War of the Rebellion: Serial 072 Page 0376 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

Search Civil War Official Records

driven before the steady and soli advance of the skirmish line of the division. At Adairsville, however, the enemy was met in heavy force; indeed it was subsequently learned that his entire army was assembled there. My division had advanced on the western side of Oothkaloga Creek, and in the vicinity of Adairsville met a heavy force of the enemy strongly and advantageously posted, while the remainder of the corps, which had advanced on the other side of the creek, had earlier met a still heavier force and been checked. A stiff skirmish at once occurred along the entire front of the division, which was kept up till night-fall. During its progress, however, I had bridges constructed across the creek with a view to forcing a passage the following morning, but during the night the enemy retreated. The position in the vicinity of Adairsville is not naturally very strong, but it was very well intrenched, and was the third fortified position abandoned by the enemy. Pursuit was made the following (the 18th), my division leading. A light opposition was made to our advance by light parties of cavalry, but these were readily scattered. The pursuit was continued on the 19th, the First Division of the corps leading, followed by my division. The line of marched lay through Kingston, and immediately south of this village the enemy was overtaken in force, apparently arrayed for battle. The First Division of the corps was at once deployed into order of battle across the road by which we were marching, and my division deployed on its right. Batteries were posted in eligible positions to play on the enemy displayed in the open fields in our front. The artillery fire was evidently effective, for the enemy very soon began to withdraw. Our advance was immediately resumed. Within a mile and a half of Cassville the enemy was afresh encountered in an intrenched position. Our order of battle was promptly reformed, and the advance resumed with a view to forcing our way into Cassville, but darkness falling sud- denly upon us rended it necessary to desist from a farther advance against an intrenched position over unexplored ground. The Seventeenth Kentucky was deployed as skirmishers to cover the advance of its brigade, and suffered quite severely in the advance late in the afternoon, more than 20 casualties in the skirmish line bearing unmistakable of the sharp fire to which been exposed. During the night of the 19th the enemy evacuated his works in the vicinity of Cassville, being the fourth intrenched position abandoned, and retired across the Etowah. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the 20th, 21st, and 22nd of May, the troops rested quietly in camp, but it was a busy period for commanding generals and staff officers preparing for the grand flank movement for turning the enemy's position at railway gap in the Allatoona Hills. Taking twenty days' subsistence in wagons, the entire army defiantly cut loose from its line of communication, crossed the Etowah River, and pushed boldly southward through a most abrupt and difficult range of hills. The movement was commenced on Monday, the 23d. On that and the following day my division led the Fourth Corps, but on the 25th it was in rear. Three days' marches carried the army through the Allatoona range. Late in the afternoon of the 25th of May the enemy was encountered in force by the Twentieth Corps, when a sharp affair followed; it was not, however, participated in, owing to the lateness of the hour of its arrival in the vicinity of the action, by the troops of the Fourth Corps.