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three well-aimed volleys from the Fifty-eighth North Carolina, assisted by a cross fire from the Fifty-fourth Virginia on the one wing, and the Sixty-third on the other, routed the seventh

fury and determination possible. Stewart had already repulsed him three times, and Stevenson five. A fourth time the enemy essayed to carry Stewart's line of battle, and were repulsed with fearful loss. The carnage here was dread-attacking column of the enemy. They also ful, for the gallant men of Clayton's brigade withheld their fire until the enemy had approached close to them, when they poured in a terrible volley, breaking them, and forcing their massed columns to retire to their lines, badly scattered.

retired to their ridge, and for a few moments only their sharpshooters could be seen, their main body being, no doubt, engaged in re-forming their broken columns.

According to the order, General Stewart advanced to the enemy, but unfortunately obliqued I said that the enemy evinced neither the too much to the right, and destroyed all connecdesire nor intention to abandon his efforts, and tion with General Reynolds. He attacked the so it was, for within half an hour after his fifth enemy and drove him from his front until he attack and repulse, three lines of battle, closely reached his line of battle, when fresh troops massed, were seen forming in front of that por-reinforced the Yankees; they rallied, and making tion of the line held by the Fifty-eighth North a stand, opened fire on our men. No sooner Carolina. As I looked over the works, a feeling had they fired the first volley, than one of the of mingled fear and anxiety pervaded me, that brigades of Stewart's division broke, compelling if they succeeded in forcing the line, our army the others to fall back, which they did in good would then be cut to pieces, and overwhelmed order, although pressed by the enemy, and with disaster and disgrace. There was not regained their works without losing very much time for reflection, however, for very soon heavily. In this charge General Clayton's bria voice on the right of the regiment exclaimed, gade distinguished itself above the balance of "They are coming!" and the first column was the division by its fine conduct. Although seen to advance. "Withhold your fire until they these men were subjected to a fearful fire from come close to you, and then aim low," ordered four lines of battle of Yankees, they received it the officers. On came the enemy, cheering with praiseworthy firmness, and succeeded in loudly, and confident that their superior num-driving the enemy from their front, and rebers would insure them success. They approached to within fifty yards of the line firing rapidly on our men-a sheet of fire, one deafening roar which sounded like the eruption of a volcano was the answer, and the dead and wounded lie piled up before our works. This was more than human endurance could command, and bewildered by the fierceness of our fire they scattered throughout the woods, and reached their line, our sharpshooters killing and wounding them by dozens in their rout down the ridge.

This was the severest charge of the day. The Yankees advanced well and with spirit, but were forced to succumb to the fierce fire of our troops. To describe the scene would be almost an impossibility, for it beggars description. The Minié balls of the Yankees poured over our line in an unceasing stream, and in such numbers that the air seemed black with them. The sharp and musical whiz they emit was no longer heard; it was an angry and discordant imitation of a peal of thunder rolling along the clouds, while the booming of the artillery and the bursting of the shells as they came flying over our lines, formed a fire, unequalled, perhaps, since nations first made war upon each other. But one thing saved us from a fearful loss of life, and it was that the Yankees fired entirely too high.

The sixth column was repulsed only a few minutes, when the remaining two columns of Yankees marched forward with the hope of reaching our line before our men could fire more than one volley. But their charge was not made with the same firmness which characterized that of the preceding one, and two or

gained the works in safety. Baker's brigade, aided by Gibson, also behaved splendidly, and distinguished themselves by their brave conduct; in fact, covered themselves with glory.

It was now past six o'clock in the evening, but though night was fast approaching, the enemy exhibited no, disposition to cease from his. fruitless efforts to carry the right of General Stevenson's line, and was determined to endeavor to turn his left wing and force him on his right. Accordingly, General Stewart was ordered to leave his works and drive the enemy from his front, sweeping towards his centre, while Reynolds' brigade of Stevenson's division was ordered to advance at the same time, for the purpose of forming a pivot to General Stewart, and changing the line of battle ob liquely to the left, thus flanking the enemy, and giving General Hardee an opportunity to advance and cut the enemy off from Snake Creek Gap, while Hood cut him off from the Dalton road.

