My command remained in the same position as before the action, until I was ordered by you to relieve a part of Wood's division toward our left on the 2nd of July. That night the enemy evacuated their position at Kenesaw Mountain, and on the 3rd the brigade marched with the division through Marietta and bivouacked near the railroad about four miles south of that place. During the day of the 4th of July my command was engaged in hotly skirmishing with the enemy, who retired during the night, and on the 5th the march was continued to Vining's Station, near which place my command was bivouacked between the railroad and the Chattahoochee River. On the 6th the division was moved to a position along the southerly bank of the Rottenwood Creek, where I was bivouacked on the left of the line, and there remained until the 9th; on that day my brigade marched to Roswell Factory, forded the Chattahoochee River, and intrenched in a position on the south side of it, where the command remained until the 11th, when, being relieved by a part of the Sixteenth Army Corps, I was ordered by you to recross the river and bivouacked on the north side. On the 12th the command marched back to the old position on Rottenwood Creek, and on the morning of the 13th again crossed the Chattahoochee River on the pontoon bridges at Powers' Ferry, and went into position about two miles from the river at the forks of the main road, my brigade on the left, and retired from the main line, where it fortified and remained until surprise the morning of the 18th, when the march was commenced toward Atlanta on the Buck Head road. My brigade was bivouacked that night on the left of the road at Buck Head. By your order I detailed the Seventy-fourth Illinois and the Twenty-fourth Wisconsin Infantry Regiments to make a reconnaissance toward Peach Tree Creek on the Decatur road, which movement was made at early dawn the 19th, and developed the fact that the rebel infantry in that vicinity had retired to the south side of Peach Tree Creek.
At 5 p. m. the division marched on the Atlanta road to Peach Tree Creek, and by brigade was halted on the north side of it until 11 p. m., when by your order, I crossed to the south side and took up a position to the right of and supporting General Hazen's brigade, of Wood's division. Early in the morning of the 20th General Hazen's brigade, of Wood's division, was withdrawn the troops being relieved by my brigade and the balance of your division. On the morning of the 20th I was ordered by you to deploy a strong skirmish line and seize the enemy's advance works, well posted on a ridge about 600 yard in our front. In obedience to the order, I sent out the Thirty-sixth, Seventy-fourth, and Eighty-eighth Illinois Regiments, deployed and under the command of Colonel W. W. Barrett, of the Forty-fourth Illinois; these regiments were supported by the Ninety-seventh, Ohio, Colonel Lane, and the Twenty-eighth Kentucky, Major Barth, of the Second Brigade, as a reserve. The skirmish line advanced at noon and quickly drove the rebels from their pits, capturing a number of prisoners. Discovering a ridge about 400 yards farther to the front commanding that just taken, Colonel Barrett pushed forward his line and seized that also without serious opposition, taking prisoner a surgeon and 2 privates, with an ambulance and team. The possession, of this hill proved of the most vital importance in the action which followed. My command was at once moved up to it, the skirmish line relieved by three fresh regiments from my command, the Fifteenth Missouri, Twenty-fourth
20 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT II