Report of Brigadier General Nathan Kimball, U. S. Army, commanding First Division, of operations August 4-September 8.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, FOURTH ARMY CORPS, Atlanta, Ga., September 15, 1864.
SIR: In obedience to Special Field Orders, No, 212, extract VII, dated headquarters Department of the Cumberland, August 3, 1864, I assumed command of this division on the day following that on which the order was issued, the division being then in position near the Howard house, about two miles northeasterly from Atlanta, on the left of the corps.
Not having yet received the reports of the brigade commanders, I have not sufficient data from which to compile a history of the division during this campaign previous to that date, and shall, therefore, in this report speak only of its actions since I became its commander. On the 5th I was ordered by you to make a reconnaissance, which I did, demonstrating mean time with my whole picket-line, but did not succeeded in developing any new facts in relation to the enemy's position. On the morning of the 6th the enemy appeared very active in my front and to my left of my picket-line, at the same time shelling my main line from his forts and batteries, within easy range, but this movement was repulsed without harm to the division by either the enemy's skirmishers or artillery. During the day a demonstration was made by us upon his picket, but no tangible benefits resulted from it.
From the 7th to the 12th the division remained quietly in its position, skirmishing with and watching the enemy without any incident of note, except that at 10 a. m,. the 9th, fifty rounds were fired into Atlanta form each of the batteries in my line. The First Brigade, Colonel Opdycke, of the Second Division, General Newton, being in position on my left, and separated from its division, had been ordered to report to me for orders, and on the 12th was sent out to develop the enemy's lines toward our extreme left, and found the enemy's pickets posted and watchful, as far as he went in that direction. Some sharp skirmishing took place, and Colonel Opdycke returned to his old position with his brigade, with the loss of 1 man killed.
During the night of the 12th and before day the 13th the enemy was unusually active in my front, and at daybreak it was discovered that as many as three new regiments had been added to his lines in that quarter, and placed in position. During the day two regiments of troops form Wood's division reported to me for duty, and were posted on our extreme left, beyond the position occupied by the cavalry. On the 15th General Garrard, with the cavalry, was withdrawn from the line, and left is necessary for me to picket with my command my front and our left flank. Nothing of importance occurred until the 18th, when, by your order, a strong demonstration was made by me at an early hour in the morning. The enemy answered with artillery, doing, however, no damage. The Twenty-first Illinois Infantry, of the First Brigade (Colonel Kirby), lost 5 men captured on the skirmish line. Nothing new was developed in relation to the enemy. On the morning of the 19th I was ordered by him to make a reconnaissance down the Augusta road