General Thomas, commanding the Army of the Cumberland, to relieve the brigade of Colonel Reilly, of General Cox's division, of the Twenty-third Army Corps. This was promptly executed by the First Brigade (General Willich) of my division. This disposition brought the First Brigade into line immediately on the right of the Second Brigade, and in like proximity to the strongly intrenched position of the enemy. The brigade immediately barricaded its front securely. The Third Brigade remained in reserve in an intrenched position, whence it could afford support to the front as well as checkmate any movement of the enemy to swing into our rear by turning our extreme left. This position was maintained during the remainder of the afternoon and the night of the 14th. During the afternoon good roads were cut to the ammunition train in rear and fresh supplies of ammunition brought to the front. Early in the morning of the 15th an order was received for a grand advance of the whole line at 8 a. m. The two brigades in line were at instructed to be fully prepared for the movement, but the order for it never came. Later in the forenoon an intimation was received from Major-General Howard, commanding the Fourth Army Corps, that an attack was to be made on the extreme right of the enemy's position by the Twentieth Corps, accompanies by an order to observe closely its effect on the enemy's center, nearly opposite to which the First and Second Brigades were posted, and if any weakening or shaking of his lined were observed to attack vigorously. Whatever may have been on the enemy's extreme right no material effect therefrom was perceivable in his canter. But, with a view to determining more certainly and satisfactorily the condition of the enemy directly in front of my two brigades in line, about 4 p. m. they were advanced against the enemy's line, but the very first indication of our intention was greeted with such a terrific direct and cross fire of musketry and artillery, sweeping over the open field which divided the hostile lines, as to show most conclusively that, wherever else the enemy might be weak, there certainly he was in full force. Fortunately, the condition and strength of the enemy was discovered before the brigades were deeply or dangerously committed to the assault, which enabled them to be withdrawn without the very heavy loss which at one time seemed so imminent. A short time after this movement Brigadier-General Willich, commanding First Brigade, was seriously wounded by a rebel sharpshooter, and was borne from the field. He has never since rejoined the command. I was thus early in the campaign deprived of the assistance of a gallant and energetic officer.
During the night of the 15th enemy evacuated the position in and around Resaca and retreated south of the Oostenaula. This was the second strong position from which enemy had been forced. The many small-arms and other articles of military use abandoned showed that his retreat was precipitate. The casualties of the command from the opening of the campaign to the evacuation of Resaca were: Killed, 81; wounded, 348; total, 429.
Pursuit was made early the morning of the 16th, and during the day the whole of the Fourth Corps passed the Oostenaula (having repaired for this purpose a part of the partially destroyed brigade) and encamped for the night near Calhoun. The pursuit was resumed early the morning of the 17th. My division moved along the railway. Throughout the march a continued skirmish was kept up with the parities covering the enemy's rear, but these were rapidly