Head Qrs. Vaughan's Brigade
Camp near Dalton, Ga.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my Brigade
composed of the 154th & 13th Tenn. Regts Maj. B.L. Dyer Comdg., the 12th and 47th
Tenn. Regts Col. W.M. Watkins Comdg., the 11th Tenn. Regt Col. G.W. Gordon
Comdg., and the 29th Tenn. Regt Col. H. Rice Comdg. in the battle of Missionary Ridge
on the 25th Nov. 1863.
On the morning of the 25th a brisk skirmish was opened on the enemy by the 12th
and 47th Tenn. Regts which had been thrown forward on the night previous to occupy the
front line of works. The enemy however, opening a severe enfilading fire, from a
commanding position on the left, forced my skirmishers to abandon the riflepits and seek
protection from their shells in a heavy body of timber about three hundred yards to the
rear and immediately in my front. Here they remained until about 9 o'clock when the
enemy having driven all the pickets on my left to the main line of works forced me to
withdraw my skirmishers to the line which my Brigade occupied, where I formed them
upon my right. About this time I received an order from Brig. Genl. Deas Comdg. the
forces in the trenches to hold my position in the works until the main body of the enemy
should advance within close musket range when I should fire a rally & retire to the top of
the Ridge, skirmishing. The enemy made no further demonstration in my front until
about 4 o'clock P.M. when he made a general advance upon our line of works, more
rapidly however, upon the left than upon the right, in consequence of which my Brigade
being on the right, I was the last to leave the works and move then, to protect my flank
than from any pressure in my front as the forces on my left had given back.
My command proceeded to the top of the Ridge, skirmishing as instructed, and I
formed it as rapidly as the exhausted condition of my men would permit, on the right of
Genl. Deas's Brigade.
Soon after gaining my position the enemy came within range, advancing upon my
front, but a deadly fire caused the whole column to give back and oblique to the left.
Discovering at this time that the Brigade on my left had given away and that the enemy
had planted two or three stands of colors on a span of the Ridge, I immediately ordered
the 11th Tenn. Regt to withdraw from its position behind the works and retake the hill.
The order met a gallant response in their rapid determined advance, but they had only
accomplished the work in part when the enemy opened such a deadly fire that further
advance was impossible, and the most obstinate and fierce resistance only enabled them
to hold their ground. I immediately ordered the 13th and 154th Tenn. Regts to move
rapidly to their support, but before they could reach the point the enemy had had been so
heavily reinforced it was impossible to dislodge him and he in turn began an advance
which was met by the most obstinate resistance. Here the noble and gallant Maj. Green
of the 11th Tenn. fell at the head of his brave command and shortly after Maj. Dyer of the
13th Tenn. was severely wounded while cheering and encouraging his men to deeds of
gallantry. Finding it impossible to check the enemy who came on in overwhelming
numbers, I withdrew my command to a point beyond the range of the guns formed in line
of battle perpendicular to the Ridge, and ordered another advance. I had gone but a short
distance when I met the enemy rapidly advancing, when obedient to orders my men
opened a terrible fire upon him, not more than forty paces distant, that soon caused him to
waver and fall back in confusion until heavily reinforced. My ammunition was now
expended, and it having grown quite dark, I withdrew my Brigade to the foot of the Ridge
and was in the act of supplying it with ammunition when I met Genl. Anderson who
ordered me to move my command in the direction of Chickamauga Station. Too much
praise cannot be given to the officers and men of my command for their gallant conduct,
where all performed their part so well that it is almost impossible to particularize, I
cannot refrain however, from bearing testimony to the bold and gallant daring of Col.
G.W. Gordon of the 11th Tenn. He was at all times to be seen in thickest of the fight,
inspiring and cheering his men by his own noble example.
I would call attention to the faithful, fearless, and efficient manner in which Lieut.
R.M. Harvele A.A.A. Genl. carried and executed all orders.
I am also indebted to Lieut. P.H. Harris, and Cadet Thos B. Yancey for services
rendered during the entire engagement, and commend Lieut. Jno. H. Cochran Prov.
Martial of the Brigade, for the promptness and efficiency of his guard in keeping every
man at his post.
Accompanying this report you will find a list of the casualties in my command, as
also the reports of my *** Regimental Officers to which attention is respectfully directed.
A.J. Vaughan Jr.
Brig. Genl. Comdg.
Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.