H, Fifth Artillery, and 1 first lieutenant from Fourth Indiana Battery. A large proportion of the artillery horses attached to the batteries over which we passed having been either killed or wounded, it was impossible at the time to retire the pieces as they were gained.

Lieutenant-Colonel Reynolds, field officer of the day, with a detail from Thirty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, removed 1 Parrott gun to the rear, which was delivered to Major Palmer, chief of artillery on Major-General Walker's staff. After passing beyond the second line of the enemy, I ascertained that he was turning my right flank, and while making a disposition of my right regiment in the effort to prevent it, Lieutenant-Colonel Reynolds, who had been sent to the left of the line to observe the operations there, reported to me that the enemy were already upon the flank of my left regiment. Moving toward the left I discovered a piece of artillery being put in position opposite and within 300 yards of the left of my line, which was already turned. I withdrew my command at once, the engagement having lasted about an hour. The enemy did not pursue, and I took my position, under orders from the brigadier-general commanding, to the right of the position from which Major-General Cheatham's command just then advanced.

In this engagement my command suffered heavily. Lieutenant-Colonel McKelvaine, commanding Twenty-Fourth Mississippi Regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan, of Twenty-ninth Mississippi Regiment, were severely wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel McKelvaine remained in command of his regiment after he was wounded till the engagement was over.

In the course of two hours from this time, several immaterial changes having in the meantime been made in my position, Lieutenant-General Polk directed me to move by the right flank in extension of Major-General Cheatham's line, taking my position on the right of Brigadier-General Jackson. This was done under the enemy's fire, whose purpose seemed to be to turn General Cheatham's right flank. Colonel Govan's brigade took position on my right, whereupon the brigadier-general commanding ordered his line to advance. My command moved forward some 300 or 400 yards, the enemy contesting the ground, but falling back until the crest of a <ar51_274> ridge in front of me had been gained. Here the enemy, strongly posted, delivered a very heavy fire of artillery and small-arms. The advance was checked, and in the course of ten or fifteen minutes my line was forced to retire to its original position on Brigadier-General Jackson's right, and I was directed by the brigadier-general commanding to remain there until further orders. Four guns of Fowler's battery were posted during this last movement in rear of Liddell's division, and opened fire on a battery of the enemy which was shelling the troops on the left, and silenced it in a few minutes. One section under Lieutenant Phelan, in an attempt to follow my brigade when it moved to General Cheatham's right, passed, by reason of another command being mistaken for mine, beyond the right of my line, and was put in position at a point where the infantry supporting it was forced to fall back before a superior force of the enemy after a short engagement. All the horses of one piece were killed, and all but one of the other either killed or wounded. One piece was lost, but afterward recaptured; the other was brought off. The loss in killed and wounded in this section was heavy, and the pieces used with great effect.

In the engagement on Saturday afternoon, Major Pegram, commanding Thirty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, and Major Staples, commanding Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, were severely wounded, and Captain Smith, the senior captain of the latter, having been slightly wounded, the command of that regiment devolved on Captain Toomer till the next morning, when Captain Smith reported for duty and assumed command. The command of the Thirtyfourth Regiment devolved on Captain Bowen after Major Pegram was wounded.

When Captain Fowler reported that one of the pieces under Lieutenant Phelan had been lost on my right, the line in the meantime having fallen back and the firing having ceased, the Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, under command of Captain Toomer, was sent to the right, under the supervision of Lieutenant-Colonel Reynolds, field officer of the day, to a point opposite where the gun was said by Lieutenant Phelan to have been taken by the enemy, and moved forward, driving back the enemy's skirmishers till it was ascertained that the enemy, who had retired from the position he occupied when the gun was taken, had removed the gun before falling back. The regiment was then ordered back to its proper position in line.

At an early hour on Sunday morning my command was moved by the left flank, by order of the brigadier-general commanding, to the rear of Major-General Cheatham's line, and then back past the position where it had spent the night to the right, a distance of about 1 miles, in rear of where Major-General Breckinridge's forces were engaged, and halted about three-quarters of-a mile from the Chattanooga road.

About 12 o'clock (and after one or two unimportant changes of position) Lieutenant-General Polk directed me to move to the left to a point to be indicated by Major Ratchford, of Lieutenant-General Hill's staff, to the support of Brigadier-General Polk. I moved by the left flank to the point indicated by Major Ratchford, who accompanied me, and advanced my line under a heavy fire from the enemy, which commenced before I got into position. I pressed forward 200 or 300 yards under this fire through dense undergrowth until the enemy opened fire on my left flank from the angle of his fortifications just opposite. About the same time an impression, afterward <ar51_275> shown to be unfounded, was produced by stragglers, and among them one officer, falling back from some line to the right of my immediate front, that the right of my line had fired into our own friends. So dense was the thicket that it was impossible to ascertain at the moment the exact position of any line, nor was I able to find Brigadier-General Polk's command. My left having been driven back, I ordered the right to cease firing, and retired it and reformed my line under cover of the hill, and reported the facts to Lieutenant-General Hill, who directed me to hold the position which I occupied, guarding well my left, my right and center being then covered by another command, which had fallen back and was reforming very near me.

Lieutenants-Colonel Reynolds, Thirtieth Mississippi Regiment, whom but a short time before I had assigned to the command of the Thirty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, fell mortally wounded at his post of duty just before the left of my line gave way under a flank fire, as above stated, and died soon afterward. No braver man or better soldier fell upon the field of Chickamauga than this faithful and accomplished officer, whose loss is deeply deplored throughout this command. In his death the service sustains a heavy loss. Major Johnson, Thirtieth Mississippi Regiment, was wounded about the same time, but his wound being slight, he did not quit the field.

In a short time after my line was reformed I was ordered by the brigadier-general commanding to move my command by the right flank some 400 yards, and then form about half that distance and await orders. The right of my brigade rested in a field near a fence, and the center and left near the woods just in rear of a little prairie.

In this position, with my battery posted near the center of my line and Govan's brigade on my left, I remained until about 5 o'clock, when I received orders from the brigadier-general commanding that the line would advance, and to move my command forward, guiding left. I put it in motion, my brigade being then on the extreme right of the line, and met no opposition, even from the enemy's skirmishers, till I was in sight of the Chattanooga road, near McDonald's house. Here the skirmishers, firing from behind the house and outhouses of the settlement, resisted my advance for a moment, but soon most of them fled, a few surrendering. I moved across the road and into the open field beyond, and was ordered by the brigadier-general commanding to halt about 200 yards from the road and let the men lie down till he could post the batteries of his division on my right, and to this he gave his personal attention. While my line was advancing unopposed a continuous fire was heard to my left, and most of it seemed to be to the left of Govan's brigade, and as the division advanced this firing was continued to its left and rear. In the field in which my line was halted Govan's brigade also halted in extension of my line. Skirmishers were kept 200 or 300 yards in front. The order to lie down had scarcely been given and executed when the whole line was enfiladed from three batteries-- one on the hill in the neighborhood of Cloud's house, another within 300 yards of the right of my line, concealed in a clump of bushes (both these on the right), and one to the left of Govan near the Chattanooga road. Some of our pieces were turned upon the batteries to the right and used to the best advantage under the circumstances, but neither was silenced. After enduring a very heavy fire for ten or fifteen minutes from these three batteries, with no enemy to be seen in front, the brigade to my left gave way, and my own soon followed, falling back in confusion under a furious cannonade. The enemy from the woods to the right <ar51_276> soon appeared, and occupied the road in time to cut off and capture most of the skirmishers, with several of their officers, who covered my front in the field.

Col. J. I. Scales, commanding Thirtieth Mississippi Regiment, was captured here, and Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment, then acting as field officer of the day, was wounded. He, however, returned to duty next morning.

With the 3 remaining field officers (and 1 of them slightly wounded but still on duty) out of the 10 with whom I had gone into action Saturday morning, my broken line was promptly reformed and moved forward. The enemy had withdrawn before I again reached the Chattanooga road, and I was ordered by the brigadier-general commanding soon after dark to take position in a field to the right of Govan's brigade (which was posted near McDonald's house and east of the Chattanooga road), and to construct such temporary protections for the men as' could be made of rails, &c., in front of my line. Just after I got into the field with my command I was directed by the brigadier-general commanding to move it back into the woods in rear of Colonel Govan, two shells, to which the enemy replied from a battery in front, having been thrown directly over my line from some battery in my rear, the first one exploding just over the Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiment and severely wounding a man of that command.

The next day the whole corps moved toward Chattanooga by the main road, it having been ascertained that the enemy had retired during the night.

In this battle, out of 10 field officers, 134 company officers, and 1,683 enlisted men which I carried in, I lost 705, of whom 69 were killed, and 12 have since died from their wounds. A full report [not found] of casualties is herewith submitted.

To all of my regimental commanders and to Captain Fowler, of Fowler's battery, I am indebted for their cordial support and a gallant, faithful, and skillful discharge of duty at all times during the battle, as I am to the officers and men of their commands for the coolness, daring, and persistence (except in a very few instances) which marked their action throughout all the engagements.

For individual instances of gallantry, and for a more perfect understanding of details, I respectfully refer to the reports of regimental and battery commanders herewith submitted.

To the several members of my staff my thanks are due for the valuable aid I received at their hands by means of their prompt attention to all their duties and their gallant bearing under all circumstances.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. C. WALTHALL,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. G. A. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General.


O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXI/2

No. 218.--Organization of the Army of Tennessee, General Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army, commanding, November 20, 1863. [pg. 658]

HARDEE'S CORPS.

CHEATHAM'S DIVISION.

Jackson's Brigade.

1st Georgia (Confederate), Maj. James C. Gordon.
5th Georgia, Col. Charles P. Daniel.
47th Georgia,(assigned 11-12-63) Capt. J. J. Harper.
65th Georgia,(assigned 11-12-63) Lieut. Col. Jacob W. Pearcy.
2d Georgia Battalion Sharpshooters, Lieut. Col. Richard H. Whiteley.
5th Mississippi, Maj. John B. Herring.
8th Mississippi, Maj. John F. Smith.

Moore's Brigade.

37th Alabama, Col. James F. Dowdell.
40th Alabama, Col. John H. Higley.
42d Alabama, Lieut. Col. Thomas C. Lanier.

Walthall's Brigade.

24th and 27th Mississippi, Col. William F. Dowd.
29th and 30th Mississippi, Capt. W. G. Reynolds.
34th Mississippi, Col. Samuel Benton.

Wright's Brigade.

8th Tennessee, Col. John H. Anderson.
16th Tennessee, Col. D. M. Donnell.
28th Tennessee, Col. Sidney S. Stanton.
38th Tennessee, Lieut. CoL Andrew D. Gwynne.
51st and 52d Tennessee, Lieut. Col. John G. Hall.
Murray's (Tennessee) Battalion, Lieut. Col. Andrew D. Gwynne.

<ar55_659>


O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXI/2

No. 222.--Reports of Brig. Gen. Edward C. Walthall, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.

[ar55_692 con't]

ATLANTA, GA., December 13, 1863.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the affair on Lookout Mountain on November 24:

About dark, on the evening of the 23d, I received orders from brigadier-general commanding to hold my command in readiness to move at a moment's notice, and, later in the night, to have three days' rations prepared; but, in view of the movements of the enemy on the previous day, my command, which occupied a position on the west side of Lookout Mountain and near the northern slope, was ordered to stand to arms before daylight on November 24. My picket line, which extended along Lookout Creek from the turnpike bridge near its mouth to the railroad bridge across it, and thence up the mountain side to the cliff, was strengthened by increasing its reserves early in the morning, troops having been observed moving rapidly up the creek. The fog at that time being very dense, it was impossible to estimate the numbers of the troops in motion, and this fact (as well as what seemed to be the state of things in Chattanooga and on the river)was reported to brigadier-general commanding. Shortly thereafter, the fog having been partially dissipated in the valley (though it still obscured the crest of the mountain above), with Brigadier-General Moore, the ranking officer, at hand, I observed the movements of the enemy across Lookout Creek from a point near the right of my command, and saw a brigade take position in front of that part of my picket line between the two bridges, of which one regiment was thrown forward, and soon the pickets were engaged. Brigadier-General Moore returned to his command, it being agreed between us that he would notify brigadier-general commanding of what had been observed. Rude breastworks of logs and stones had been constructed on the mountain side by the command which had occupied the ground before me, running parallel to the mountain and the creek, and along these my command, except Thirty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, with which the picket reserves <ar55_693> had been strengthened, was formed awaiting the development of the enemy's purpose, it being uncertain whether he would pass across the creek on the right, as the movements discovered would seem to indicate, or would approach from the left after crossing the creek above the angle in my picket line with the troops which had already moved in that direction. Soon after the firing commenced across the creek, two batteries, which had previously been erected on the ridge beyond Lookout Creek (of which, in conversation with brigadier-general commanding, I had more than once made mention), opened upon my main line, less than three-quarters of a mile distant, and while these batteries were shelling two pieces of artillery were planted at a point between the creek and the river, which, though across the creek from my picket line, was yet, by reason of the course of the stream, in rear of much of that part of the line which took the direction of the creek.

Major Johnson, commanding Thirtieth, and Colonel Brantly, commanding Twenty-ninth Mississippi Regiments, occupying positions nearest to it, had been instructed to support that part of the picket line which extended up the mountain side from the railroad bridge should the enemy approach from that direction, and the other regiments, Twenty-seventh Mississippi, under Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, and Twenty-fourth Mississippi, under Colonel Dowd, were held ready to move to the right or left, as occasion might require.

While writing a communication to inform the brigadier-general commanding of the position of the pieces in the angle of the creek, with the suggestion that a single piece in a position which had been prepared for artillery could silence them, and that, this done, I thought I could hold the force in check, I received information through scouts sent out up the creek to observe the movements of the enemy that a force had crossed the creek above the angle in the picket line. I added this to the communication and sent it to brigadier-general commanding by one of his staff officers.

In the meantime, Brigadier-General Moore had applied to me to know the position of my line, as he was ordered to form on my right, and I learned from a staff officer of brigadier-general commanding that such would be General Moore's position. I informed both where my line then was, and Captain Moreno, of the staff of brigadier-general commanding, went with me, at my request, and looked at my position, but that the direction which would ultimately be given my line would necessarily depend upon the direction from which the enemy--then engaging my pickets on the right and threatening my left almost at right angles to the part engaged--might make his main attack.

