War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0226 Chapter L. THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 224.

Report of Captain Thomas O'Connor, Thirty-third New Jersey Infantry.

HDQRS. THIRTY-THIRD REGIMENT NEW JERSEY VOLS.,

Atlanta, Ga., September 7, 1864.

On the 4th of May the regiment broke camp in Lookout Valley, Tenn., and with 526 men and 24 commissioned officers, under command of Colonel George W. Mindil, marched over the mountain and down the valley beyond on the Rossville road. The next morning we were overtaken by the rest of the division and continued the march, going on picket on the night of the 7th five miles beyond Gordon's Springs. No signs of the enemy were visible. Received orders on the 8th instant to withdraw regiment from picket and follow the division, which had taken up its line of march. The road being narrow and much blocked up with ambulances, artillery, &c., and hearing heavy skirmishing in advance, the regiment was passed on to the front to strengthen and take part with the division engaged at Mill Creek Gap. The order was to move up the mountain and report to the brigade commander. Knapsacks were unslung and piled, and the regiment commenced to advance, but did not go far before another aide of the general commanding gave orders to keep well to the right, to advance in line of battle up the mountain, endeavor to carry the crest, and then, by charging front to the left, take the enemy in the flank and drive him toward our troops operating on the left. The line advanced steadily under a moderately heavy skirmish fire, with skirmishers on the front and right flank, the enemy retreating before them. Steep, perpendicular rocks and inaccessible cliffs debarred our way, but the regiment was obliqued to the left, and with a rush succeeded in carrying the first tier of palisades. Here the line was reformed, forming a connection with Colonel Jackson's regiment, the One hundred and thirty-fourth New York. Another order from the general commanding came to carry the point of the mountain, and from brigade commander for Colonel George W. Mindil to assume command. Dispositions were at once made for the attack, and two large companies of the Thirty-third Regiment New Jersey Volunteers thrown out as skirmishers, one of them upon the flank. The storming party consisted of the On hundred and thirty-fourth New York and four companies of the Thirty-third New Jersey Volunteers, the balance of the Thirty-third to act as circumstances required, either to check the enemy's pursuit in case of failure or to profit by success and push forward. The order was given to advance, when, with a yell and rush, we charged up the side of the upper mountain. The enemy, at least two regiments strong, well screened and protected, met us with terrific volleys, but the brave men swerved not, and with shouts of defiance went to the top, only to halt again, however, under a steep, perpendicular palisade. A portion of the regiment on the left even clambered to the top of the hill and confronted on the highest level the breast-works of the enemy, but too few only could climb up at a time, and the enemy, in large force, soon dislodged these brave heroes, who had actually gained the very summit. Seeing that it was impossible to hold the top the line was withdrawn about thirty paces and reformed, the enemy not daring to follow. We still held within fifty paces of the crest, when,