35th Indiana: Operations 5th September- 20th September 1863

Report of Major John P. Dufficy, Thirty-Fifth Indiana Infantry.

Hdqrs. (First Irish) 35th Regt. Ind. Vol. Infantry, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 27, 1863.

Colonel: I have the honor to report the following as the operations of this command since crossing the Tennessee River, together with the skirmishes and battles in which my regiment has been engaged; also a list of the killed, wounded, and missing, giving as far as known particulars in each case:

This command crossed the Tennessee River at Shellmound on the 4th September, 1863, and went into camp near that place and at the foot of Raccoon Mountain; had no opposition or accident on crossing.

September 5.-Received orders to march at 3.30 p.m., and proceeded without interruption about 9 miles, and went into camp.

September 6.-Marched about 4 miles and camped in the valley at the base of Whiteside’s Mountain; all quiet at this point.

September 8.-Received orders to march at daylight, and encamped about 3 ½ miles from Trenton.

September 9.-Took up line of march at 6 a.m., and passed Chattanooga on our left, encamping about 4 miles south of that place.

September 10.-Resumed march at 9 a.m. in the direction of Ringgold, Ga., and encamped about 6 miles north of that point.

September 11.-Took up line of march, the Thirty-fifth Indiana supporting the Eighth Kentucky; skirmished briskly with the enemy, following closely to their rear until about 3 o’clock, when we went into camp.

September 12.-Marched back through Ringgold, leaving Chattanooga on our right, and encamped on the Rome road at 8 p.m. and 14 miles from Chattanooga.

September 13.-Formed line of battle at daylight; at 11 a.m. our division (the Third) was ordered to the front; found the enemy, and drove him about 4 miles, and returned to camp, near Lee and Gordon’s Mills.

September 14.-Resumed line of march at 7 a.m., direction west; went about 5 miles, and halted in a thick covering of woods until about 6 p.m., when the march was taken up, and went into camp at the cross-roads in Chattanooga Valley, at the base of the south side of Lookout Mountain. No enemy seen on this march.

September 15.-Marched at 11 a.m., going south. Marched 6 miles and went into camp, our brigade (the Third) in advance. At this point could distinguish the enemy’s camp fires, but experienced no interruption.

September 16.-Rested all day in camp near Lee and Gordon’s Mills. At this point Privates Donahue, Barrett, and O’Donnell, of Company B, were taken prisoners, when absent without leave.

September 17.-Remained in camp; occasional firing on the picket line; no other demonstrations.

September 18.-Heavy skirmishing in front with our pickets. The enemy appeared in force along the line, and commenced shelling us a few of which reached our camp, but did no injury. At this juncture we were preparing to form line of battle; shells occasioned some confusion, but good order was immediately restored. Relieved by a brigade of General Palmer’s division, when we fell back and took up a position near to Lee and Gordon’s Mills; heavy fighting to-day on our left.

September 19.-Fighting commenced about 8 a.m., the right and left becoming heavily engaged, and continued without intermission the whole of the day. At about 3 o’clock, our left being heavily pressed, we were ordered to support it, and moved in that direction in line of battle, double-quick. The fighting here was desperate, and continued without intermission until the darkness of night veiled the contending columns. Here we were ordered to take position near the left center, supporting a battery; built some rude breastworks of logs and rails, which were of material benefit in affording shelter to the men. During this action my regiment was exposed to a crossfire so severe and destructive that orders were again given by Colonel Swaine, of the Ninety-ninth Ohio (who was then in command of our line), to fall back; this order was obeyed in as prompt a manner as possible, but not until the enemy was completely on our flank.

Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing in this engagement amounted to 29.

Their names will be found in the list of casualties appended to this report, embracing these engagements:

September 20.-About 2 a.m. were ordered to change position, and moved left to Missionary Ridge; here we rejoined the rest of our division, who had been separated from us in the action of the previous day. About 8 a.m. we received orders to move to the front to support General Wood’s division. Heavy and unceasing fighting commenced about 9 o’clock. About 10 o’clock were ordered farther to the right to support General Baird; in this movement our brigade, led by Colonel Barnes, made a desperate charge on the enemy, through a corn-field on the left of General Johnson’s division, and drove them from the woods in that vicinity, where they were in considerable force. As soon as this noble piece of work had been accomplished, we formed in line of battle, in rear of some works which had been erected by General Johnson’s forces, and immediately on the left of the second line of his division. The enemy in the meantime massed a heavy force in our front, and about 4 o’clock opened a heavy fire of artillery and musketry upon us, which continued until near sundown, when we received orders from General Thomas to retire. This was accomplished under a most destructive fire, and in which it is feared many of our men reported as missing may have been either killed or wounded. Our line was reformed on a hill in our rear, from whence we marched toward Chattanooga, and encamped within 4 miles of that place.

The conduct of both officers and men during these engagements was all that could be desired. It would be impossible for me to make any distinction, as each officer and man in my command behaved with distinguished bravery. I must, however, except First Lieutenant John Dugan, of Company K, who basely deserted his company on the 19th instant, and has not since been heard from. I recommend his dismissal from the service for cowardice.

Appended is a list of the casualties of my command, giving particulars in each case as far as known.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John P. Dufficy,

Major, Commanding Regiment.

Colonel Sid. M.Barnes,

Commanding Third Brigade.

Source: Official Records Series 1, Volume 30 (Part 1). Chapter 42, pp.  842- 844

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