Meanwhile, the firing from the batteries beyond the creek, which before had been irregular, became constant and heavy, and soon the enemy advanced on the left in three lines running across the mountain side. Such resistance as I could offer a force like this--consisting, as the Federal General Thomas in an official dispatch to his Government says, of Geary's division and two brigades of another corps--was made with my small command, nearly one-third of which was covering a picket line more than a mile in extent. While Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Mississippi Regiments, in support of the picket line, were resisting the enemy in the positions assigned them--to cover which it had been necessary to take intervals, and where the immense numbers of the enemy had been discovered--the Twenty-seventh and part of the Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiments <ar55_694> were put in position several hundred yards in rear of the picket line, where, being sheltered from the enemy's small-arms, and reserving their fire till the regiments and pickets in front had passed behind them in falling back, they delivered a destructive fire upon the advancing lines. The front line wavered and then was broken at one point, but after falling back a short distance it soon reformed, and despite my rapid and well-directed fire, moved steadily and irresistibly forward, pressing heaviest upon my extreme left.

I endeavored in falling back to turn the rocks and irregularities of the ground to the best account for the protection of the men, and, retiring from one position of strength to another, to yield the ground as slowly as possible, with the hope that support (for which I had sent to General Moore) might reach me. Many officers and men were captured because they held their position so long as to render escape impossible, the ground in their rear being rocky, rugged, and covered with fallen timber. My command being greatly sheltered were enabled to inflict upon the enemy as he advanced a loss far greater than it sustained.

By 12 m., or about that time, and two and a half or three hours after the first picket firing began, I was driven to the ridge which runs down the northern slope of the mountain, and here with three companies of sharpshooters from Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, which had previously been posted there (and afterward strengthened by another from the same regiment), I made an effort to retard the enemy's progress till the remainder of my command, including the pickets on the right, then in charge of Col. J. A. Campbell, Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment, could pass across the northern slope of the mountain. The slope was commanded by the casemated batteries on Moccasin Point, from which my command was constantly shelled from the time the slope was reached till they had passed across it. This passage was effected in part by means of a rifle-pit, designed for the double purpose of a covered way and defense against an attack from a northern direction, which runs across that part of the slope west of Craven's house, the sharpshooters on the ridge meanwhile resisting the enemy's advance as far as they were able, being themselves subjected to a heavy fire from the Moccasin guns.

After passing Craven's house between 12.30 and 1 p.m., or about that time, I dispatched a staff officer to brigadier-general commanding to advise him of my movement. Most of my picket line to the right of the railroad bridge (which had been forced back upon the reserves in the rifle-pits at the foot of the mountain, and these were unable to check the force opposing them) was cut off, including the efficient officer in charge of it, an ineffectual effort having been made as soon as the enemy began to overwhelm me on the left to retire it up the steep mountain side before the advancing lines, sweeping along the west side of the mountain, could occupy the slope near Craven's house. The only pathway leading from the right of the picket line to Craven's house ran up the creek to a point near the railroad bridge and then obliquely (in its general direction) across the side of the mountain to the northern slope, forming an acute angle near the bridge. When the left was forced back this angle was possessed by the enemy, and then the picket force on the right had to be withdrawn up a rugged steep, broken and rocky, and difficult of passage even for a footman at leisure.

The character of the ground making it impossible to communicate <ar55_695> through mounted men with different parts of the line; the overwhelming force of the enemy; the advantageous positions of his batteries beyond the creek; the extent and direction of my picket line, and the fact that my only outlet, when forced to retire, was across a point commanded by the Moccasin guns, all operated to produce confusion in the withdrawal of my command to a point on the east side of the mountain without the direct range of these guns. The point selected was about 400 yards from Craven's house; and here, my line extending from the road up to the cliff, about 1 p.m. I checked the enemy's advance, which was heaviest on my left, and was soon informed that re-enforcements would be sent me by a staff officer of brigadier-general commanding.

In the course of half an hour or three-quarters Brigadier-General Pettus came up with his command in fine order and moved promptly up on the line I occupied, engaging the enemy at once with spirit, and enabling me to withdraw my command and replenish my ammunition, then well-nigh exhausted, from my ordnance train, which I had ordered up to the road in my rear. This done, I formed my command under cover immediately in his rear for his support at such point as it might be needed. Soon afterward, through one of his staff officers, he requested me to send him support on his left, and I immediately ordered Colonel Brantly, Twenty-ninth Mississippi Regiment, with his own regiment, the Thirtieth Mississippi, and a small detachment of Thirty-fourth, to support this part of his line, and in a few moments the remainder of my command was moved up to strengthen the line, which along its whole length was hotly engaged. I directed Colonel Brantly to advance his left as far as it could be done without leaving an interval between his line and the cliff, so as to get the benefit of an oblique fire upon the line which was pressing upon us. This order was executed with that officer's characteristic promptness.

In the meantime orders were received from Major-General Stevenson, through Major Ingram, of the staff of brigadier-general commanding, to hold the line then occupied till reenforcements should arrive, when an advance would be made and the forces on the mountain would co-operate, and from brigadier-general commanding, through a staff officer, that the position would be held as long as possible, and if forced to retire that I would fall back up the mountain.

Later in the evening an order reached me from the latter to hold my position, if possible, till ordered to retire. General Pettus' command and my own held the position all the afternoon (during the most of which time it was so hazy and misty that objects could not be well distinguished except at a short distance) and until long after nightfall, when, having been relieved by Colonel Holtzclaw with his brigade, I withdrew my command to the road leading down the mountain in the rear, and there remained till about 11 o'clock, when, under orders from Major-General Cheatham, I moved my command to McFarland's Spring, where it passed the remainder of the night.

