Report of Captain Lewis E. Hicks, Sixty-ninth Ohio Infantry, of operations August 25-September 2.
HDQRS. SIXTY-NINTH REGIMENT OHIO VET. VOLS.,
Jonesborough, Ga., September 2, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the regiment under my command from the 25th day of August to the 2nd day of September, 1864:
On the evening of the 25th of August marched to rejoin the division. On the 28th marched to a point on the Montgomery railroad, near Red Oak. Next day were engaged tearing up the road, burning ties, and bending and twisting the rails.
August 30, marched toward the Macon railroad, and encamped within three miles of it. On the 1st day of September, 1864, marched to meet the enemy, the Sixty-ninth Regiment having the advance of the Third Brigade. Threw out six companies as skirmishers, the remaining four in reserve, and advanced on the Jonesborough road until a junction was formed with the left of the skirmish line of the Seventeenth Corps. The brigade being then ordered to reconnoiter and develop the force in our front, we advanced in line of battle through a strip of woods and into an open field, when we received the fire of the enemy's outposts, consisting of a light line of cavalry, dismounted and protected by rail piles, with two pieces of artillery. We charged across a swamp, intersected by two wide and deep ditches, whose banks were lined with briars, and up the opposite slope, and routed the enemy, without loss to ourselves, and captured a caisson from them. We then advanced to the Macon railroad, and forming in line of battle at right angles to it (the Sixty-ninth Regiment being on the right of the front line), threw out skirmishers, and moved forward through a dense thicket. On emerging from the woods into an open field the enemy's skirmishers were encountered, and soon driven in, and we held their line of pits in the edge of the woods. After some delay in readjusting the lines (the Sixty-ninth being now placed in the center), we advanced to charge the rebel works. We reached a point within fifty yards of the works, and held it for fifteen minutes, under a murderous fire, which speedily decimated our ranks. The regiments on the right and left having already withdrawn, the Sixty-ninth fell back a short distance and reformed. The color-bearer having been killed, the colors were left between the hostile lines. In order to cover them by our fire and prevent their capture by the enemy, the regiment was held in the woods in advance of the rest of the line, which had retired to the works in the edge of the woods. The colors were thus saved from capture and were recovered in the second charge. After a brief interval the regiment again charged with the rest of the line and the Thirty-eighth Indiana of the second line. The enemy was dislodged, after a desperate struggle, from the portion of his works on the right of the railroad, and did not regain them. Seven prisoners were captured and taken to the rear by men belonging to my command. We held the ground fought over picket-line, and next morning occupied Jonesborough.
LEW. E. HICKS,
Captain, Commanding Sixty-ninth Regiment Ohio Vet. Vols.
Lieutenant H. O. MONTAGUE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade.