Battle Reports–11th Tennessee Infantry Regiment
11th Regiment Tennessee Infantry
On Wednesday, at daylight,, the Eleventh Tennessee Regiment, Col. G. W. Gordon commanding, was drawn up in line of battle on the left of General Rains’ brigade and of McCown’s division. We remained in this position with the Twenty-ninth North Carolina Regiment on the extreme left, when we were ordered to charge the enemy, stationed some 800 yards in advance. The charge was led by General Rains in person, and resulted in a complete rout of the enemy, who were pursued for some 3 miles. A halt was then ordered and the command reformed. After a short rest we were again ordered to advance in line until we encountered a large force of the enemy. A charge was immediately ordered, which was obeyed with alacrity, until the advance was checked by the enemy’s battery, which rained shot and shell into our ranks. Here General Rains advanced to the front and was immediately killed. Colonel Gordon was severely wounded while gallantly leading his regiment, and the command devolved upon myself. The enemy opposed our advance with obstinacy, and being strongly re-enforced, and our ammunition failing, we retired to the rear. Collecting the scattered of the regiment and procuring ammunition, we again advanced to the front, and were a third time ordered to charge the enemy. As before, the men obeyed with a shout, and drove the enemy before them until they gained a strong natural position. Here the ground was hotly contested until we were ordered to retire. Though constantly in line, the regiment was not again actively engaged. A large number of the regiment were engaged only in the first charge, in consequence of guarding the prisoners taken.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Eleventh Regiment Tennessee Vols.
CAMP NEAR CHATTANOOGA, TENN.,
September 30, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following as my report of the part taken by the Eleventh Tennessee Regiment in the battle of Chickamauga:
This command engaged the enemy on Saturday, the 19th, about 12 m., and after a brisk and steady fire of about two hours’ duration, their ammunition being exhausted, they were relieved by another command and retired to the rear by order of Brig. Gen. Preston Smith. During the engagement the command sustained a loss of 8 killed and 44 wounded.
Subsequent to this engagement nothing of especial importance was performed by the command.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. W. Gordon
Colonel, Comdg. Eleventh Tennessee Regiment.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
AUGUST 16-SEPTEMBER 22, 1863.–The Chickamauga Campaign.
No. 262.–Report of Maj. William Green, Eleventh Tennessee Infantry, commanding Dawson’s Battalion Sharpshooters.
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH TENNESSEE REGIMENT,
SMITH’S BRIGADE, CHEATHAM’S DIVISION,
Near Chattanooga, September 30, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to circular order from brigade headquarters of this date, I beg leave to submit the following report of the part taken in the late engagement of Chickamauga River by my command:
On the morning of September 9, by an order from Brig. Gen. Preston Smith, two companies from the Eleventh Tennessee Infantry were detached from my command and ordered to report to Major Dawson, of the One hundred and fifty-fourth Senior Tennessee Regiment, and with three other companies–two from the Twelfth and Forty-seventh Tennessee Regiments (consolidated), and one from the One hundred and fifty -fourth Senior Tennessee Regiment, all of Brig. Gen. Preston Smith’s brigade–formed a battalion of sharpshooters, numbering 252 rifles, which was placed under command of Major Dawson and myself.
On the ‘morning of September 19, Brig. Gen. Preston Smith’s brigade was ordered in position to receive the advance of the enemy. The brigade was scarcely in position when my command was ordered to deploy in front of the position and advance to check the enemy. Had succeeded in deploying two companies, when the brigade moved forward to engage the enemy. My command was then assembled on the right of the brigade and moved forward in a line with the latter; succeeded in driving the enemy in our front some 600 yards. A part of the ground over which my command had to advance was an open space over timber recently fallen. Having exhausted my ammunition. I retired slowly and in good order with the brigade to the pos-tion first occupied. In this position I was ordered to support Turner s [Smith’s] battery, of Brigadier-General Maney’s brigade. The battery did good service in effectually checking the advance of the enemy in that direction, notwithstanding they (the enemy) were advancing in three lines. Here it was that the gallant Major Dawson was severely wounded in the groin and forced to leave the field. The command of the battalion then devolved upon myself, with Major Purl, of the Twelfth Tennessee Regiment, to assist me.
Late in the afternoon my command was again deployed in front of the brigade, and continued a brisk skirmish with the enemy until Brigadier-General Deshler’s command came up and passed over my line. I was then ordered by Brigadier-General Smith, whom I met leading his brigade to support Brigadier-General Deshler, to return and support Turner’s [Smith’s]battery until further orders.
I remained with the battery all night and until about 9 a.m. Sunday, the 20th instant, when I was ordered by Major-General Cheatham to rejoin my brigade. My command was not engaged during this day.
On Monday morning, the 21st instant, I was ordered by Col. A. J. Vaughan, commanding the brigade, to deploy my command in front of the brigade, which was then lying in line of battle parallel with the main road, the right resting near the enemy’s hospitals, and proceed in direction of Missionary Ridge until I discovered the enemy’s position. I did as ordered, and gained the top of Missionary Ridge at McFarland’s vineyard without opposition, capturing 5 prisoners.
Remained on Missionary Ridge until 3 p.m., when I received an order to rejoin my brigade. Marched very hard and reached the command at 9 o’clock. Encamped on Chickamauga River near Bird’s Mill.
Tuesday morning, the 22d instant, moved forward with the brigade and partipated in the engagement, in which we were successful in driving the enemy from Missionary Ridge.
A list of the casualties of my command has been reported by the respective regiments from which the companies were taken.
The loss of the battalion were 7 killed, 49 wounded, and 6 missing. Among the killed was Captain Koneke, of the One hundred and fifty-fourth Senior Tennessee Regiment, who was mortally wounded while gallantly leading his command, and died in half an hour.
Captain Cummings, of the Twelfth Tennessee Regiment, was seriously injured by a fall and forced to leave the field.
In conclusion, let me say that no men ever fought with more gallantry than the noble little band which I had the honor to command on the ever-memorable field of Chickamauga.
WILL. GREEN, Maj. 11th Tenn. Regt., Comdg. Batt. S.S., Smith’s Brig.
[Capt. J. W. HARRIS,] Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.