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tack vigorously. Whatever may have been done on the enemy's extreme right, no material effect therefrom was perceivable in his centre. But with a view to determining more certainly and satisfactorily the condition of the enemy directly in front of my two brigades in line, about four P. M. they were advanced against the enemy's line, with such a terrific direct and cross-fire of musketry and artillery sweeping over the open field which divided the hostile lines, as to show most conclusively, that wherever else the enemy might be weak, there, certainly, he was in full force.
Fortunately, the condition and strength of the enemy was discovered before the brigades were deeply or dangerously committed to the assault, which enabled them to be withdrawn without the very heavy loss, which at one time seemed so imminent. A short time after this movement, Brigadier-General Willich, commanding First brigade, was seriously wounded by a rebel sharpshooter, and was borne from the field. He has never since rejoined the command. I was thus early in the campaign, deprived of the services of a gallant and energetic officer.
structed, and was the third fortified position abandoned by the enemy.
Pursuit was made the following morning (the eighteenth), my division leading. A slight opposition was made to our advance by light parties of cavalry, but these were rapidly scattered. The pursuit was continued on the nineteenth, the First division of the corps leading, followed by my division. The line of march lay through Kingston, and immediately south of this village the enemy was overtaken in force, apparently arrayed for battle. The First division of the corps was at once deployed into order of battle across the road by which we were marching, and my division deployed on its right.
Batteries were posted in eligible positions, to play on the lines of the enemy deployed in the open fields in our front. The artillery-fire was evidently effective, for the enemy very soon began to withdraw. Our advance was immediately resumed.
Within a mile and a half of Cassville, the enemy was again encountered, in an intrenched position. Our order of battle was promptly reformed, and the advance resumed, with a view to forcing our way into Cassville; but darkness falling suddenly upon us, it was necessary to desist from a further advance against an intrenched position over unexplored ground.
The Seventeenth Kentucky, which was deployed as skirmishers, to cover the advance of its brigade, suffered quite severely in the advance in the afternoon, more than twenty casualties in the skirmish line bearing unmistakable evidence of the sharp fire to which it had been
During the night of the nineteenth the enemy
being the fourth intrenched position abandoned, and retired across the Etowah.
During the night of the fifteenth, the enemy evacuated the position in and around Resaca, and retreated south of the Oostanaula. This was the second strong position from which the enemy had been forced. The many small arms and other articles of military use abandoned, showed that his retreat was precipitate. The casulties of the command from the opening of the campaign to the evacuation of Resaca were: Killed, eighty-one; wounded, three-hundred and forty-eight; total, four-hundred and twenty-nine. Pursuit was made early the morn-exposed. ing of the sixteenth, and during the day the whole of the Fourth corps passed the Oosta-evacuated his works in the vicinity of Cassville, naula (having repaired for this purpose a part of the partially-destroyed bridge), and encamped for the night near Calhoun. The pursuit was Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the twentieth, renewed early the morning of the seventeenth, twenty-first, and twenty-second of May, the my division moving along the railway. Through- troops rested quietly in camp. But it was a out the march, a continued skirmish was kept busy period for commanding generals and staff up with the parties covering the enemy's rear, officers, preparing for the grand flank movebut these were rapidly driven before the steady ment for turning the enemy's strong position at and solid advance of the skirmish-line of the di- the railway gap in the Allatoona hills. Taking vision. At Adairsville, however, the enemy was twenty days' subsistence in wagons, the entire in heavy force; indeed, it was subsequently army cut loose from its line of communication, learned that his entire army was assembled crossed the Etowah river, and pushed boldly there. My division had advanced on the west-southward through a most abrupt and difficult ern side of Othkaluga creek, and in the vicinity of Adairsville met a heavy force of the enemy, strongly and advantageously posted, while the remainder of the corps, which had advanced on the other side of the creek, had earlier met a still heavier force, and been checked. A stiff skirmish at once occurred along the entire front of the division, which was kept up till nightfall. During its progress, however, I had bridges constructed across the creek, with a view to forcing a passage the following morning, but during the night the enemy retreated, The position in the vicinity of Adairsville is not naturally very strong, but it was very well con
