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United States. Army. Ohio Infantry Regiment, 21st - MS 562: Transcripts
I must now refer to Turchin's map no 8 but I do not wish you to understand that the positions of troops on the map are in accordance with my memory. At 12 o'clock Lt Col Stoughton was ordered to form the regiment "over there on the ridge". He undertook to form on the ridge across the gulley [gully] south of Horseshoe ridge but the rebels gained that position first and we were obliged to retire under fire and before we could reach the crest of Horseshoe ridge we were obliged to come into line and fight in front of the ridge instead of behind the crest of it as Col Stoughton intended. Evidently Col Stoughton mistook the direction when he undertook to form on the ridge south of the ravine. We changed from our first to this our second position in a few moments and the enemy at once charged in force with great vigor. Our position here was well down the southern slopes of the ridge in front and toward the right of the line marked "Brannan" on the map, and slightly detached from the left of the 22nd Mich after that regiment formed on our right. Here we did our hard fighting and lost most of our killed and wounded. We were unable to change our position afterward until relieved a short time before sun down by the 2nd Minn. According to my time the 22nd Mich formed on our right at 2.30 and prior to that time there [were] no troops on our right, tho' the rebel skirmishers over laped [lapped] the right of our line.
Our position in front of the ridge was forced upon us and may appear awkward, but it turned out to be no disadvantage but rather found us, as the ravine was soon filled with smoke and the enemy guided by the trees above us delivered his fire over our heads. While we had better range for our fire. Col Stoughton was wounded here at 2.30 and could not turn over his orders to me if he had any. I did not know until the next spring that we were assigned to Genl Brannan that day. I had no orders, but I know that there was orders to hold the ridge and fight the enemy. Our revolving rifles worked well until late in the day when the cylinders became choked and worked hard, but by that time we were out of ammunition. About 4 o'clock some one delivered 5000 rounds at our line but the cartridges were cal 58 we could not use them in our rifles cal 56.
Our third position was just as you have described it. There was a favorable formation of the ground here for me to reform the regiment upon which had become broken up and tired out, but I had two hundred men here. This position if of no particular importance excepting that it shows the connection between the events which occurred before and afterwards; and it was here I received an order which worked the capture of my command. As there is an open question about that order I will pass that by for other conversations and simply narrate what occurred after you saw me, about ten to fifteen minutes after being relieved by the 2nd Minn.
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