During the 21st we improved our line, skirmishing with the rebels all day. Captain Snodgrass, Fortieth Ohio, was killed. The enemy evacuated his line during the night, and early in the morning, Colonel Grose's brigade leading, we followed and soon came upon the enemy again in force in their intrenchments of Atlanta. The entire division was deployed, and advanced under a very annoying artillery fire to the nearest point we could occupy without driving the enemy from his lines, and breast-works were thrown up to shelter the men from the enemy's shells. This same day the rebels attacked the Army of the Tennessee heavily upon the left, but made no demonstration upon our position.
From this until the night of the 26th the division was engaged in strengthening our position and especially in constructing a strong abatis, as it was probable that the division would be required to hold a very long line, in consequence of the withdrawal of troops toward our right. On the 26th Colonels Taylor's and Kirby's brigades were sent to occupy the reverse line, to the left of the Twenty-third Army Corps. On the same evening the command of the Fourth Army Corps was transferred to me, and my connection with the First Division as commander ceased.
I have thus imperfectly traced out the marches, fights, and labors of the division. It would be difficult to give a description which would adequately show the services rendered for nearly three months. But few days had passed that every man of the division was not under fire, both of artillery and musketry. No one could say any hour that he would be living the next. Men were killed in their camps, at their meals, and several cases happened of men struck by musket-balls in their sleep, and passing at once from sleep into eternity. So many men were daily struck in the camp and trenches that men became utterly reckless, passing about where balls were striking as though it was their normal life, and making a joke of a narrow escape, or a noisy whistling ball.
We lost many valuable officers. Colonel Price, Twenty-first Kentucky, Colonel Champion and Lieutenant-Colonel, Smith, Ninety-sixth Illinois, were all severely wounded in the fight of Whitaker's brigade on the 20th of June. Major Dufficy, Thirty-fifth Indiana, a gallant and daring officer, was mortally wounded, and Lieutenant-Colonel Watson, Fortieth Ohio, captured in the same affair. Lieutenant-Colonel Neff, Thirty-first Indiana, a most excellent officer, was killed by one of those chance bullets so destructive to us during our occupation of the trenches in front of Kenesaw Mountain.
TO mention all the officers deserving of special notice for zeal and good conduct in this long and arduous campaign, would require the naming of the great majority of the officers of the division.
Colonel William Grose, Thirty-sixth Indiana Volunteers, since promoted to brigadier-general, was particularly distinguished for constant activity and zeal in carrying out all the measures adopted for pushing the enemy. Colonel Kirby, One hundred and first Ohio, most energetic and efficient commander. He succeeded General Cruft in the command of the brigade after the battle of New Hope Church.
General W. C. Whitaker very ably managed his brigade, and deserves well of the Government. He was compelled to leave, from sickness, after the assault of Kenesaw Mountain. The brigade (the Second) has since been well managed by Colonel J. E. Taylor, For-