range of hills. The movement was commenced on Monday the twenty-third. On that and the following day my division led the Fourth corps, but on the twenty-fifth was in rear. Those days' marches carried the army through the Allatoona range. Late in the afternoon of the twenty-fifth, the enemy was encountered in force by the Twentieth corps, when a sharp affair followed; it was not, however, partici pated in, owing to the lateness of the hour of its arrival in the vicinity of the action, by the troops of the Fourth corps. The morning of the twenty-sixth still found the enemy in our front. My division was early deployed into
order of battle on the left of the Second divi- The column was halted a few moments, to readsion, of the Fourth corps. The day was spent just the lines, to give the men a brief breathing by my division in very brilliant and successful space, and to give the division which was to manoeuvring, to determine the exact position protect and cover the left flank of the column, of the enemy's intrenched line. To accomplish time to come up and take position. At 4:30 this, it was necessary to drive in his light o'clock P. M. precisely, the order was given to troops, who formed a screen to his position. attack, and with its front well covered with The ground was in some parts difficult to man- skirmishers, the column moved forward. And œuvre on, and a deep spring had to be bridged, never have troops marched to a deadly assault, but the whole work was satisfactorily accom- under the most adverse circumstances, with plished. The operations of the twenty-sixth more firmness, with more truly soldierly bearhaving satisfactorily defined the position of the ing, and more distinguished gallantry. On, on, enemy's intrenched line, it was determined, on through the thickest jungle, over exceedingly Friday morning, the twenty-seventh, that it rough and broken ground, and exposed to the should be assaulted, and my division was sharpest direct and cross-fire of musketry and selected for this arduous and dangerous task. artillery on both flanks, the leading brigade, A minute and critical examination of the ene- the Second, moved (followed in close supportmy's intrenchments rendered it evident that ing distance by the other brigades), right up to a direct front attack would be of most doubtful the enemy's main line of works. Under the success, and certainly cost a great sacrifice of unwavering steadiness of the advance the fire life. Hence, it was determined to attempt to from the enemy's line of works began to slackfind the extreme right of the enemy's position, en, and the troops behind those works first turn it, and attack him in flank. In conformity began perceptibly to waver and then give way; with this determination, my division was moved and I have no hesitation in saying that, so far entirely to the left of our line, and formed, by as any opposition directly in front was conorder of Major-General Howard, commanding cerned, though that was terrible enough, the the corps, in six parallel lines, each brigade enemy's strongly-fortified position would have being formed in two lines. The order of the been forced. But the fire, particularly on the brigades in this grand coluran of attack was, first, left flank of the column, which at first was only the Second brigade, Brigadier-General Hazen, en scharpe, became, as the column advanced, commanding; second, the First brigade, Colonel enfilading, and finally took the first line of the Gibson, Forty-ninth Ohio, commanding; third, column partially in reverse. It was from this the Third brigade, Colonel Knefler, Seventy-fire that the supporting and reversing division ninth Indiana volunteers, commanding. When all the dispositions were completed (and these required but a short space of time), the mag nificent array moved forward. For a mile the march was nearly due southward through dense forests and the thickest jungle, a country whose surface was scarred by deep ravines and intersected by difficult ridges. But the movement of the column through all these difficulties was steadily onward. Having moved a mile southward, and not having discovered any indica tions of the enemy, it was supposed we had passed entirely to the east of his extreme right. On this hypothesis, the column was wheeled to the right, and advanced on nearly a westerly course for about a mile and a half. The nature of the country passed over in this movement was similar in all respects to that already described. After the westerly movement had progressed about a mile and a half the flankers discovered that the column, in wheeling to the right, had swung inside of the enemy's line. It was necessary, to gain the goal, to face to the left, file left, and by a flank movement, conduct the column eastward and southward around the enemy's right flank. When all these movements, so well calculated to try the physical strength of the men, were concluded, and the point gained from which it was believed the column could move directly on the enemy's flank, the day was well spent-it was nearly four P. M. The men had been on their feet since early daylight, and, of course, were much worn.
should have protected the assaulting column, but it failed to do so. Under such a fire no troops could maintain the vantage-ground which had been gained, and the leading brigade, which had driven everything in its front, was com pelled to fall back a short distance to screen its flanks (which were crumbling away under the the severe fire), by the irregularities of the ground. (It is proper to observe here that the brigade of the Twenty-third corps which was ordered to take post so as to cover the right flank of the assaulting column, by some mistake failed to get into a position to accomplish this purpose.)
From the position taken by Hazen's brigade when it retired a short distance from the enemy's works, it kept up a deadly fire, which was evidently very galling to the foe. The brigade was engaged about fifty minutes. It had expended the sixty rounds of ammunition taken into action on the men's persons; it had suffered terribly in killed and wounded, and the men were much exhausted by the furiousness of the assault. Consequently, I ordered this brigade to be relieved by the First brigade, Colonel William H. Gibson, Forty-ninth Ohio, commanding. soon as the First brigade bad relieved the Second brigade, I ordered Colonel Gibson to renew the attack. I hoped that, with the shorter distance the brigade would have to move after beginning the assault to reach the enemy's works, and with the assistance of the knowledge of the ground which had been gained, a second effort might
be more successful than the first had been. I also trusted some cover had been provided to protect the left flank of the column. This had been partially, but by no means effectually done. At the signal to advance, the First brigade dashed handsomely and gallantly forward up to the enemy's works. Men were shot down at the very base of the parapet. But again the terrible fire on the flanks, and especially the enfilading fire from the left, was fatal to success. In addition, the enemy had brought up fresh troops, and greatly strengthened the force behind his intrenchments. This fact had been observed plainly by our troops, and was subsequently fully corroborated by prisoners.
The First brigade, after getting so near to the enemy's works, and after almost succeeding, was compelled, like the Second brigade, to fall back a short distance, some seventy to eighty yards, to seek shelter under cover of the inequalities of the surface. Thence it maintained a sturdy | contest with the enemy, confining him to his works, till its ammunition was expended. (I must observe that, owing to the circuitous route through the woods, with no road, pursued by the division, it was impossible to take any ammunition wagons with the command. After the point of attack had been selected, a road was opened and the ammunition brought up; but it did not come up until after nightfall.)
The First brigade had suffered very severely in the assault. This fact, in courection with the expenditure of its ammunition, induced me to order this brigade to be relieved by the Third brigade, Colonel Knefler, Seventy-ninth Indiana, commanding. Colonel Knefler was simply ordered to relieve the First brigade and hold the ground, without renewing the assault.
pressed forward rapidly, with demoniac yells and shouts, on Colonel Knefler's brigade.
In the long conflict which the brigade had kept up it had expended its ammunition to within the last two or three rounds.
Reserving its fire till the advancing foe was only some fifteen paces distant, the brigade poured in a terrible and destructive volley, and was then handsomely and skilfully withdrawn, with the portions of the ether brigades that had remained on the field, by its gallant and most sensible commander,
The enemy was brought to a dead halt by the last volley. Not the slightest pursuit was attempted. Thus ended this bloody conflict. It was opened precisely at 4:30 o'clock P. M., and raged in the height of its fury till seven P. M. From this hour till ten P. M., the conflict was still kept up, but not with the unabated fury and severity of the first two hours and a half of its duration. Fourteen hundred and fifty-seven officers and men were placed hors de combat in the action.
