Report of Colonel Bernard F. Mullen, Thirty-Fifth Indiana Infantry.
Headquarters Thirty-Fifth Indiana Volunteers, Ringgold, November 30, 1863.
Captain: In obedience to the orders of Brigadier-General Whitaker, I beg leave to make the following report of the part my regiment took in the recent battles:
On the morning of the 24th instant, my regiment left camp in Raccoon Valley and proceeded toward Lookout Mountain. By orders of the general the men divested themselves of all superfluous baggage, and prepared to cross Lookout Creek, the Eighth Kentucky in the advance and the Thirty-fifth Indiana following. Crossing the creek we ascended a slope of the mountain and formed line of battle, the Eighth Kentucky on the right.
Now for the first time I understood our business to be to sweep the Lookout Valley and carry the enemy’s works on the mountain by storm. The route across the spurs of the mountain was exceedingly rough, deep gorges, rugged ascents, and sharp projecting rocks rendering the march toilsome and tedious. Notwithstanding the character of the ground, my regiment, as indeed did the whole brigade, maintained a splendid and unfaltering line.
Close to the flank works of the enemy our line of skirmishers was discovered. A spattering fire commenced, and then, unable to preserve a well-regulated line with the other regiments of our brigade, and the enemy’s fire becoming more severe, I ordered my men to press forward briskly and push through the line of skirmishers. When within 200 yards of the outer works a terrific volley from the enemy was let in upon our whole front line. I now ordered the regiment to charge in a run. This order was obeyed with a hearty cheer, and the Thirty-fifth, without firing a shot, entered the first works of the enemy.
Farther down the slope on my left I discovered a portion of our attacking party hotly engaged with the enemy, who held another strong intrenched position, and believing it to be important to push on with the right of our line I left the first works and with rapidity dashed at the second line of the enemy’s defenses, capturing some prisoners and two pieces of artillery. The general being present there in person, ordered me to hold what I had, and I ordered the color bearer, Sergt. Jim Somers, to plant the flag of the regiment on the works. In the midst of a fire from the enemy on the hill-tops, and while holding the works, the Fifty-first Ohio, being in the second line, gallantly rushed forward to engage the retiring but still resisting enemy in our front. Toward evening I was ordered to relieve the line in front, which had exhausted their ammunition. I moved the regiment as ordered, and held the line until, our ammunition in turn being exhausted, we were relieved by another regiment. That night we bivouacked upon the ground won. The next morning the flag of the Eighth Kentucky, of our brigade, was floating from the peak of Lookout.
On Wednesday, the 25th instant, about noon, orders for march came, and we moved from Lookout, taking the Rossville road. Reaching Rossville Gap, the enemy was found to be in some force. A line of battle was established, throwing the Thirty-fifth Indiana on the extreme left of the front line of the brigade. After ascending the steep hill-side, a staff officer directed me to form on the left of Colonel Grose’s line, which I promptly did, and moving forward with that line the enemy was routed and the field won. We slept upon Missionary Ridge that night, and marched the following morning upon Ringgold. Nothing was left for my regiment to do but to support the attacking party in this affair.
I am happy to state my loss in all of this was comparatively small. Captain James Fitzwilliams, of Company G, was shot through the arm while gallantly leading his company at Lookout. I regret also to announce that Private James Kearns, of Company A, was desperately wounded (shot through the lungs) at the same time. I append a list of casualties, and beg leave to say my officers and men, without exception, behaved gallantly. To Major Dufficy, for his gallant conduct, I am under obligations. Adjutant Gallagher deserves especial mention for his coolness and intrepidity. First Lieutenant John Maloney, commanding Company A, was conspicuous for darling and courage. Sergt. Maj. John Powers deserves mention for his coolness and courage throughout this marching and fighting.
Trusting the conduct of the Thirty-fifth Indiana has met the approval of the general commanding the brigade, I respectfully submit the foregoing hurriedly written report.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Thirty-fifth Indiana Volunteers.
Captain J.Rowan Boone, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.
Source: Official Records Series 1, Volume 31, Part 2. Chapter 43, pp. 160-161