While Stewart was making his movement a peremptory order reached General Reynolds for him to advance his command as a pivot. The General opposed the movement unless General Stewart's left wing formed a junction with his right, but upon the order being repeated in a more peremptory manner, the Fifty-fourth Virginia regiment was ordered to advance from their line of works and carry the ridge before them, while the other regiments were directed to be ready to move at a moment's notice for the purpose of making the pivot complete and thus performing the work allotted to them. The Fifty-fourth leaped over the works, and

with their gallant Colonel, Robert Trigg, and Lieutenant-Colonel John J. Wade, in front, moved forward. At this moment the enemy was about to make another charge, and were pouring a heavy fire over our works, compelling the regiment to advance under a galling fire. It, however, disregarded the storm of shot and shell poured upon it, and drove the charging column of Yankees through the woods until it reached the open field, when, to the astonishment of the Colonel, it was discovered that Stewart's division was not in sight, and consequently there was no connection with the regiment.

This was most unfortunate, for the enemy perceiving the regiment "solitary and alone" in the open field, commenced pouring a galling fire into their ranks; but nothing daunted by this, Colonels Trigg and Wade, waving their swords, gave the order to charge. On the men marched, until they were not five paces from the enemy's line, when four distinct lines of battle, extending as far as the eye could reach, were seen by this command, and numbered over eight thousand men. The Adjutant of the regiment, with pistol in hand, rushed forward and seized the Yankee colors, and fired into their ranks, when a bullet pierced his brain, and he fell dead across the enemy's works. His name was Hammet, and a braver and nobler man never sacrificed his life on the altar of his country.

Colonel Trigg perceiving that his men were falling fast from an enfilade fire, as well as a fire in front, and observing them giving way in disorder, rallied them under a heavy fire, and in pretty good order brought them back to our lines, when it was discovered that in less than five minutes he had lost over a hundred men out of four hundred and fifty he had led to the charge. His conduct, and that of LieutenantColonel Wade, is deserving of the greatest praise; and I do not flatter when I assert, from my personal experience, being an eye-witness to their behavior, that braver and more gallant officers never existed than Colonel Trigg and his Lieutenant-Colonel.

made, and would, I feel certain, have displayed their usual courage had the Yankees charged their line...

Our total loss in this engagement could not have exceeded two thousand, while that of the Yankees is estimated at nothing less than six thousand, while there are many prominent officers who believe it to reach double that number. One thing is certain, that they were slaughtered by hundreds at every charge, and must have suffered severely.

At ten o'clock last night our entire army left the works and proceeded to cross the Oostenaula River. Before the rear had proceeded a mile from the works, a sharp fire was opened between our pickets and those of the enemy, ours being driven in. The enemy must then have advanced their column for a night attack, as they opened a terrific fire of musketry on the vacated lines, cheering vociferously at the same time. Our men were then marched rapidly forward through Stewart's division, which had formed in line of battle across the railroad for the purpose of covering the retreat, which was not occasioned from any foar that the Yankees would be able to carry our line of works, as the army felt confident of holding its position an indefinite period of time, but because our stand at Oostenaula River was only to protect the withdrawal of our large wagon trains.

The Yankees followed our army closely, and pressed us all the day, but Stewart's division has kept him at bay so far. This evening there was sharp firing on our right, but I have not learned what it was caused from.

Our present position is around Calhoun, but the chances are that we will continue our retreat to Adairsville to-morrow. We may fight here, but I do not think it likely. In the meanwhile the Yankees are reported to be massing heavy columns on our left with the view of flanking us. Let them continue; it cannot last forever.

I am glad to say that the wound of Captain W. H. Claiborne is not as severe as was first supposed, and that it is mending rapidly. I trust that the gallant Captain will soon be able to return to duty as Inspector-General of Reynolds' brigade, for his services are very valuable.

Captain Wise, of General Stevenson's staff, was wounded yesterday, while accompanying the Fifty-fourth Virginia in its charge on the enemy. His wound is very painful, but not severe, as the ball injured no bones whatever. He is a nephew of Governor Wise of Virginia, and is a really brave officer.

This engagement was emphatically that of Generals Stevenson's and Stewart's divisions, for although Hindman was engaged, the part borne by the division was insignificant compared with that of the other two. The two Major-Generals behaved with the utmost coolness during the engagement, and proved themselves to be able officers. Generals Brown, Reynolds, Clayton, Baker, Gibson, and Stovall, exhibited the greatest amount of heroism, but were, perhaps, a little too careless of their persons, and exposed themselves without any actual need. General Pettus, although his brigade was not engaged, In my last letter I omitted to mention a gal distinguished himself by the manner he encour-lant son of Georgia. I allude to Captain Jossie, aged the troops in the works. General Cumming's brigade of Georgians, on the left of Stevenson's division, were not charged, and had no opportunity of giving the Yankees a lesson in defence of their State. They were, however, ready for any attempt the enemy may have

of Macon. This officer behaved with great he roism in the battle of Saturday, and received the thanks and compliments of our General. The Captain is, I regret to state, sick at present, but I trust he will soon recover

The army is still, in fine spirits, retains un.

bounded confidence in General Johnston, and is eager to meet the enemy. The Confederacy may depend upon the Army of Tennessee.


May 28, 1864

had supposed. Skirmishing immediately began, the Second division driving the enemy steadily from their first line of "works about two miles, entirely unsupported. About five o'clock they came upon a stronger line, and, being fatigued, they were relieved by the Third and First divisions (Generals Butterfield and Geary commanding). The Third divided, a brigade and a regiThe movements of this army have already ment going to the left, and the remainder to the been chronicled up to and through the battle of right, and the First taking the place of the SecResacca, and the precipitate retreat of the rebels ond. After a short time the Second was brought through Kingston and Cassville, upon Etowah up at an angle upon the right, and took part in River, and Allatoona Gap. At the two former the remainder of the engagement. Advancing places they offered a slight opposition to our steadily under a fire of musketry, which those advance, which was quickly swept away, and who witnessed it declare they have seldom seen the pursuit continued to Cassville. Here the equalled in severity, they proceeded to within army halted two days to recruit after its late forty yards of a concealed battery, planted by battles and marches, and then its indefatigable sections, which opened upon them a sudden and leader gave orders to take twenty days' rations murderous discharge of grape and canister. and set out on a march, supposed to be a flank One company of the Fifth Ohio approached as movement upon Atlanta. The right of the army pear to suffering absolute annihilation as, perwent by the way of Rome, the centre crossed haps, is ever witnessed. A withering volley of the Etowah at Gillum's bridge, about twelve grape from the battery prostrated upon the miles west of the railroad, while the left pro- ground nearly the entire company, every man ceeded by parallel (?) roads at supporting dis- and file-closer in his place and his face to the tance from the centre. Why the enemy did not front, with almost the regularity of a skirmish anticipate our crossing the river below, and line. The rebel firing was rapid and terrific. attempt to forestall it, is not clearly shown. At this point the gallant Colonel of the Fifth, They did think of it, but too late. After the J. H. Patrick, fell mortally wounded, at the army had safely crossed at Gillum's bridge, a head of his regiment, and expired in a few min. rebel bearer of despatches was captured, with utes. He was struck on the leg by a shell, and an order from Johnston to his cavalry leader to died before an amputation could be performed. intercept us at the bridge, as we would prob- The First division suffered severely, losing near ably attempt to cross it. General Thomas at nine hundred men. Some companies of the once clad one of his spies in rebel uniform, in- Second division fired sixty rounds, and the structed our pickets to fire at him (over his division, as a whole, maintained its position head, of course), and sent him through the lines against the entire rebel corps for some time, with a despatch to Joe Johnston that he (Tay- and till others could be brought to its assistlor) had done so with a loss to us of two thou-ance. The heavy losses of the First division sand or so, and many prisoners. It was a cruel joke upon the rebel, and procured for the spy, besides, access to valuable information from pretty high rebel sources. The army then marched quietly on towards Dallas.