It may be truly said of it that it was the best sustained, and altogether the fiercest and most vigorous assault that was male on the enemy's intrenched positions during the entire campaign. The attack was made under circumstances well calculated to test the courage and prove the manhood of the troops. They had made a long and fatiguing march of several hours' duration on that day, immediately preceding the assault. The assault was made without any assistance or cover whatever from our artillery, as not a single piece could be carried with us, on a strongly-intrenched position, held by veteran troops, and defended by a heavy fire of musketry and artillery. Yet, at the command, the troops, under all these adverse circumstances, moved to the assault with a cheerful manliness and steadiness; no wavering on the advance, but all moved with a gallantry and dash that nearly made the effort a complete success.
The purpose of holding the ground was to cover bringing off the dead and wounded. Colonel Knefler's brigade at once engaged the enemy sharply, and conúned him to his works. Meanwhile, every effort was being made to bring off the dead and wounded. This was a work of much difficulty. The ground was un-between ten o'clock in the evening and two favorable for the use of the stretchers, darkness was coming on apace, and the whole had to be done under the fire of the enemy.
Of course, under such circumstances the work could not be done with that completeness so desirable; and the subsequent evacuation of the enemy showed, from the numerous extensive places of sepulture outside of his lines, that many who were at first reported "missing" were killed in the terrific assaults.
It is proper to remark that when the Second brigade was relieyed by the First brigade, a portion of the troops of the former retained their position near the enemy's works. So, also, when the First brigade was relieved by the Third brigade, a portion of the former held on near to the enemy's works. These gallant officers and soldiers remained on the field, bravely keeping up the conflict, till the Third brigade was drawn off at ten o'clock P. M. About ten o'clock P. M., the enemy, rushing over his works,
After the troops had all been drawn off, and
o'clock of the following morning, the entire division was comfortably encamped, and by daylight securely intrenched. This precaution was the more necessary to protect the division against a sudden attack of overwhelming numbers, as it was in some measure isolated from the greater part of the army. The division remained in this position from the twentyeighth of May to the sixth of June, varying it slightly by changes in the lines.
Constant skirmishing was kept up the whole time. On the thirty-first of May the rebel division of General Loring made a decided movement against the front of my division; but it was readily repulsed by the intrenched skirmish line. From prisoners subsequently captured it was learned that the rebel division had suffered severely in this demonstration.
Saturday night, the fourth of June, the enemy abandoned his position in the vicinity of New Hope Church, and moved eastward. This was
the fifth strongly-intrenched position evacuated. brigades of my division were ordered to be in Monday, June sixth, my division, with the rest readiness to support the assaulting column, and of the corps, moved eastward to the neighbor- follow up any success that might be gained. hood of Mount Morris Church. June seventh, Unfortunately the attack was not successful, eighth and ninth, the division remained in and as a consequence no part of my division camp. June tenth, the division moved with was engaged. Constant skirmishing wore away the corps southward, and took position in front the second week in front of Kenesaw Mountain, of Pine-Top Knob. June eleventh, twelfth, and brought us to Saturday night, July second. thirteenth and fourteenth, remained in this po- On that night the enemy evacuated his position sition, constantly skirmishing, with a few casual- around Kenesaw Mountain, being the eighth ties daily. Tuesday night, June fourteenth, the strong line of works abandoned, and retreated enemy evacuated Pine-Top Knob, returning to south of Marietta. Sunday morning, July third, his intrenched lines half a mile south of it. saw a renewal of the pursuit. Passing through Wednesday, June fifteenth, the Second division Marietta, the enemy was found again strongly of the corps was ordered to assault the enemy's intrenched some five miles south of the town. works, and my division was ordered to support July fourth was passed in the usual skirmishing it. However, the assault was not made, and with the enemy, and in driving his pickets with the corps remained in the position of Wednes- our skirmishers. During the night of the fourth, day afternoon throughout Thursday, June six- the enemy abandoned his ninth line of works, teenth, carrying on the usual skirmishing with and retreated toward the Chattahoochee river. the enemy. Thursday night the enemy evacu- Pursuit was made early in the morning of the ated his lines, crossed Muddy creek, and swung fifth, my division leading the Fourth corps, and back toward Kenesaw Mountain. Thus was he such was the vigor of the pursuit on the road forced from his sixth strongly-intrenched posi- we followed, that the portion of the enemy tion. Early on Friday morning the Fourth retreating by this road was driven across the corps followed up the enemy, my division lead-river, and so closely followed that he was unable ing. The day was spent in driving the enemy's skirmishers and outposts across Muddy creek. Saturday, June eighteenth, was spent in heavy skirmishing. Saturday night the enemy evacuated his seventh intrenched position, and retired to his works around Kenesaw Mountain. Sunday morning the pursuit was renewed, and the enemy pressed in on his works. Here the division remained from Sunday, June nineteenth, to Sunday, July third. Sharp skirmishing was kept up during the whole of this time, and the period was also enlivened with some brilliant affairs and other more serious operations. Some of these affairs are worthy of special mention. Late Monday afternoon, June twentieth, a portion of the First brigade, First division, lost an important position which it had gained earlier in the day. At noon on the following day the corps commander arranged an attack, embracing a part of the First brigade (the Fifteenth and Forty-ninth Ohio), of my division, and a part of the First brigade of the First division. The Fifteenth Ohio dashed gallantly forward, carried the hill which had been lost, and intrenched itself on it under a heavy fire of the enemy; while the Forty-ninth Ohio, moving further to the right, carried and intrenched another position of importance still further in advance. This brilliant success cost the regiments quite heavily; but it was useful in enabling us to swing up our lines to the right, and circumscribing the enemy to a narrower limit of
The remainder of the week was passed in pressing the enemy's outposts on his main lines; affairs which, estimated by their casualties, rose to the dignity of battles.
On the twenty-seventh of June, the Second division of the Fourth corps was ordered to assault the enemy's intrenchments, and two Voz. XI. -Doc. 19
to take up or destroy his pontoon-bridge. Ho had cut it loose from its moorings on the north side, but was unable to cut it loose on the southern side. Being under the guns of our skirmishers, the enemy was not able subsequently to get possession of the bridge.
Although the enemy had been driven across the river in front of the Fourth corps on the fifth of July, he remained strongly intrenched lower down the river, on the north side, in front of other portions of our troops, till Satur day night, July ninth. Yielding that night his tenth intrenched position, the remainder of his force passed to the south side of the river.
Tuesday, July twelfth, my division crossed the river at Pace's Ferry. Having reached the south side of the river, it remained quietly in camp, enjoying much-needed rest, till Sunday, July seventeenth. On that day it performed a critical and dangerous movement, in marching down the river three miles from its supports (with a heavy force of the enemy within two and a half miles of it, having good roads to travel on), to cover the laying down of a bridge and the passage of the Fourteenth corps. Happily the whole operation was a success. Late in tho afternoon the division returned to its camp, three miles up the river.
Monday, July eighteenth, the advance was resumed, and my division encamped for the night with the corps at Buckhead. Tuesday, July nineteenth, I was ordered to make a reconnoissance with two brigades of my division to Peach-tree creek. Taking the First and Third brigades, I pushed rapidly to the creek, driving in the light parties of the enemy. The opposition was inconsiderable, and on approaching the stream it was found the enemy had previously burned the bridge, which must have been a considerable structure. The enemy was
REBELLION RECORD, 1862-65.
found intrenched on the opposite bank of the been left there when they moved out in the
About noon I received an order to force a passage of the stream and secure a lodgement on the southern side. I detailed the Third brigade, Colonel Knefler, for this service. average width of the creek is about thirty The yards, and the average depth about five feet. The crossing was effected in the following manner: One hundred picked men, fifty from the Ninth Kentucky and fifty from the Seventy-ninth Indiana, were selected to go over first and deploy rapidly as skirmishers, to drive back the enemy's skirmishers, seen to be deployed on the opposite bank. The brigade was moved down the stream some distance to a point below the enemy's intrenchments on the opposite bank. At this point a ravine leads down to the creek in such a way as to hide troops moving down it from the view of the opposite shore.
The pioneers of the brigade were each armed with a spade about thirty feet long, to be used as sleepers for the construction of the bridge, and the one hundred picked men each took a rail. Thus provided, these parties moved quietly down the ravine to the water's edge, and quickly threw the bridge over. hundred men passed rapidly over, deployed, The one and drove back the enemy's skirmishers. The brigade followed quickly, deployed, moved to the left, flanked the enemy's intrenchments, forced him out and captured some prisoners. As soon as the Third brigade had got across, the First brigade, higher up the stream, threw over a bridge, crossed, and joined the Third brigade. The two brigades immediately intrenched themselves strongly, and the lodgement was secured. The enemy resisted the crossing with artillery as well as musketry, but our artillery was so disposed as to dominate the enemy's. Owing to the manner in which the stream was crossed, as well as the rapidity with which the whole was accomplished, the casualties were small. Considering that half of the rebel army might have been precipitated on the troops which effected the crossing, and that the passage was made in the presence of a considerable force, it may be truly asserted that no handsomer nor more artistic operation was made during the campaign.
The Second brigade, General Hazen's, was ordered up from Buckhead during the afternoon, and as soon as the lodgement was made on the south bank, the brigade was put to work to construct a permanent bridge. The work was nearly finished by nightfall, and the remainder, by order of Major-General Howard, was turned over to General Newton's division for completion. Leaving General Hazen's brigade to hold for the night the intrenchments constructed by the First and Third brigades, on the south side of Peach-tree creek, I returned to the camp at Buckhead with these two brigades, to get their camp equipage, which had
ordered to follow the First division by a road Monday, July twentieth, my division was crossing the branches of Peach-tree creek above During the day the brigades were deployed, two the junction which forms the principal stream. on the northern side of the main stream, and the Third brigade on the southern side, for the purpose of closing up the gaps, in our general line. Tuesday, July twenty-first, was passed in constructing intrenchments, and in forcing the enemy back into his line of works intermediate between Peach-tree creek and Atlanta.
skirmishing, which fell particularly heavy on the The day was marked by some very sharp Third brigade.
eleventh line of intrenchments, and retired withThursday night the enemy abandoned his in his defensive works around Atlanta. Early on the heels of the retiring enemy. Pressing Friday morning my division was pressing closely closely up to the enemy's main line of works, my division took a strong position in the forenoon of July twenty-second, and intrenched it securely. This position, varied slightly by changes growing out of pressing the enemy more tained till the night of the twenty-fifth of Authoroughly into his defensive works, was maingust. During the whole period sharp skirmishing was kept up on the picket line, and throughout the whole time the division was exposed to a constant fire of shot, shell, and musketry, which bore its fruit in numerous casaulties.
monstrations were made by the division, with During the period, also, many important dethe double purpose of determining the strength and position of the enemy's works and of making a diversion in favor of the movement of the troops. In some of these demonstrations the casualties, for the number of troops engaged, with brilliant captures of the enemy's picket inwere quite severe. Several of them were graced trenchments.
Howard 'relinquished command of the Fourth On the twenty-seventh of July, Major-General corps to assume command of the Army of the Tennessee, rendered vacant by the death of the lamented McPherson. Replete with professional knowledge, patriotic zeal, and soldierly ambition, corps was a happy combination of energy, zeal, General Howard's administration of the Fourth and prudence, of enterprise and sound military views. He came among us personally a stranger, known to us only by his professional reputation. He left us regretted by all, respected as a commander, esteemed as a friend and loved as a comrade in arms.
of the campaign in which General Howard com-
the seventeenth August to the Army of the