The next day, June 16, two batteries were constructed on our skirmish line. In the one on Stanleys' front a valuable officer, Captain Simonson, General Stanley's chief of artillery, was killed. During the night these two batteries were connected by main lines of intrenchments and our troops moved into them. The position of a part of these lines was such that the enemy's skirmishers had to be pushed back to gain it. The whole line was then in close proximity to the enemy's works.
Doubtless believing that we could carry several points in our front by assault, the enemy determined to withdraw during the night. At any rate my troops entered his abandoned works by daylight on the morning of the 17th. Our skirmish line found that of the enemy about a mile beyond these works, and in such a position as to indicate that he had simply withdrawn his left, without moving his right flank. My lines were formed facing eastward, General Wood on the right, General Newton on the left, General Stanley in reserve, and advanced well covered with skirmishers. The difficulties of the ground were such that the enemy was enabled to resist our progress more than usual. It took until night to drive the enemy's skirmishers across Mud Creek. After dark our skirmishers, having secured a favorable position, thoroughly intrenched it. Twice before daylight the enemy attempted to drive them back, but failed.
June 18, at 6.45 a. m. it was reported to me by one of General Wood's staff officers that the enemy appeared to be leaving, whereupon I directed Generals Newton and Wood to advance a strong line of skirmishers to ascertain whether this report was true. This movement was commenced at once; on Newton's front the enemy seemed taken partially by surprise and was driven from a main line of works. General Harker, perceiving the advantage gained, without waiting for orders, deployed two of his regiments to secure and hold this advanced position. I directed General Newton to move up his entire division in support. General Baird's division, of the Fourteenth Corps, came up very promptly on his left. General Wood having gained the ridge east of Mud Creek, intrenched the position, making a continuous work. General Newton's troops were in such close contact with the enemy that three men were detailed from each company in the front line to keep up a continuous fire to prevent him from opening his artillery or musketry, which, however, in spite of this precaution, was occasionally done. As soon as it was dark Newton's division intrenched strongly within less than 100 yards of the enemy's works. The advantage gained by these movements was great. The line seized was that portion of the old line that jutted out from the new, which was necessary for the enemy to hold in order to prevent a successful assault upon his new position. It had rained hard during the whole day, and Mud Creek was swollen so that horses had to swim it, yet the troops managed to bridge it and cross with infantry and artillery, and secure the important ground before described. General Thomas, as soon as he was apprized of the position of things, directed an assault for the next day, but the enemy again withdrew before morning.
June 19, as soon as I discovered that the enemy had gone, I directed General Stanely, at 6 a. m., to push forward toward Marietta, which he did, followed by the other two divisions. He encountered the enemy's skirmishers near Wallace's house, on the Marietta road, about three-quarters of a mile from Noyes' Creek, beyond which