May 25.

The day passed off without incident or note, till about five o'clock in the afternoon, when the sound of a brisk cannonade in the advance discovered a fight in progress. It proved to be General Hooker's corps, which had held the advance on the march, engaged with the rebel General Hood's corps. Early in the forenoon, while the General and his staff were inspecting the bridge over Pumpkin Vine Creek, about half way between Burnt Hickory and Dallas, he was fired upon by a cavalry picket, which then immediately fled. After proceeding two or three miles beyond the bridge, boldly in front of his entire force, his escort became engaged with a small body calling themselves the Louisiana Sharpshooters, and killed their Major and a few men. At noon the Second division (General Williams), which was leading the way, discovered that they had a considerable body of infanbefore them, instead of the few cavalry they

were occasioned by the destructive fire of the central battery, and it is worthy of the greatest praise for the undaunted steadiness with which it bore the fierce fire of the rebel battery, until it was disabled by the loss of all its horses, and many of its gunners, from the close volleys which were poured into it. The One Hundred and Second Illinois, armed with the Spencer rifle, claims the honor of reducing it to silence, though it was most efficiently assisted by others to the right or left. The enemy were driven entirely away from the pieces, yet we could not take them, owing to the proximity of their lines; and thus they remained on neutral ground, claimed by neither, and useless to both. The Sixtieth Illinois played a prominent part in unmanning and unhorsing another section of the battery in the same manner. Their sharpshooters picked off forty of its gunners, who had the temerity to elevate their heads above the breastworks.

But to enumerate the instances of individual heroism and good conduct in this brilliant episode, would be to introduce the name and history of every man and company and regiment in the Twentieth corps. A narrative with so many chapters is impossible. I asked repeat

edly for special instances of daring and merit, but could find none, so admirable was the behavior of all alike. It was a special pleasure of the officers to speak of the magnificent enthusiasm with which the men "went in," and the steadiness they exhibited under the galling fire which met them. General Thomas publicly declared that he had not at any time seen men bear themselves more bravely than these. Let this verdict suffice for every one who is anxious for the good name of the Twentieth corps.

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either way all day, and two or three batteries were planted on a commanding ridge of ground, which failed to elicit any reply from the other side, besides an occasional angry shell. The rebels were chary of their powder, saving it for sterner uses, and anxious to conceal their pieces that they might again employ them at a range of their own choosing, as on the day before. They were very quiet, and concealed themselves in the thick undergrowth to such an extent that our gunners must fire pretty much at random, and seek to discover their whereabouts. Evidently they had not completed their preparations, had not yet received all the reinforcements they expected, and felt that they could afford to bide their time while their skirmishers were harassing ours, and their silence was emptying our caissons to no purpose, till every

Few prisoners were taken on either side. The loss on our side was probably greater than that of the enemy, amounting to about one thousand five hundred killed, wounded, and missing. The substantial fruits of the day's work are a gain of two miles of ground, giving us a favorable position, two pieces of artillery, and a better arrangement of the line for subsequent opera-thing was well ready. Some prisoners brought in


