Submitted by: John and Cindy McCachern
PRAISE FOR COL. BUCKNER
I feel sure that the living members of the 79th Illinois Infantry will be glad to read the following report taken from the official history of the war of the rebellion made by the colonel of that regiment. Allen Buckner, on the battle of Liberty Gap, Tennessee.
Headquarters 79th Regiments, Illinois Volunteers.
Tullahoma, Tennessee, July 7, 1863.
Sir: I have the honor to report that the seventy ninth Illinois was not in action until the afternoon of the 25th. At Liberty Gap, we were ordered by Colonel Miller, commanding Second Brigade, in connection with the 77th Pennsylvania and formed upon their left. As I was junior, I tried to conform as near as possible to the movements of Colonel Ross. When we were within one half or three quarters of a mile from the enemy, the effect of their sharp shooters was terrible. We formed first behind a fence in an orchard and fired a few rounds. The Gallant Colonel Ross ordered his regiment forward. I at once with the assistance of our brave officers, took up the command and rushed on, passing through a muddy cornfield on the double quick for near half a mile, exposed all the while to the terrible fire. Our brave boys faltered not, but rushed on and soon gained the foot of the hill, the enemy being posted upon the top and along the sides and began to pour upon the enemy a terrible fire and kept it up at an excellent advantage with but little damage to us. We had already suffered our great loss in crossing the field. After 20 or 25 rounds had been fired, my attention was called to the fact that the 77th Pennsylvania was pulling back. Supposing that to be the order and a necessary movement, we followed suit. I learned afterwards that Colonel Ross gave the command by the left flank to get out of the range of our artillery. No one can be blamed for Colonel Ross and the 77th Pa are true as steel, yet it was unfortunate after gaining the point and really whipping the enemy for those two regiments to fall back. I might single out officers and men and speak of their daring and bravery but in doing so I might not give credit to someone. Suffice to say I feel proud of the officers and men of this regiment and feel grateful to my God and my country for the privilege of commanding them.
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