Our own troops here covered themselves by a breast-work, but on the morning of the 20th no enemy was found in our front, he having retreated across the Allatoona Mountain.
The troops remained in this position until the 23d, when we moved in the direction of Dallas, crossing the Etowah at Gillem's Bridge and bivouacking near Stilesborough, and on the 24th moved to Burnt Hickory, and on the 25th to near Dallas, going into position on the morning of the 26th with considerable skirmishing, which continued until about 10 a. m. of the 27th, when the brigade was withdrawn and formed in front of the division. Each brigade being deployed in two lines with this formation, supported by King's division, of the Fourteenth Corps, it moved through a thick wood for about three miles in search of the enemy's right flank. Having found it at 2.30 p. m., we remained in position until 4.30 for the other troops forming the expedition to be made ready.
This brigade, in two lines, was then pushed forward to attack the enemy, the other troops not moving. After skirmishing about 800 yards, the front line came upon and immediately engaged the enemy, when one of the most desperate engagements of my experience ensued. The first line was composed of two battalions; the one on the right, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel R. L. Kimberly, Forty-first Ohio Volunteers, was composed of his own regiment and the First Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under Major Stafford; the one on the left, by Colonel O. H. Payne, One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio Volunteers, composed of his own regiment and Ninety-third Ohio Volunteers, under Colonel Bowman. The whole, under my own personal supervision, moved up within ten yards of the position in which the enemy was found in force. A slight irregularity in the ground gave a partial cover for our men. The second line, composed of two battalions, one under Colonel W. W. Berry, Fifth Kentucky, composed of his own regiment and the Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under Major Campbell; the other under Lieutenant Colonel James C. Foy, of the Twenty-third Kentucky, of his own regiment and the Sixth Kentucky, moved with the first line. On account of the thick wood it had changed direction to the left, so as to come in position directly on the left flank of the first line. It found no works and but slight resistance in its front, but upon presenting its flank to the enemy in front of the leading battalions it received a fire from that direction which checked it. My command had now lost 500 men in the attack and was powerless to push farther, although the enemy himself was partially broken. Believing our work well commenced, with certainty of the fullest success, I sent all of my staff in succession to bring forward the other lines of the column. In addition to these several members of regimental staffs were sent for the same purpose, some of whom were wounded while carrying the message. At last, forty minutes having elapsed since the beginning of the attack, the ammunition of my men being exhausted, and the enemy having been given time to bring forward a fresh brigade and attack strongly both my flanks, doubling them back, I was compelled to yield the ground, when I met for the first time the troops of the line in my rear, which was supposed, from the nature of the attack (in column), to have succeeded each other at short intervals. I also found that Colonel Scribner's brigade, which was to have supported my left, was operating, not in conjunction with me, but with the brigade next in my rear, so that two rebel regiments found no difficulty in attacking the rear of