At no time during this prolonged struggle, whose object was to prevent the occupation by the enemy first of the important point near Craven's house, and afterward the only road down the mountain leading from Major-General Stevenson's position to the main body of the army, did I have the benefit of my division commander's personal presence. Reference has been made to such orders as reached me from him. After I was relieved, and while awaiting orders to <ar55_696> move, I saw him for the first time on his way, as he told me, to see the general-in-chief.

The casualties in my command cannot be correctly reported, inasmuch as the killed and many of the wounded fell into the enemy's: hands. The accompanying list, [Not found] to which I respectfully refer, only shows among the killed and wounded such as were known certainly to be so, and cannot, for want of positive information, embrace a large number, particularly of the pickets and their reserves on the right, who are supposed to have fallen, as they were long subjected to a very heavy fire from both artillery and small-arms, but of whose loss, further than that they fell into the enemy's hands, no report can be had.

I regret that for want of a competent person to prepare one, I am unable to submit herewith an accurate map of the ground I occupied and its surroundings, as it would contribute greatly to a perfect understanding of movements and events as related.

No copies of the dispatches forwarded during the morning having been retained, and as I am unable to obtain such now, I have been compelled to refer to them from memory.

The officers and men of my command, with a few exceptions, did their duty well in this engagement, but it is due in particular to commend Col. W. F. Brantly, Twenty-ninth Mississippi Regiment, and Lieut. Col. R. P. McKelvaine, Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, for the skill, activity, zeal, and courage I have ever observed in them under similar circumstances, but which in an especial degree signalized their action on this occasion. The latter officer was not with his regiment during the engagement west of the mountain, having been previously assigned to duty on the picket line, where he rendered me important aid.

Maj. John Ingram, assistant adjutant-general to brigadier-general commanding, was with me during most of the afternoon, and I am proud here to signify my high appreciation of his gallantry and the valuable assistance I received at his hands in his bearing my orders and otherwise.

To Lieut. John C. Harrison, acting assistant adjutant-general, and George M. Govan, assistant inspector-general, of my own staff, I am indebted for the promptness, gallantry, and efficiency with which all their duties upon the field were discharged.

I submit herewith the reports of regimental commanders, showing many details not incorporated herein.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. C. WALTHALL,
Brigadier-General.

Maj. JAMES D. PORTER, Jr.,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Cheatham's Division.


ATLANTA, Ga., December 15, 1863.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle of Missionary Ridge, on the 25th ultimo, in what concerns my own command:

On the morning of that day my command, being the right brigade of Cheatham's division, took position, under the direction of the major-general commanding, on Missionary Ridge to the left of the <ar55_697> road which leads down to the right of our fortifications in the edge of the valley. After several unimportant changes of position, it occupied in the afternoon a point several hundred yards to the right of this road, and after remaining there an hour or two it was moved, by order of the major-general commanding, again to the left and posted in the rifle-pits immediately to the right of the road referred to. Here it was subjected to the fire of the enemy's artillery while he moved against the troops on the left, and also from his sharpshooters when the advancing lines approached the crest of the ridge.

My position was not attacked in front, but about 4 o'clock, when the lines had been forced on the left and after the enemy had reached the top of the ridge, the major-general commanding directed me to form my line across the ridge at right angles to the position I then occupied. This change was made under a brisk fire of the enemy, who advanced upon me along the crest of the ridge. The fire was kept up until after dark, but the position was held, the enemy not approaching nearer than 200 yards, and not in very large force.

At 7.45 o'clock the major-general commanding directed me to move my command in a half an hour from that time to Chickamauga Station, by the way of the railroad bridge. At the appointed time I moved to the point indicated, having left a line of skirmishers, under command of Capt. G. W. Reynolds, Twenty-ninth Mississippi Regiment, in front of the line I occupied, and about midway between it and the position held by the enemy, about 300 yards in front, with which, after my command was withdrawn, that gallant and efficient officer covered its rear.

I submit herewith a list of casualties and the reports of regimental commanders, to which I respectfully refer.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. C. WALTHALL,
Brigadier-General, &c.

Maj. JAMES D. PORTER, Jr.,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Adjt. John W. Campbell, Twenty-ninth Mississippi Regiment, who had served as such with very good credit since the regiment was organized, died at Atlanta soon after this battle from a wound received in it.

[Inclosure.]

Return of Casualties in Walthall's brigade in the engagement on Missionary Ridge November 25, 1863.

[Compiled from nominal lists of casualties, returns, &c.]

-------------Wounded.-----------

Command           Mortally      Severely      Slightly      Missing      Aggregate

General staff (a)      ....                1             ....             ....                1

24th Mississippi      ....                3              7              4                14

27th Mississippi      ....                1              1              3                  5

29th Mississippi (b)  ....                5              2             ....                 7

34th Mississippi      ....               ....             ....             1                  1

Total                   ....               10             10             8                 28

(a): Brigadier Colonel [sic] Walthall severely wounded.