The fighting was conducted by General Hooker on his favorite plan, and with his wonted dash and audacity. At one time the Second division was exposed alone to the attack of the whole rebel force; but the General, who was, as always, at every right place at the right time, instead of halting for assistance to arrive, or falling back, which would have insured an attack and rout, dashed the division headlong against the rebels, and, what with the belief this inspired in them of a larger force, and the stun and panic of the shock, drove them before him at will. Supreme daring in this case was supreme safety. The General's peculiar and admirable tactics were here clearly shown. Forming the men in several lines of battle, he pushes them rapidly on by a continual sort of a revolution. As the front line becomes exhausted, it is halted, and the extreme rear is hurried to the front, which is thus kept constantly fresh.

in the evening, and examined rigorously and apart, disclosed the fact that they had received reinforcements from Florida, and now claimed an effective strength of seventy thousand. As their stories agreed, it was concluded that reinforcements had probably arrived, but not in such numbers as represented. It was accordingly expected that the next day would see a general engagement; but either they or we were not even yet ready. The skirmishing was sharp and continuous, but neither party seemed to advance or retreat. A few of the rebel rifle-pits were carried, and in the evening the lines got afoul of each other, and a small squad of prisoners was brought in. The undergrowth, which covers the whole face of the ground, prevents the lines from seeing each other till very close, consequently many of the wounds are very severe. About a hundred may be set down as the day's losses along a front of three miles.

May 27.

Night put an end to the firing, but all night trains and ambulances and artillery were rum- The expectations of the day before were not bling to and fro, troops were marching into line, destined to be realized, for operations on both and everything gave promise of stern work sides were confined to a desultory artillery on the morrow. But it did not come. The practice, fortifying and manoeuvring into better woods were thick, the fortifications had all to positions. McPherson was expected to have be built, the lines of troops were immensely closed up the gap on the right, and his failure, long, winding off to the left and right into for some reason, to do so, postponed still further their places, and so the whole of May twenty-six an active work of any magnitude. A general passed away, and nothing was accomplished attack was to have been made early in the day, save getting into position. But this was much, but with the whole right wing floating loose far more than one who has not seen it with his and detached, it was utterly impossible. Genown eyes can believe. A continuous front of eral Jeff. C. Davis' division of the Fourteenth many miles in extent, in dense forests, over corps, however, occupied Dallas, and, late in the creeks and hills and valleys, with only a few evening, intelligence arrived that McPherson rugged and narrow parallel roads, out of which had reported himself on Davis' right, and that to deliver the huge masses of men and guns, is the latter had "side stepped" to the left, so as to not the creation of an hour, nor of a day. But fill up the gap intervening between himself and during the night a part of the Fourth corps had the Twentieth corps. On the right, then, all come up and gone in to the left, and in the morn- was as it should be. On the left, also, connecing Gibson's brigade (Willich's old) was thrown tion was made between Schofield and the three out as skirmishers. During the day, the Twen- infantry divisions under Elliott, commanded by ty-third and part of the Fourteenth corps ad- Murray (Kilpatrick's division), Garrard, and Ed. vanced to the extreme left, but General McPher-McCook, General McCook connecting with the son failed to come up on the right, as was ex- infantry. General Stoneman had an independent pected. Scattering shots of musketry flew command, also, on the immediate left. At day

light the monotonous popping of musketry and occasional bellowing of artillery opened again, to continue the whole of another stale day of skirmishing.

Early in the forenoon the monotony was sadly broken by the death of Major J. B. Hampson, of the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Ohio, and Aid to General Wood. He was struck in the left shoulder by a musket ball, which broke the spine, and ended his life in a few hours. He was a general favorite, and his death produced unfeigned sadness among a wide circle of friends.

The play of the artillery was, for the most part, necessarily aimless, and consequently harmless. One gunner, however, by the felling of trees, at last discovered an inviting target, and succeeded in throwing into it a couple of shells, * most handsomely. A house was discovered about two miles distant, in the yard of which the rebels had planted a battery, and whose tall red chimney stood out among the trees too temptingly to be refused. A piece was trained on it, and the first shell went home without bursting, and left no indications except its effects. These were sufficiently obvious. Immediately a prodigious flutter was visible about the premises, men vigorously running away among the trees, and most ludicrous and yet most cruel of all, a woman, in white, fleeing out of the house in the greatest apparent terror. The gun was held a little to the left and a second shell lodged directly in the yard, bursting immediately above the surface of the ground, in a position to do the utmost possible slashing among the rebel gunners, if any were there. Two more accurate deliveries, at that distance, are seldom seen.

Early in the afternoon long lines of dust were seen about four miles away to the rear and left, rising over the tops of the trees, and about five o'clock we received a conclusive and stunning explanation of their import. It was simply a rapid concentration to strike our extreme left, which was still weak and unsteady, from its having been continually shoved out in that direction, and from the distance and the roughness of the way over which supporting artillery must pass. The rebels had evidently discovered this state of affairs, and meant to thrust a heavy column in between Schofield and the cavalry before these could be united in a strong line. They were at their old work. Fortunately the game was detected and our combinations made in time to save the line, but not a minute to spare. The blow was parried, but we staggered under it. Wood's division of the Fourth corps had been relieved from line of battle on Schofield's right in the forenoon by the division of General Stanley, and had rested but a short time when it was hurried over to the point of danger. The ground was very rough and the bushes almost impenetrable, but boldness was here again the safe policy and the division was soon engaged. The ground on which it must fight was peculiarly bad. Two parallel ridges hemmed in its flanks, and directly in front was

another, on all of which the rebels had guns which delivered at once a direct, enfilading, and cross fire. Their volleys were quick and terrible as cross-lightning; grape, canister, shell, and round shot pouring in all at once, and musket balls flying thick as hail. Out of Wood's division, and Scribner's brigade of Johnson's division, which was supporting on the left, four hundred men fell in thirty minutes, when darkness happily intervened. Our lines had held their own stubbornly in the face of this terrible slaughter, but by ten in the evening were drawn back so that they could be supported by batteries which had in the meantime been planted. Here lay four hundred wounded and dead men in need of immediate care, and the ambulances and stretchers were three miles away, and the road between was very bad. Despite the best endeavors of Captain Tousley, Chief of Ambulance corps, who ordered up the whole corps at once, nearly a hundred men lay on the field all night. Those who could dragged themselves wearily along, with the aid of comrades, to the hospital. This number of wounded and killed were found on the field, and others may have been left in the retreat. Among the missing is Colonel Payne, of the One Hundred and Twentyfourth Ohio, who is either a prisoner or killed, and fallen into the hands of the rebels. Another painful loss was that of Captain Harry Stinson, of General Howard's staff, who was shot early in the day through the lungs, and will not probably survive. He is but twenty years of age, and had just been appointed Major by the General, though not yet commissioned. The General himself exposed his person recklessly, and came sufficiently near being a one-legged, as he is already a one-armed veteran. A ragged piece of shell contused his foot severely while he was riding coolly outside the skirmish line, and another piece slightly bruised his forehead. The General's remark that he has already made sufficient sacrifices to the rebels, and must, therefore, be entitled to immunity at their hands, would weigh lightly with the bloody-minded traitors, if any opportunity against him should be presented, and will lack much of dispelling the anxiety of his friends.

The heaviest sufferers by the evening's attack was, probably, Hazen's brigade. Forming the centre of the attacking column, and driving upon the foe in the form of a wedge, it courted the enemy's fiercest, and, as it came, braced itself up stoutly against it, and stood.

Here again the conduct of the troops was all that could be desired. Though melting fast, under the double fire of cannon and musketry, and unsupported by artillery, they remained steadfast. They load and fire until the ammunition is nearly gone, and when there are no more cartridges in the boxes, they stand fast till more is brought. The glorious earnestness of American citizens contending in a just cause is nowhere more nobly evinced than here to-day in the army of General Sherman. The patience, too, with which the men bear wounds and


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