I having in my hand a letter written to a member of the 21st OVI requesting information in regard to the location of the 21st at the Battle of Chickamauga. I was Capt of Co. G 21st OVI and was not away from the co. or the regt at any time during the battle and I think I remember all the moments and locations of the regt.
On the night 19th, the 21st lay on their arms about one half mile east of the Dyer Farm to the east and directly in front of the 21st was a field partly cleared and reached to the lafayette road. This field and road was held by the confederates, our lines being very close to each other.
On the morning of the 20th, we discovered that the confederates had moved to our left and there appeared to be no enemy in front of us. The brigade was ordered to move to the rear until it reached the Dyer Farm and then north until it reached what is known as the Snodgrass House, at the east end of the ridge (about 10 o'clock am). A road passes through this farm on the east of the house, running in a north-west direction, the 21st regt was deployed on this road, directly east of the house. With the right reaching to the south end of the lane and near the woods, an open. In front of us severe fighting was going on at this time three or four hundred yards to the southeast of our line, we could see the federal troops moving to the rear and we expected to fight where we were at the time. We threw down the fence on the east of us and piled the rales so as to protect us from the bullets of the enemy soon after we had arranged the fence to suit us we were ordered away from our position and were detached from our brigade and saw no more of our brigade that day.
We marched by the right flank out of the lane and filed right and moved west or a little south of west in woods about one fourth of a mile west, and a little south of the Snodgrass House, our line was formed along the southeast of the ridge facing to the south a ravine in front of the left of the regt and timber on all sides (11 o'clock) there was an old house to the rear of us, but it was more than two hundred yards north and could nto be seen from where we were[.] The 21st held this position for seven hours without being relieved by any other troops notwithstanding reports to the contrary. The regt. That was sent to relieve us laid down in our rear for a short time and then moved away. Soon after we had taken our position on the ridge, two pieces of artillary took position to our left was one hundred yards to the east of us and was where the steel observatory west of the Snodgrass House is located. I do not know where they belonged, but they remained but a short time, firing a few shots and then disappeared. I do not remember any artilary to our right until late in the day when General Steadman's division moved in, then for sometime there was quite heavy cannonading to our right. As to where captured[,] Major McMahan and I do not altogether agree. When we were out of amunition about sundown we moved to the rear a few rods when we were secured from the fire of the enemy we were in that position but a short time. When an officer rode up to me, as I stood in front of the regt and ordered me to take the men on the line. On being informed that we were out of amunition, he ordered me have them fix bayonets and go on the line[.] I directed him to the major and he have him the same orders. We were then partly in the rear of the left of the 89th Ohio, the regt next to us on our right. When the major gave the order, it was forward march. While we should have moved to left or the right so as not to come in contact with the 89th, the result was that as we moved straight forward on double quick that we struck the left of the 89th, and I with Co. G and B went straight forward to the line and halted were where the center of the 21st had been all that afternoon. The regt with the exception of Co. G and B swang to the right and rear of the 89th and were captured were and at the same time with the 89th while I with Com. G and part of Co. B were taken near to the line the regt had previously ocupied a tablet, that the confederates have placed showing where the captured the 21st Ohio the 89th Ohio and the 22nd Michigan will show that I am correct. That is located I think a little less than 100 yds to the west and north of our position during the afternoon as to where the 21st monument is located it is about a 100 yards west of the steel observatory west of the Snodgrass House and about where the left of the 21st was located during the afternoon I was selected by the members of the regt to locate our monument. I set the stake further to the west about where the center of the regt was but for some reason they placed it at the left there is also a tablet placed about sixty in the rear of where we were located east of the Dyer Farm and est of the Brotherton Field to mark the position we were in on the 19th.
I suppose I have written more than you will care to read, but I can not close without saying that the 21st never was creted [credited] for what they did on the 20th having colts revolving rifles, they were able to and did hold the enemy in chick for at least two hours without any help except a few straglers that fell in with us, and never during that time were we meet against less than twice our number. And had Gen. Brannon wished to do us justice, he would have made a different report.
Hoping that what I have written may prove satisfactory. I am very truly yours I. Cusac Late Major 21st OVI