protect my flank until General Bradley came up. The Forty-fourth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Russell, and the Twenty-fourth Wisconsin, Major MacArthur, formed the first line, the Forty-fourth on the right. The Eighty-eighth Illinois, Major-Smith, and the Thirty-sixth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Olson, formed the second line, the Eighty-eighth on the right. The Fifteenth Missouri, Colonel Conrad, was opposite the interval between the regiments of the second line. Each line was about 300 yards in rear of the one in front of it, all facing east. I then moved forward by the right of companies and soon came up with the Second Brigade in a dense growth of small pines, and it was very difficult to ride through it; but the troops, to my astonishment and admiration, came out of it and into complete order in a large field, the far side of which was lined by another woods. The enemy occupied this place in too strong a force for the skirmishers to dislodge them. I then ordered the first line to charge and take the woods. They responded gallantly, and soon were sole possessors of the position. This thicket was narrow, and then came another large field and woods beyond, which gave cover to the enemy. It was quite dark, but the men were keen to push on. I ordered the Fifteenth Missouri, Colonel Conrad, to deploy as a heavy skirmish line and rush across this field and drive the enemy from his position. The colonel displayed high qualities as a brave officer, but I had to send forward the first line to charge before the work was accomplished. This was done to my entire satisfaction, and the second line occupied the position just left by the first, and threw up rail barricades. My skirmish line advanced and passed a rebel hospital, in which was a number of their wounded, and it was too dark for further operations. It was so dark that about 13 of my skirmishers got detached from the line and were taken by the enemy.
A much lager number of theirs got into my lines and were captured. We threw up works and lay upon our arms, facing south, till morning. I lost a number of men killed and wounded. September 2, the enemy retreated last night and we pursued. About 9 a. m. passed through Jonesborough, my brigade leading, and down the left side of and on the railroad about four miles, where we found the enemy in a strong position, with earth-works, head-logs, and batteries. I formed in three lines, threw forward a heavy skirmish line, and, with my right hugging the railroad, advanced briskly and drove the enemy's skirmish line and came under the fire of his main works. The Fifteenth Corps was on my right, the Third Brigade on my left. My first line advanced until it was flanked by the enemy on the right of the railroad embankment, which he used as a cover to enfilade my line. My skirmishers were 100 yards farther to the front. The assault on our left having failed, we were ordered back after dark to good positions, where we threw up works and rested one night. 3rd and 4th, were quiet, except heavy picket-firing. 5th, at 8 p. m. we retired to Jonesborough, my brigade leading, and occupied the same position we left on the morning of the 2d.
6th, we Atlanta, where we arrived at noon of the 8th. Passed through the city and camped in its eastern suburbs and near the Howard house.
I desire to record my admiration of the fearless and intelligent performance of duty to your duty holy cause by my regimental commanders. Lieutenant Jackson, acting assistant adjutant-general, deserves official mention for devotion, efficiency, and gallantry. Lieutenant Thomas was efficient with the pioneers.