On the 27th of June the two assaults were made at the time and in the manner prescribed and both failed, costing us many valuable lines, among them those of Generals Harker and McCook, Colonel Rice and others badly wounded, our aggregate loss being nearly 3,000, while we inflicted comparatively little loss to the enemy, who lay behind his well- formed breast- works. Failure as it was, and for which I assume the entire responsibility, I yet claim it produced good fruits, as it demonstrated to General Johnston that I would assault and that boldly. And we also gained and held ground so close to the enemy's parapets that he could not show a head above them. It would not do to rest long under the influence of a mistake or failure, and accordingly General Schofield was working strong on the enemy's left, and on the 1st of July I ordered General McPherson to be relieved by General Garrard's cavalry in front of Kenesaw, and rapidly to throw his whole army by the right down to and threaten Nickajack Creek and Turner's Ferry, across the Chattahoochee, and I also pushed General Stoneman's cavalry to the river below Turner's.
General McPherson commenced his movement the night of July 2, and the effect was instantaneous. The next morning Kenesaw was abandoned, and with the first dawn of day I saw our skirmishers appear on the mountain top. General Thomas' whole line was then moved forward to the railroad and turned south in pursuit toward the Chattahoochee. In person I entered Marietta at 8.30 in the morning, just as the enemy's cavalry vacated the place. General Logan's corps, of General McPherson's army, which had not moved far, was ordered back into Marietta by the main road, and Generals McPherson and Schofield were instructed to cross Nickajack and attack the enemy in flank and rear, and if possible to catch him in the confusion of crossing the Chattahoochee. But Johnston had foreseen and provided against all this, and had covered his movement well. He had intrenched a strong tete- de- pont at the Chattahoochee, with an advanced intrenched line across the road at Smyrna Camp- Meeting his front covered by a good parapet and his flanks behind the Nickajack and Rottenwood Creeks. Ordering a garrison for Marietta and General Logan to join his own army near the mouth of Nickajack, I overtook General Thomas at Smyrna.
On the 4th of July we pushed a strong skirmish line down the main road, capturing the entire line of the enemy's pits, and made strong demonstrations along Nickajack Creek and about Turner's Ferry. This had the desired effect, and the next morning the enemy was gone and the army moved to the Chattahoochee. General Thomas' left flank resting on it near Pace's Ferry, General McPherson's right at the mouth of Nickajack, and General Schofield in reserve. The enemy lay behind a line of unusual strength, covering the railroad and pontoon bridges and beyond the Chattahoochee.
Heavy skirmishing along our whole front during the 5th demonstrated the strength of the enemy's position, which could alone be turned by crossing the main Chattahoochee River, a rapid and deep stream, only passable at that stage by means of bridges, except at one or two very difficult fords To accomplish this result I judged it would be more easy of execution before the enemy had made more through preparation or regained full confidence, and accordingly I ordered General Schofield across from his position on the Sandtown road to Smyrna Camp Ground and next to the Chattahoochee,