54th VA soldier writes about Chickamauga

Joseph J. Baker of the 54th Virginia Infantry (CSA)
Company K

2 October 1863,

”We are within two miles of Chattanooga, had hard times for more than a month, left London last of August till we got into Georgia, We found Rosa [Rosecrans], who trifled with us till the 19th of September, then he met us and a very hard battle took place on Saturday…We drove them a short distance on Sunday and again on Sunday evening from his strongest position upon a mountain, he then fell back to Chattanoo to his fortifications and we followed him but cannot get him rousted any more, he is strongly fortified, we are fortifying within 2 miles of this place, and laying behind our works, Yanks did shell us occasionally. It was a severe fight, a great many were killed on both sides. I saw a great many brave men left to breathe there last on that battlefield, the loss of our brigade was in killed and wounded between 300-400 men, loss of regiment was about 60 killed and wounded. The Co. K. had 6 wounded and only three badly wounded. None of the Wythe boys were hurt. Capt. William Nelson was slightly wounded by accident after the fight was over. Felt several times that chances were bad for them to escape, but more escaped than looked possible, enemy played on us with canister and grape shot only a few hundred yards. We fell to the ground as flat as possible until the battery was silenced by one of ours. We raised them from their strongest hold with a small loss and captured 440 prisoners, many of them got away, our regiment captured 3-4 stands of colors, they were the best armed men I have ever seen, they shot 5 times faster than us, more content about their six shooters…”

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