(b): Adjutant John W. Campbell died of wounds.


O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXI/2

No. 223.--Report of Col. William F. Dowd, Twenty-fourth Mississippi Infantry.

<ar55_698>

FORD HOSPITAL,
Marietta, Ga., December 9, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the report of the part taken by the Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiment in the battle of Lookout Mountain on November 24:

We had been lying for many days among the rocks on the northwest side of Lookout Mountain without shelter, and the regiment and command was much (I may say completely) exhausted by the heavy details constantly made upon it for picket and fatigue duty. The latter details were very heavy, and had to work altogether at night to avoid the enemy's fire.

Early on the morning of the 24th, the command was ordered under arms. About daylight I sent a courier to General Walthall, informing him that the enemy in very large force were forming lines of battle across Lookout Creek in our front. I found he was already aware of the enemy's movements and had made every disposition to receive them. The enemy moved forward four guns and a strong supporting force of infantry, and placed them on the open ground between Lookout Creek and the river, so as to rake the rear of our picket line and the ground over which we must retreat. No gun was fired on them from the top of Lookout Mountain. Our breastworks of logs and loose rock ran parallel, or nearly so, to the two lines formed by the cliffs of Lookout Mountain and Lookout Creek, facing to the latter. The Twenty-fourth Mississippi was the right of the brigade and occupied the breastworks about one-half of a mile from the Craven house. The ground was covered with rocks and fallen timber to such an extent that it could not be traversed except on foot, and then with difficulty. General Walthall was on the ground very early, and before the firing began. He strengthened all the pickets and made every possible disposition to repel the impending attack. The whole command was under arms before the enemy formed line of battle, and every movement was distinctly seen.

About sunrise a heavy fire was opened on our pickets near the bridge or the crossing on Lookout Creek by infantry in front and by the battery of artillery before mentioned. The enemy were seen moving in large masses up the creek while this attack in front was made, and very soon a hot fire on our left announced that our position had been turned. The front regiments of our brigade had previous to this time been changed to meet the attack. A stubborn resistance was made on the left of the brigade and the enemy held in check for some time. General Walthall ordered me to deploy three companies as sharpshooters in my rear about 300 yards, and extending up to the cliff of rocks on the mountain. This was promptly executed. Directly after he ordered me to re-enforce them, and I sent one additional company. This left me but two companies, four having been sent the preceding night on picket down on Lookout Creek. He further ordered me to hold the position as long as possible, and then to fall back on the plateau, occupied by the sharpshooters, and to hold this point to the last extremity. Capt. J. D. Smith was placed in command of the sharpshooters and the two <ar55_699> companies left with me were those of Captain Rowan and Captain Ward. We were soon hotly engaged with an overwhelming force of the enemy, who made no assault in front of our breastworks, but advanced near the cliff of rocks, taking our position by the left flank and rear. Colonel Jones, with a part of the Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment, was on my left. After a hot and prolonged contest the enemy were driven back with great slaughter. He quickly rallied and advanced with overwhelming numbers, when Captain Ward from our extreme right came to me and informed me that the enemy had turned our left flank and was rapidly gaining our rear. The configuration of the ground prevented me from seeing this, but in a few moments he opened fire on us from our left flank and rear; I then gave the order to fall back to the second position occupied by the sharpshooters and indicated by General Walthall.

It is proper to state that the enemy were within 10 paces of us when the order was given to fall back. When I reached the line occupied by the sharpshooters of Captain Smith, nothing but a handful of the companies of Captain Rowan and Captain Ward were left, the most of them having been killed, wounded, or captured. I rallied the few who were left around me, but we were exposed to a murderous fire from the enemy's battery on our right flank, before mentioned, and from Moccasin battery, in our rear, as well as from the advancing force of the enemy in front. Here a number of my men fell from exhaustion or were killed and wounded. The thin line of sharpshooters under Captain Smith were forced back by the same concentrated fire. We fell back to the edge of the stanching timber, where General Walthall made a stand with a few men, but the fire in front, rear, and the right flank was so severe and the force of the enemy so great we were again forced back. The mass of fallen timber, the rocks, and rough, steep mountain side rendered a retreat in perfect order impossible. A short distance south of the Craven house, by the exertions of General Walthall and his officers, the remnant of the brigade was formed in line of battle and moved back in good order to meet the enemy, my regiment forming on the right.

About 1 o'clock re-enforcements arrived, which prevented the enemy from flanking us, and the ground was held until about midnight, when we were marched to McFarland's Spring.

The loss of the regiment in killed, wounded, and missing was 199. A large number were killed and wounded, but being forced back over rough ground by a greatly superior force, it is impossible to state the numbers of either accurately.

Capt. J. W. Ward was especially distinguished for his gallantry and good conduct.

Capt. J. D. Smith and Capt. M. M. Rowan exhibited great coolness, judgment, and courage.

The four companies on picket duty on Lookout Creek were cut off. All either killed, wounded, or captured, except Lieut. Col. R. P. McKelvaine, in command of the picket force, who escaped and rendered efficient services in the afternoon.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. F. DOWD,
Colonel Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiment.

Lieut. J. C. HARRISON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Walthall's Brigade.


O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXI/2

No. 224.--Report of Lieut. Col. A. J. Jones, Twenty-seventh Mississippi Infantry.

<ar55_700>

CAMP OF TWENTY-SEVENTH MISSISSIPPI REGIMENT,
Near Dalton, Ga., December 4, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, on the morning of the 24th ultimo, Col. James A. Campbell was ordered out to the picket lines, leaving me in command of the regiment. I was soon after ordered by General Walthall to put my regiment in line of battle across a bench of Lookout Mountain at or near where it had been bivouacked, and to hold that position as long as possible, and very soon the firing commenced between the enemy and our pickets, and the enemy approached rapidly our position, seeming to force everything before them as though there was no resistance. I ordered my men to hold their fire until all our brigade that was in front could pass, which brought the enemy in heavy force within easy range, and at the command "fire" our little regiment poured into their advancing columns a terrible fire with such deliberate aim and coolness, and repeated it, until soon their lines in our immediate front broke and retreated, at which my men raised a tremendous hurrah, and turning on their flanks many a Federal soldier was made to bite the earth, and here I saw one stand of the enemy's colors twice fall, and the contest was for awhile terrible; but the overwhelming numbers of the enemy enabled him to flank us right and left, and it was not long until we were entirely flanked on our right and nearly so on our left, and I gave the order to fall back, but so nearly were we surrounded in our front that 6 commissioned officers of the regiment and about half of the men were captured upon the spot.

Lieutenant Snowden, of Company K, was killed; Lieutenant Johnson, of Company L, dangerously wounded and left in the hands of the enemy. Captain Boyd, of Company E, was severely wounded, and a good many non-commissioned officers and privates.

I was ordered by General Walthall to rally my men on a little ridge running up and down the mountain, 300 or 400 yards from our first position, which I did, and where the men fought most bravely until, seeing we were flanked, or nearly so, by such overwhelming force, I ordered to fall back; but General Walthall immediately ordered me to hold that point, and I rallied as many men as I could, but in one or two minutes the enemy pointed their guns over logs and rocks within 8 or 10 paces of us, and I ordered to fall back again, in doing which many, compared with our number, were shot down. One or two unsuccessful attempts were made to rally, but the incessant shower of shell and shot from the enemy's batteries and the rush of their heavy force of infantry gave no time for doing so until we had passed around the point of the mountain several hundred yards south of the Craven house, where we, with the remainder of the brigade, formed line and checked the enemy until relieved by General Pettus' brigade, but was very soon ordered to his support, where we remained under the fire of the enemy until about 9 o'clock at night, and was again relieved and retired.

We were again in the fight on Missionary Ridge late on the evening of November 25.

Captains Kennedy, Baugh, Pegg, and Boyd did their part nobly. Lieutenants Brown, Bailey, Poole, Major, Welch, Hannah, and Allen <ar55_701> acted very well, never flinching from their duty, and Lieut. J. J. Hyde exposed himself very much to danger, standing erect waving his sword and encouraging the men in the thickest of the fight; and I must say for my regiment that it never fought better, if as well, before. The sergeant-major, Isom Watkins, was very gallant indeed.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

A. J. JONES,
Lieutenant-Colonel Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment.

Capt. E. T. SYKES,
Assistant Adjutant-General.


O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXI/2

No. 225.--Report of Col. William F. Brantly, Twenty-ninth Mississippi Infantry.

[ar55_701 con't]

HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-NINTH MISSISSIPPI REGIMENT,
December 4, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 24th ultimo, my regiment was put in line on the west side of Lookout Mountain facing to the west, and in this position remained until it was ascertained that the enemy was approaching our position in force from a southwesterly direction. I then changed the front of my regiment, forming a line across the mountain, my right toward the west, facing south, but owing to the great number of men required from me to supply the picket line, my command was not sufficiently long to reach entirely across that side of the mountain next to the enemy; hence it became necessary to deploy the line as skirmishers, which I did, and by this time the enemy was upon me in four lines, and soon succeeded in driving me from my position, and in capturing a great many of my men. I then joined with the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiments, which were formed in my rear, and was driven with them beyond the Craven house, where the whole brigade was formed, and succeeded in checking the enemy until General Pettus came to our support. I was then ordered by General Walthall to take command of the two pieces of the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Mississippi Regiments and form on General Pettus' left, and to go into the fight with him, which I did, and continued in the fight until 8.20 o'clock at night, when were relieved by General Clayton's brigade.

From the nature of the ground and the fact that we were driven from our several positions, it is impossible to give a correct list of the killed and wounded, but I submit the following Exhibit A [Not found] to this report.

