Chickamagua after battle report:
Report of Maj. Richard M. Saffell, Twenty-sixth Tennessee
HDQRS. TWENTY-SIXTH TENNESSEE REGT.,
Missionary Ridge, October 6, 1863.
SIR:In obedience to orders from brigade headquarters of Brig.
Gen. John C. Brown, requiring me to report the action the
Twenty-sixth Tennessee Regt. took in the late battle of
Chickamauga, on September 19 and 20, I respectfully submit the
On Saturday, September 19, and Twenty-sixth Tennessee Regt.,
forming the left regiment of Brown's brigade, and numbering
229 total and 255 aggregate, under the command of Col. John
M. Lillard, received orders about 2 p. m. to advance from a
position a short distance in rear of our line of battle to the front.
Accordingly, the regiment was moved forward, and had
advanced but a short distance before we encountered a heavy line
of the enemy's skirmishers. The regiment was then halted and
Companies A and E, commanded by Capt. J. A. Cash, deployed
as skirmishers, before which the enemy's skirmishers rapidly fell
back to their main line. The regiment was now moved forward
in double-quick time and soon came upon the enemy's main line,
which had taken position upon the crest of a low ridge running
parallel with our line of battle. The enemy's whole line now
opened fire upon us at the distance of about 150 yards.
We then received orders to fire upon him as we advanced,
and the engagement now became general and the fighting on both
sides desperate. Immediately in front of my regiment the enemy
had planted a battery of small field pieces, from which he was
pouring a destructive fire into our ranks. Col. Lillard ordered the
regiment to charge this position, and we succeeded after a severe
contest, which lasted about ten minutes, in forcing him from his
position and driving him back to his second line, he leaving three
guns of the battery between his second line and ours. We had
nearly succeeded in reaching the top of the ridge when the
enemy's reserve line of fresh troops at very close range threw
our line into some confusion, and I soon became convinced that
by attempting to hold my position or to move forward would
involve the loss of the entire remnant of the regiment, as the
enemy now largely outnumbered us. I took the responsibility, in
the absence of orders from my brigade commander, of ordering
the colors and what remained of my command to fall back,
which order was not executed in very good order, as the enemy
was pouring a destructive fire of grape, canister, and musketry
into our ranks. The column was halted a short distance in rear of
our reserve line, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Bate, and the men,
with few exceptions reformed in line.
This engagement lasted nearly two hours, and the regiment lost
in killed and wounded-total, 66; aggregate, 73.
From this position I received orders to move my regiment a short
distance to the rear, where most of the brigade had rallied after
the repulse. We remained in this position until near sundown,
when we were again moved to the front and thrown into position
a short distance in front of Brig.-Gen. Bate's line. Here we
deployed skirmishers and bivouacked for the night, no casualties
having attended the second forward movement.
At daylight on Sunday, September 20, we were moved by the
right flank about 400 yards, and took position just behind the top
of a low ridge, and constructed a temporary breastwork of rotten
logs, stones, and other material which we found convenient.
About 8 a. m. the enemy's skirmishers were discovered about
400 yards in front of our line, and were soon after fired upon by
our skirmishers. The enemy also commenced shelling us about
this time, and continued to fire at irregular intervals until near 12
o'clock, when I received orders to advance. The line was
accordingly moved forward in double-quick time, and after some
skirmishing came upon the enemy's main line near to and
parallel with the main road leading to Chattanooga. We
succeeded after a short contest in driving him from his position
and forcing him back across the road. We drove the enemy back
steadily until my regiment had reached a slight eminence beyond
the road. My attention having been directed to our right, I
discovered that the right wing of our brigade had been forced
back by a heavy fire of artillery; and knowing of no support
near, and fearing the enemy might cut my command off, I
thought it prudent to order the command back to the position we
had occupied in the morning. This order was executed in good
order, and the command rallied promptly behind the breastwork.
This engagement lasted nearly one hour, and the casualties in the
regiment were 24 non-commissioned officers and privates
killed, wounded, and missing, and 1 officer severely wounded.
We remained behind the breastwork until about 4 p. m., when I
again received orders to move my regiment forward, and the line
moved forward in quick time as far as the Chattanooga road.
From here we were marched by the right flank, by order of Col.
Cook, commanding Brown's brigade, parallel with the road in
the direction of Chattanooga, about a quarter of a mile. Here we
were deployed in line of battle perpendicular to the road. We
were now moved forward through an open field until fired upon
by a battery which the enemy had planted on the opposite side of
the field near the road. I then received orders from Col. Cook
for my men to lie down. The enemy continued to fire upon us
rapidly with grape and canister shot, which, fortunately, did us
but little damage. After remaining in this position about ten
minutes, Col. Cook ordered the line to take shelter in the woods
about 200 yards on our right, which order was promptly obeyed.
We remained here until near sundown, when we were ordered to
the support of a battery just to our left, immediately upon the
Chattanooga road. The enemy fired rapidly upon us with artillery
as we moved across the field to the position assigned us. We
remained here until near dark, when we were moved by the right
flank about half a mile to the right of the Chattanooga road,
ordered to stack arms, and rest for the night.
On Monday my regiment remained near where we rested on
In addition to the above, I have to report that Lieut. A. C.
Hickey, formerly connected with this regiment, and Lieut.
Charles F. Henley, of Company F, on detached service, came in
on Sunday and volunteered their services, and were of great
assistance in Sunday's battle.
The officers and men of the whole regiment, with a few
exceptions, behaved themselves during the whole engagement in
a manner creditable to themselves and the command.
R. M. SAFFELL,
Maj., Comdg. Twenty-sixth Tennessee Regt.
Capt. H. J. CHENEY,
Recapitulation of Casualties during the two days' engagement.
Casualties. O. NCO. P. T.
Killed....................... 1 2 5 8
Mortally wounded............. 1 1 3 5
Severely wounded............. 3 8 20 31
Slightly wounded............. 3 12 39 54
Total................. 8 23 67 98
O=Officers. NCO=Non-Commissioned Officers. P=Privates. T=Total.
Source: Official Records
PAGE 375-51 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA. [CHAP. XLII.
[Series I. Vol. 30. Part II, Reports. Serial No. 51.]
Fought on 15 Feb 1862 at Fort Donelson, TN.
Fought on 16 Feb 1862 at Fort Donelson, TN.
Fought on 31 Dec 1862 at Murfreesboro, TN.
Fought on 19 Sep 1863 at Chickamauga, GA.
Fought on 15 May 1864 at Resaca, GA.
Fought on 16 May 1864.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
Fought on 30 Nov 1864 at Franklin, TN.