found between Marietta and the enemy's line. We could only feel our way cautiously forward, using the greatest diligence in reconnaissances. The Army of the Tennessee, forming the left wing, was directed toward Stone Mountain; the Army of the Ohio, in the center, toward Cross Keys and Decatur, and the Army of the Cumberland, on the right, via Buck Head, toward Atlanta. The left wing and the center crossed Nancy's Creek the same day, July 18. The cavalry division of General Garrard, which had been operating on the extreme left, succeeded in reaching the Augusta railroad between Decatur and Stone Mountain. On the next day, July 19, the Twenty-third Army Corps, after a sharp skirmish, occupied Decatur, where it formed a junction with the Army of the Tennessee. The Army of the Ohio then withdrew, and passing to the right camped for the night on Pea Vine Creek. The Army of the Cumberland crossed a small force over Peach Tree Creek, which maintained its footing.
July 20, the Army of the Tennessee advanced along the Augusta railroad to within about three and a half miles of Atlanta, where the enemy was found intrenched. The Army of the Ohio moved along the road leading from Judge Peyton's to Atlanta, and soon encountered the enemy intrenched. The Army of the Cumberland crossed peach Tree Creek at several points, and the left of it (Fourth Corps), connecting with the Army of the Ohio, met the same obstacle. The Fourteenth Corps, on the extreme right, moving on the Howell's Mill road, joined the Twentieth Corps on its left, and this, in turn, joined Newton's division, of the Fourth Corps, which was moving on the Collier's Mill road. There was no communication on the south side of Peach Tree Creek between Newton's and the other divisions of the Fourth Corps. This was the status when two rebel corps moving down the Howell's Mill road and Collier's Mill road attacked the Twentieth Corps, together with the left division of the Fourteenth Corps and Newton's division. After a severe engagement, lasting until dark, the enemy was repulsed at all points. The result was to firmly establish our position on the south bank of Peach Tree Creek, having overcome two of the tree obstacles already referred to as between us and Atlanta.
July 21, we steadily pressed forward along our whole line, developing the enemy in his intrenchments, extending from a point about a mile south of the Augusta railroad around the north side of the city to the Chattanooga railroad. This line was well built, and capable of a tolerably good defense. It consisted of a system of open batteries for artillery connected by the usual infantry parapet, with all the accessories of abatis, chevaux-de-frise, &c. But it was evidently not the main line upon which the enemy relied for his final defense.
July 22, the enemy evacuated the line referred to above during the night of the 21st, and we pressed forward on all the road until the enemy was again found behind intrenchments. Reconnaissances proved that these were finally the main lines of defensive works covering Atlanta. They completely encircled the city at a distance of about one and a half miles from the center and consisted of a system of batteries open to the rear and connected by infantry parapet, with complete abatis, in some places in three and four rows, with rows of pointed stakes, and long lines of chevaux-de-frise. In many places rows of palisading were planted along the foot of the exterior slope of the infantry parapet with sufficient opening be-