War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0430 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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covered all the approaches to Buzzard Roost Gap from the west. I was informed by a major in charge of the skirmish line of this brigade that he had advanced his skirmish line closeup to the enemy's works in the gap; that the enemy occupied the gap in force; that he made a demonstration to attack the skirmish line so advanced; whereupon the major, in pursuance of instructions, withdrew his line to the position he then occupied. As this condition of affairs was not contemplated by the orders and instructions I was ordered to make, I thought it advisable to communicate with Major-General Butterfield, who was in the rear of my column,. Accordingly I halted the column and sent a staff officer to Major-General Butterfield, with instructions to advise him of the information I had received and receive his orders. Major-General Butterfield immediately rode up to the front of the column and, as I understood, had an interview with same major referred to above from Carlin's brigade, and received the same information. Major-General Butterfield, however, ordered m to proceed with the reconnaissance and to feel the enemy. I therefore ordered four companies forward and deployed them as skirmishers, and threw out a line of pickets to protect my right flank. I also ordered the Seventy-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry to deploy in line of battle and to advance with and to support the skirmishers. The balance of the brigade was placed in position behind the crest of a hill in the front, and to the foot of which the skirmishers were deployed. The ground between the position occupied by the brigade and the valley into which Buzzard Roost Gap debouches toward the west was a series of hills running nearly parallel to the valley. In front of the right of my line, and bounding the valley on the east and the gap on the south, is Rocky Face Mountain, at the foot of which, and running nearly across the west entrance of the gap, where it sweeps round and runs through the gap, is Mill Creek, as stream with soft, muddy banks and bottom, not easily fordable. On the east side of the creek, and leaving but a narrow space between its east bank, is a high bank or bluff, which seems to be a spur of Rocky Face Mountain and with which it is connected, making, however, quite a depression between the highest part of the bluff and the mountain. The distance from this high point of the bluff and mountain in which the depression occurs is perhaps 150 yards. From the high part of the bluff along the curve of the creek to the north there is an easy descent until it is lost in the bottom land of the creek where it sweeps round to flow through the gap. Here also the railroad coming from Tunnel Hill sweeps round the hills from the south side of Buzzard Roost Gap and passes over the creek through the gap. From the crest of the bluff and the section of Rocky Face Mountain with which it is connected the ground descends quite rapidly to the east. From this crest the enemy's works for the protection of the gap are visible along the crest, and stretching across the gap the enemy had a line of skirmishers. By the direction of Major-General Butterfield, under whose personal supervision all the movements of my brigade were made, the line of skirmishers, increased and strengthened from time to time by re-enforcements from the line, was pushed forward until they occupied the crest of the bluff and the declivity between it and Rocky Face Mountain, and the base of the mountain as high as the highest part of the bluff. It was necessary to cross Mill Creek and ascend the almost perpendicular side of the bluff, the crest of which was held by the rebel sharpshooters. Two companies of skirmishers