War of the Rebellion: Serial 072 Page 0304

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Page 304
THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN

of your division, was moved toward our right until it connected with Butterfield's division, of the Twentieth Army Corps, and at 4 p. m. was advanced to a ridge about 600 yards from the enemy's works, when fortifications were thrown up quickly, under a constant fire from his skirmishers and main lines. From the 5th to the 22nd of June there was heavy rain each day, and the command suffered great hardship, being constantly engaged in skirmishing or fighting with the enemy, bivouacking without tents, and often in wet and unhealthy positions. The brigade remained, skirmishing continually day and night, in the same general position taken on the 21st, until the morning of the 27th, without change, except to advance part of the line in connection with General Harker's on my left, to a point about 450 yards from the enemy's main works. On the 27th, in obedience to your orders, my command was formed in close column by divisions, right in front, to support the Second and Third Brigades in an assault upon the enemy's works. My position was on the left, and retired from that occupied by General Wagner's brigade, at the time the assault commenced. At 9 a. m., General Wagner having advanced to near the enemy's rifle-pits, and then been checked, I was ordered by you to advance my command and take the works, if possible. My column was immediately in motion, advancing with fixed bayonets, Colonel W. W. Barrett, of the Forty-fourth Illinois Infantry, in immediate charge of the right wing, and the Seventy-fourth Illinois Infantry, under command of Lieutenant Colonel James B. Kerr, in the front. The column pushed forward, under a thick undergrowth of brush, to the edge of the woods, within seventy yards of the enemy's abatis, where the Seventy-fourth Illinois deployed and rushed forward. From the time of starting until it reached the edge of the woods, the head of my column was exposed to a most destructive fire of canister from the enemy's batteries, and the Seventy-fourth Illinois, upon debouching from the woods and deploying, was swept away by it and the murderous fire of the enemy's riflemen. Still those of the regiment who did not fall pressed forward and reached the parapet of the enemy's works, when Lieutenant-Colonel Kerr was wounded and captured, with 11 of his brave fellows. At the time the second regiment, the Eighty-eighth Illinois Infantry, was about to deploy, your order to halt and remain where I was reached me. The halt was made, Wagner's brigade was withdrawn, and I was ordered to fall back behind our works, which movement was accomplished without confusion, under a most terrific fire from the enemy. My loss in this action was 194 killed, wounded, and missing, nearly all of whom from the Seventy-fourth, Eighty-eighth, and Forty-fourth Illinois Regiments, and neither of which numbered 160 men. The loss of officers in my command in this action was in remarkable disproportion to that of enlisted men, being one to six. Lieutenant-Colonel Chandler, of the Eighty-eighth Illinois Infantry, a most brave and worthy officer, was killed, and Colonel Miller, Thirty-sixth, Illinois Infantry, and Lieutenant-Colonel Kerr, who was captured, were wounded, and have since died. Many of my dead and wounded were between the enemy's abatis and their works, and were left there until the evening of the 28th, when they were recovered through an arrangement made for that purpose by Major Sabin, of the Forty-fourth Illinois Infantry, my brigade officer of the day, and Lieutenant-Colonel Martin, of Arkansas, the officer of the day for the enemy in our front.



Page 304
THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN