War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0136 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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The sight of the city gave great encouragement to my men, who, seeing the prize which was to crown the campaign, looked cheerfully forward to its speedy possession. July 6, relieved at 3 p.m. by the First Division, Fifteenth Corps, and moved northward, following the First Division to the ridge road leading to Vining's Station, then going east encamped after dark in open woods east of Nickajack Creek. July 7, early in the morning moved two miles southward, and formed line on the right of the Third Division, connecting on the right at Nickajack Creek with First Division, Fifteenth Corps. Advanced my picket-line so that I might closely observe the enemy in their fortifications near the river. No skirmishing during the day-Ward's and Williams' divisions upon my left. July 8, remained in position taken on the previous day. During the night the enemy evacuated his position and withdrawn across the river. July 9, at daylight advanced my pickets to the river-bank, about one mile distant, taking a number of prisoners and deserters. The enemy's pickets in plain view on the opposite side of the river. Country on both banks rough and wooded. The evacuated works of the enemy were very elaborate and strong, comprising breast-works, rifle-pits, bastions, stockades, abatis, chevaux-de-frise, and palisades. July 10, remained in camp, making every disposition for a few days' rest, and for the health and comfort of the troops. July 11 to 16, remained encamped. On the 12th the Fifteenth Corps moved up the river. I relieved their picket-line on our immediate right. July 17, at 5 o'clock in the evening moved to the right, following the Third Division. Reaching Pace's Ferry, crossed the Chattahoochee on pontoon bridge just before dusk, and taking the road branching to the left from the Buck Head road, marched two miles, and encamped near a white house west of Nancy's Creek. July 18, after a careful reconnaissance of the country by the Second Brigade as far east as Nancy's Creek, above the crossing of the Buck Head road, about noon, under orders from the major-general commanding corps, I advanced, following the Third Division, constructing two bridges over Nancy's Creek at Williams' saw-mill. Advancing skirmishers up the Buck Head road they became slightly engaged with the enemy's cavalry. I followed immediately with the division, and on reaching the junction of the Howell's Mill road (one mile east of Buck Head), encamped, throwing up works in my front covering the road.


July 19, at daylight (in accordance with orders from Major-General Hooker directing me to advance on the road via Howell's Mill) I moved with my whole command two miles to the hill overlooking Howell's Mill, where I found Davis' division, Fourteenth Corps, whose skirmishers were hotly engaged with those of the enemy across the creek at this point. Having communicated these facts to the major-general commanding the corps, by his direction I moved to the left past Casey's house, and massed my division in the woods on hills skirting Peach Tree Creek. My position here was about three-quarters of a mile from Howell's Mill, my skirmishers connecting with those of the Fourth Corps on my left. They were ordered to conceal themselves in the woods and bushes close to the creek, and not to disclose their location by firing. To my right the country was cleared. No connection was formed in that direction with the Fourteenth Corps, because to do so would disclose a portion of my movements to the enemy. Silence was enjoined upon the troops, and preparations were quickly and quietly made to force a