support of General Wood. Stanley moved across the north fork and encamped for the night.
July 20, there being a slight conflict of orders received, I visited department headquarters at daylight, and was instructed to push one division on the direct Atlanta road, and to move the other two as directly as possible to the support of General Schofield. General Newton was instructed to relieve the troops of General Wood in his vicinity, and General Wood to close up on General Stanley on the Decatur road. General Stanley commenced the march at 7 a. m., and proceeded to the crossing of the south fork of Peach Tree Creek, followed by General Wood. Here the bridge was found to have been burned. Having pushed over a strong skirmish line, a new bridge was built. At 10 a. m. General Stanley began to cross his column. His skirmishers were already engaged. Communication was had with General Schofield, who was moving on a road about a mile to our left. This road and mine gradually converged toward Atlanta. Soon the enemy fired with shells and canister upon Stanley's advance, and the resistance became obstinate, thus indicating that we were in the presence of a large force. General Stanley drove in the enemy's outposts, and came up in sight of intrenchments, well made and well located, in front of which the usual line of skirmishers was formed. Little was done until near night, except to deploy our lines and make works in close proximity to the enemy's position, General Wood forming to the right of General Stanley. During the afternoon and evening General Stanley had a severe skirmish, driving in portions of the enemy's picket-line and capturing the rest in his front. Newton's division, in accordance with instructions from department headquarters, endeavored to push on toward Atlanta on the direct road. As General Newton was separated from the other two divisions of the corps by an interval of nearly two miles, and as it was difficult, if not impossible,to communicate with him, I directed that he should report for orders to General Thomas. The latter instructed him to wait till the Twentieth Corps had formed a junction with him, and then advance. About 1 p. m. he ordered forward his skirmishers, driving in those of the enemy, securing for himself important ground, and ascertaining that the enemy was near by in strong force, whereupon he located two brigades in line nearly perpendicular to the road, on the right and left, and moved the other up in column for support. Between the two deployed brigades a battery of four guns was placed. General Newton covered his front as rapidly as possible with rough raid barricades. Soon he was severely attacked in front by a division of the enemy. Another division had already pushed back his skirmishers and passed his left flank, thrusting itself between the Pea Vine and Peach Tree Creeks. Immediately after the front attack a third rebel division attacked his right. The general seems to have given his attention first to his left. His artillery not in position in front was located in the rear, and together with some musketry fire from detached regiments, checked and drove back this flanking force into the woods. Next the front attack, which enveloped the left, was handsomely met and the enemy was driven back with loss. The attack upon his right was repulsed by his right brigade, which was obliged to protect its flank by forming a line at right angles to its position. This flank was, however, soon covered by the advance of the Twentieth Corps. A second attempt was