NOVEMBER 23-27, 1863. The Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign.
Report of Lieutenant Colonel George H. Hildt, Thirtieth Ohio Infantry, commanding detachment Thirtieth Ohio and Fourth West Virginia Infantry.
HDQRS. THIRTIETH REGIMENT OHIO VOLUNTEERS,
In the Field, November 28, 1863.
SIR: By order of General J. A. J. Lightburn, we left camp on the evening of the of the 23rd November, and marched to the Tennessee River near the Caldwell house, and at about 3 a.m. we crossed the river on pontoon boats, swimming our horses alongside holding their heads to the boats out of water, and, as it was icy cold, and they were forced to remain in it for near thirty minutes, they were so chilled and stiffened that they could scarcely ascend the bank to get out. After landing took position on a beautifully rounded elevation near the river, just south of the mouth of Chickamauga River, and intrenched it. At 2 p.m. started in line of battle for the hills known as Mission Ridge, under cover of a dense mist and fog of the river bottom, and met with no enemy on summit of first hill.
Were then ordered to the main hill immediately in front one we occupied and found the enemy advancing from the opposite side. As it was dark, misty, and foggy, and it not being desirous to bring on a battle so late in the day, we were ordered to hold and intrench the hill we occupied during the night, and worked to the end most of the night, making a fine work by daylight next morning, and one in which we felt perfectly safe, the Thirty-seventh Ohio being on our left flank and rear protecting it.
At about 9 a.m. November 25, General Sherman visited us in position and gave verbal order to General Lightburn to send an officer and 200 men to occupy Tunnel Hill, and I was ordered with six companies of the Thirtieth Ohio and two of the Fourth [West] Virginia, the latter under command of Captain J. L. Mallernee, to execute the order.
The six companies of the Thirtieth Ohio were at once formed in line of battle just outside of our works, with the Fourth [West]
Virginia companies in reserve.
The Thirtieth was started immediately on double-quick, with orders to deploy as skirmishers forward, and to take the first work, the reserve to follow. Scarcely had we moved, when the enemy opened fire with their battery on reserve. As they were still closed and marching by company front they were immediately ordered to deploy also forward, but to be held well in hand, for use on either flank or center, as might be required.