During the night of the 24th, we were withdrawn to McFarland's Spring, and on the morning of November 25 we were, in connection with the whole of Major-General Cheatham's division, put in line on Missionary Ridge to the right of the division commanded by Brig. Gen. Patton Anderson, and our brigade to the right of Brigadier-Generals Moore's and Jackson's brigades, of our division, and in this position we remained inactive until about 4 o'clock in the evening, <ar55_702> when it was ascertained that our lines to the left of our position had been broken, and that the enemy was approaching us from the position occupied by our troops, when I was ordered by Brigadier-General Walthall to form at right angles to our original position on Missionary Ridge with the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Mississippi Regiments, which I did, and met and checked the enemy until after dark, when we were withdrawn to Chickamauga Station.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. F. BRANTLY,
Colonel Twenty-ninth Mississippi Regiment.

Capt. E. T. SYKES,
Assistant Adjutant-General.


O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXI/2

No. 226.--Report of Maj. James M. Johnson, Thirtieth Mississippi Infantry.

[ar55_702 con't]

HDQRS. THIRTIETH REGIMENT MISSISSIPPI VOLUNTEERS,
Near Dalton, Ga., December 4, 1863.

CAPTAIN: In obedience to circular orders from brigade headquarters, dated December 2, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part this command took in the late engagement on November 24 and 25:

On the morning of November 24, pursuant to instructions received from the brigadier-general commanding, I placed my command under arms an hour before day.

About 9 a.m., the firing on the picket line becoming general, at the request of the officer in command of the pickets, I sent two companies of my command (Companies D and I, under the immediate command of Lieut. W. T. Loggins, Company C) to re-enforce his line. Instructions had been received by me the evening previous from the brigadier-general to do this whenever called upon. About this time the picket line on the left being forced to retire slowly, the remainder of my regiment, under orders from the brigadier-general, was deployed as skirmishers to support this line. The enemy advanced in heavy force to within 150 yards of my line before my men fired, and were checked for two or three moments by the rapidity and certainty of the fire delivered by the command. So soon as they discovered my line to be only a line of skirmishers they advanced and drove the regiment back precipitately on the Twenty-ninth Mississippi, which formed to the right and in rear of my position. The assailing column of the enemy which attacked my line could not have been less than a brigade, as I distinguished several stand of colors. Owing to the rugged nature of the ground, the length of my line, and the tenacity with which my men contested the advance of the enemy--holding their ground until they were within 30 yards of them in some places--many officers and men of my command were captured. A sufficient length of time did not elapse for the rallying of the remnant of my command until after it was driven beyond the Craven house, for it hardly passed the position of the Twenty-ninth Mississippi when that regiment was forced back by the overwhelming force brought against it. As soon as the remnant of my command was brought together, it, with the balance <ar55_703> of the brigade, was advanced to the left and in support of Pettus' brigade, which had been formed on a line some 200 yards this side the Craven house, and extending from the cliff of the mountain to the road leading to the Craven house. With this brigade it and the rest of the brigade fought until 8.30 o'clock in the evening, when, the brigade having been relieved, it was withdrawn, and with rest of brigade marched to McFarland's Spring.

On the morning of November 25, with the brigade, it moved some 3 or 4 miles up Missionary Ridge toward the right of our line of battle on that ridge. Here, for the purpose of the fight, the regiment was thrown with the Twenty-ninth Mississippi, under command of Col. W. F. Brantly. This step was rendered necessary by the losses of previous day. When the line on left and center gave way this regiment was, with the brigade, moved a little to the rear, and formed a line perpendicular to the original line of battle on the ridge. This was done under the direction and supervision of the brigadier-general commanding. This new position was maintained until after night, when, with the rest of the brigade, it was withdrawn to Chickamauga Station.

The losses were 3 wounded, and 127 officers and men wounded and captured; 7 of those captured were known to have been wounded, and many more thought to have been. None are known to have been killed, but it is feared that many were, as the fire they sustained on November 24 was fierce and apparently well directed, besides the terrific cannonading kept up from the batteries posted on the eminences across Lookout Creek.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. M. JOHNSON,
Major, Commanding Thirtieth Mississippi Regiment.

Capt. E. T. SYKES,
Assistant Adjutant-General.


O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXI/2

No. 227.--Report of Capt. H. J. Bowen, Thirty-fourth Mississippi Infantry.

[ar55_703 con't]

SIR: Report of the Thirty-fourth Mississippi Regiment in the late fight on Lookout Mountain on November 24 last:

Early on the morning of the 24th, the enemy were observed to be collecting in large force, and at about 8 a.m. the Thirty-fourth Mississippi Regiment was ordered out to strengthen the picket line at the foot of the mountain on the west side, extending along its base for about 2 miles.

At about 10 a.m. the enemy, with four lines closely closed up, drove the left of our picket line, and so rapid were their movements that the center and right of the picket line were cut off and eight colors passed by the pickets, when nearly all surrendered. A small number of the pickets made their escape up the river through the cliffs and cut timber below the Craven house, and reported to their brigade, and was in the engagement east of the Craven house from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., when relieved by General Clayton's brigade.

H. J. BOWEN,
Senior Captain, Commanding.

[Capt. E. T. SYKES,
Assistant Adjutant-General. ]


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