War of the Rebellion: Serial 072 Page 0074 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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in check the enemy's right, and punished him severely, capturing many prisoners. General Giles A. Smith had gradually given up the extremity of his line and formed a new one, whose right connected with General Leggett and his left refused, facing southeast. On this ground and in this order the men fought well and desperately for near four hours, checking an d repulsing all the enemy's attacks. The execution on the enemy's ranks at the angle was terrible, land great credit is due both Generals Leggett and Giles A. Smith and their men for their hard and stubborn fighting. The enemy made no farther progress on that flank, and by 4 p. m. had almost given up the attempt.

In the mean time Wheeler's cavalry, unopposed (for General Garrard was absent at Covington by my order), had reached Decatur and attempted to capture the wagon trains, but Colonel (now General) Sprague covered them with great skill and success, sending them to the rear of Generals Schofield and Thomas, and not drawing back from Decatur until every wagon was safe, except three, which the teamsters had left, carrying off the mules. On our extreme left the enemy had taken a complete battery of 6 guns with its horses(Murray's) of the regular army as it was moving along unsupported and unapprehensive of danger in a narrow wooded road in that unguarded space between the head of General Dodge's column and the line of battle on the ridge above, but most of the men escaped to the bushes; he also got 2 other guns on the extreme let flank that were left on the ground as General Giles A. Smith drew off his men in the manner heretofore described.

About 4 p. m. there wass quite a lull, during which the enemy felt forward on the railroad and main Decatur road, and suddenly assailed a regiment which, with a section of guns, had been thrown forward as a kind of picket, and captured the 2 guns. He then advanced rapidly and broke through our lines at this point, which had been materially weakened by the withdrawal of Colonel Martin's brigade sent by General Logan's order to the extreme left. The other brigade, General Lightburn's, which held this part of the line, fell back in some disorder about 4300 yards to a position held by it the night before, leaving the enemy for a time in possession of two batteries, one of which, a 20- pounder Parrott battery of four guns, was most valuable to us, and separating General Woods' and General Harrow's divisions, of the Fifteenth Corps, that were on the right and left of the railroad. Being in person close by the spot, and appreciating the vast importance of the connection at that point, I ordered certain batteries of General Schofield's to be moved to a position somewhat commanding it by a left- flank, fire, and ordered an incessant fire of shells on the enemy within sight and the woods beyond to prevent his re- enforcing. I also sent orders to General Logan, which he had already anticipated, to make the Fifteenth Corps regain its lost ground at any cost, and instructed General Woods, supported by General Schofield, to use his division and sweep the parapet down from where he held it until he saved the batteries and regained the lost ground. The whole was executed in superb style, at times our men and the enemy fighting across the narrow parapet; but at last the enemy gave way, and the Fifteenth Corps regained its position a d all the guns,excepting the two advanced ones, which were out of view and had been removed by the enemy within his main works.