Colonel M. D. Leggett remained but a few months with the regiment. It was soon ascertained by superior commanders that he was a man of more than ordinary ability and energy; an untiring and indefatigable worker, and completely successful in everything he undertook. When any difficult work was to be performed some rebel encampment to be broken up, and reconnoisance to be made Colonel Leggett with his regiment was usually called upon to execute it; and we do not recollect of a single instance wherein he failed to accomplish the work or duty assigned him. Entire satisfaction was always given, and congratulatory orders issued by superior commanding officers. I presume no officer in the army has received more complimentary notices for efficient service.
The regiment at times, when tired and worn down under the constant strain of active duty, complained, and would have preferred a commander of less energy and reputation, under whom they supposed less duty would be required of them.
Colonel Leggett understood the nature of the Southern people, and from the commencement of the war, he had a proper conception of its magnitude and character; not believing his views at the time, we were always afterwards convinced of their correctness, when applied to the test of experience. He knew that to crush the rebellion would require every resource of military energy and ability, to successfully meet its desperation and violence. Its suppression would only be, as we have fully ascertained by four years' fighting by hard work, heavy fighting and sacrifice of life. Therefore he did not bring a full regiment of strong, robust men into the field, to lie about idle in camps, doing police and provost duty. His place was the front, as far to the front, and as near the enemy as possible; this has always been the position of the Seventy-Eighth Regiment. In the summer of 1863, Colonel Leggett was in command of the Second Brigade, Goneral Ross' Division, and the winter following was made a Brigadier-General of United States Volunteers. He remained in command of the Ohio Brigade till during the seige of Vicksburg, when he was assigned to the command of the First Brigade.
In the autumn of 1863, General John A. Logan was assigned to the command of the Fifteenth Army Corps, and was succeeded by General Leggett, in the Third Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, in which command he remained till the close of the war, and frequently during the last year, commanded both the Corps and Division. He felt too proud of the record of the Third Division, to even take a higher permanent commission. Early in 1865, he was brevetted a Major-General in honor for distinguished services. When the "Army of the Tennessee" was mustered out of the service, no one retired to civil life, with a brighter record, and a name more fondly cherished and honored.