|Col. Aquila Wiley.|
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Death: Jun. 5, 1910.
Service: 41st., Ohio Infantry, Co. F&S.
Enlisted: 19 Sept 1861.
Mustered: 4 Jun 1864.
Burial: Wooster Cemetery, Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio.
HDQRS. FORTY-FIRST OHIO INFANTRY VOLUNTEERS, In Camp near Knoxville, Tennessee, December 8, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the battalion under my command, which includes the Forty-first and Ninety-third Regiments Ohio Infantry Volunteers, from the time of breaking camp at Chattanooga, November 23, 1863, to the present date:
At the commencement of the operations, Colonel Aquila Wiley,
Forty-first Ohio Infantry Volunteer, was in command of the battalion, but the wounding of that officer on the evening of the 25th devolves upon me the duty of reporting the operations before I assumed command.
At noon of November 23, the battalion prepared to move from its camp near Fort Wood, Chattanooga, upon reconnaissance toward Missionary Ridge, and at 2 o'clock of that day marched in line of battle with the brigade upon the enemy's rifle-pits, a mile in advance of the ridge. The position assigned this battalion was upon the right of the first line, its front being covered by the Fifth Kentucky Infantry as skirmishers. The advance for 800 yards from Fort Wood was over open ground; beyond this was a forest, in the skirts of which the enemy's pickets were met, but gave way readily before the skirmishers. As the line advanced in support of the skirmishers, Colonel Wiley, seeing his right uncovered, sent two companies of the Forty-first Regiment, under Major Williston, to act as flankers.
Passing over a gentle crest, which had been occupied by the rebel pickets, and into the dense undergrowth of oak in the valley beyond, could advance no farther, but the main line went steadily forward for 200 yards without firing, though receiving a rapid musketry fire. A good line of rifle-pits, on considerable crest 100 yards to the front, was now distinctly visible, and in these pits the rebel pickets had been rallied. Colonel Wiley sent notice of this fact to his brigade commander,and received immediately an order to take the file-pits and hold the crest. Before the messenger bearing the order reached him, Colonel Wiley had opened fire and led his battalion forward to within 50 paces of the rifle-pits. Here he mat a severe fire from the front and right. At the letter point the enemy's line of works bent toward his front, and enabled him to pour upon Colonel Wiley's line an enfilading fire. Near a fourth of the men were struck down here in advancing 25 or 30 paces, and the battalion was for a moment staggered by the withering musketry.
It soon rallied, however, under the personal efforts of Colonel Wiley and his subordinates, and pressed forward over the rifle-pits. As soon as these were reached, the enemy's resistance ceased and the men who occupied the pits generally surrendered and were sent to the rear. A slight parapet for the defense of the position was at once constructed. The line to our right was also abandoned almost immediately, and the battalion was left in quiet possession of the works, subject only to cannonade of an hour the enemy's batteries on Missionary Ridge.