War of the Rebellion: Serial 072 Page 0602 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

Search Civil War Official Records

gade and take the position then occupied by the Second Brigade, Third Division. This brigade was retired some 400 yards to the rear of the brigades on the right and left, leaving a gap in the line occupied only by skirmishers. The space intervening between the position occupied by this brigade and the skirmish line was on open field extending to the front nearly a half mile beyond the general line. I was directed by Brigadier General R. W. Johnson, then commanding the division, after having relieved this brigade of the Third Division, to advance through the field when the troops on my right and left advanced. A forward movement was then contemplated. After looking at the ground, I requested General Johnson to permit me to put my brigade forward at once behind a ridge occupied by the skirmishers, and in line with the other troops. To this he consented. I accordingly moved my command through the timber to the right and rear of the First Brigade, crossed the road in a slight depression, and got into position a little in advance of the general line without drawing the enemy's fire. I immediately commenced strengthening the light works occupied by the skirmish line on the crest of the ridge, and in the course of an hour or two moved my first line up to them, leaving the second in the ravine below. I was now 100 yards in front, instead of 400 yards in the rear, of the general line, with a flank work on my left commanding the road. My position was an excellent one, having an open range in front for artillery and musketry of at least half a mile. A battery was placed in position there a little after noon. About 4 p. m. an attack was made by the enemy upon the Twentieth Corps and the left of the First Brigade, of the First Division, Fourteenth Corps. He at the same time opened a terrific fire of canister and shell upon my line, from which together with the skirmishing, I lost in killed and wounded 3 officers and 34 men. The enemy twice advanced a line of battle into the edge of the field in our front, but did not attempt to cross it.

July 21, at about 12 m. I was directed by the general commanding to strengthen my picket-line, and, in connection with the troops on my right and left, to drive the enemy into his main works. For this purpose I detailed ten companies and placed Lieutenant-Colonel Brigham, of the Sixty-ninth Ohio in charge of the whole line, directing him to take these ten companies to the right of the field in my front, though a piece of timber, while the original picket-line advanced through the field, and to deploy to the left after having driven the enemy's skirmishers toward the end of the field. In doing this he passed the skirmish line of the Third Division, and soon became hotly engaged in front and on the flank. This he reported. I then took the Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania and Sixty-ninth Ohio up and placed them under cover a short distance in the rear, and prepared to make a charge upon a line of rifle-pits a short distance to the front. In the mean time to Third Division had taken a position to our right and rear, and General Baird said it would advance with my line. Having sent for the two remaining regiments of my first line, and made the necessary dispositions, the skirmish line, closely followed by the two regiments, made a splendid line, closely followed by the two regiments, made a splendid charge, the Sixty-ninth moving down a slope across the field, and the Seventy-ninth through the timber on the right, driving the enemy from their pits and capturing 40 prisoners. The troops of the Third Division did not advance to my support on the right, seeing which, I