The 25th Arkansas sustained heavy casualties (over 50 percent) in proportion to its effective strength -- 11 killed and mortally wounded, 47 wounded, and 3 missing; total 61. According to an ordnance report prepared after the battle, the soldiers of the 25th Arkansas fired an average of 80 rounds per man during the battle.
Here's the after action report of Col. David Coleman, temporarily commanding McNair's Brigade --
HEADQUARTERS MCNAIR’S BRIGADE,
Camp near Ringgold, Ga., September 24, 1863.
Captain Blakemore, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Sir—In obedience to Brigadier-General Johnson’s order of yesterday, I have the honor to report the part taken by this brigade in the late battles.
Shortly before daylight on the 18th instant, this brigade (Brig. Gen. E. McNair), in company with that of Brig. Gen. B. R. Johnson, who commanded the whole force, left Catoosa Station, on the Chickamauga River, and marched by way of Ringgold by the La Fayette road to the intersection of the Graysville and Reed’s Bridge road. Here cannonading and sharp skirmishing being heard on the left, line of battle was formed, with Johnson’s brigade on the right, and the force swept steadily in this order, with skirmishers in front, across the country to the left, the enemy giving way with scarcely any resistance to the Reed’s Bridge road near the bridge. Thence marched, hearing heavy musketry firing in front, to within 1½ miles of Lee’s Mills, on the Chattanooga and Lee’s Mills road, where it encamped in line for the night some time after dark.
On the 19th, just about 8 a.m., the battle having begun on the right, the brigade was placed in position in rear of Gregg’s brigade, with the artillery—Captain Culpeper’s three pieces. At 12 m. the Thirty-ninth North Carolina Regiment, Colonel Coleman, and Twenty-fifth Arkansas, Lieutenant-Colonel Hufstedler (Colonel Coleman commanding both regiments), were ordered to support General Gregg. Moved rapidly forward, and getting near Gregg’s brigade (then under a terrific fire) charged impetuously with loud cheers, passing over the left of Gregg’s brigade, and drove the enemy in rapid flight through the thick woods, across the Chattanooga road, past the small house 100 yards on, and into the corn-fields beyond, making a distance altogether of about three-quarters of a mile. In the last advance Lieutenant-Colonel Hufstedler fell wounded with five balls. Here, though the enemy to whom we had been opposed in front were in flight, broken, and in confusion, having sustained a heavy loss in killed, the two regiments, finding their tired and weakened line exposed to a fatal flanking fire, especially on the left, unsupported on account of the rapidity of their advance, with an enemy’s battery near on the left, and a strong enemy re-enforcement approaching, and our ammunition nearly exhausted, the impracticability of longer holding this advanced and exposed position was immediately manifest and the force was ordered back to the woods. Here they were reformed, and a fresh line having passed to relieve them, were marched back to nearly their original position to await ammunition, where they were joined by the rest of the brigade, which finally moved forward to the position in line, where it was encamped for the night between Johnson’s brigade (on the right) and Hindman’s division (on the left).
The First and Second Arkansas (dismounted) Rifles, Colonels Harper and Williamson, and the Fourth, Thirty-first, and Fourth Arkansas Battalion (consolidated), Major Ross, all under the immediate command of General McNair, were ordered forward soon after the advance of the Thirty-ninth North Carolina and Twenty-fifth Arkansas; charged to the right of the course taken by the latter regiments, and drove the enemy in successive charges to beyond the Chattanooga road. Here, on the withdrawal of the Thirty-ninth and Twenty-fifth, being exposed to a heavy flank fire on the left, besides that in front, and the ammunition beginning to fail, they rejoined the other two regiments.
The artillery, Captain Culpeper commanding, supported the advance of the brigade so long as it was safe to fire, and then, the undergrowth being too thick to advance, remained in their position the remainder of the day.
On the morning of the 20th, the brigade was placed in line between Stewart’s division (on the right) and Hindman’s (on the left), with a slight barricade of branches and small dead wood in front. Here, at about 9.30 a.m., the line repulsed an advance of the enemy. In a few minutes after, the brigade, advancing with the rest of the line, drove the enemy steadily and rapidly back, passing over two successive lines of temporary breastworks, a distance of about three-quarters of a mile, reaching the corner of the field, at the opposite end of which were two batteries of the enemy on a hill commanding the whole advance. General McNair and Colonel Harper, First Arkansas (dismounted) Rifles, having just been disabled by wounds (that of the latter officer mortal), the brigade, already in advance of the line, charged furiously upon the batteries diagonally on the right and captured them, taking ten pieces, eight of which were immediately sent with their remaining horses to our rear, and the remaining two, then in the woods, were carried to the rear afterward, the ground never having been reoccupied by the enemy.
The brigade was now considerably in advance of the line, though this was rapidly approaching. Our left was still more exposed by the break made by our diagonal charge. The enemy were firing from the woods in front, while within 200 yards farther in the woods a large body of the enemy was seen drawn up in good order. With our forces reduced by our rapid advance, and ammunition nearly exhausted, it was necessary at once to abandon our position. The brigade retired back to the woods, procured ammunition, and took position in line on the left of Robertson’s brigade.
Here, on receiving an order from Brigadier-General Johnson, the brigade (under Colonel Coleman, upon whom the command had devolved), advanced forward and to the left about half a mile to the support of Johnson’s brigade, which was supporting Robertson’s battery, which was stationed on the brow of a hill to the right of the Lookout Valley road, at which point the force there were resisting with difficulty the determined advance of the enemy in heavy force. In a few minutes General Johnson ordered our advance, when, passing the line immediately supporting the battery (which line also advanced), we charged over the hill upon the enemy, and after a protracted and obstinate resistance (a brigade on our right and Manigault’s brigade on the ridge to our left advancing on parallel lines to us), the enemy were completely driven from the position. In this conflict we suffered much from a flanking fire, arising from tardy support on our left.
The artillery (Captain Culpeper), having assisted in repulsing the enemy, at 9.30 a.m. was placed in position by General Law with his battery, and remained there during the day.
I have great pleasure and pride in saying that the whole brigade behaved most nobly during all the fighting of both days, being uniformly in advance of all others in every onset. Its losses and its trophies bear ample testimony to its good conduct. In another report I propose to particularize individual instances.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.