War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0442 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

Search Civil War Official Records

ers were deployed they advanced and took possession of the front hill or ridge. Behind them and on the flat or bottom land the division was deployed into line of battle, the First Brigade on the right, connecting with Geary's division, the Second Brigade in the center, and the Third Brigade on the left, connecting with Newton's division, of the Fourth Corps. The first formation of the brigade was three regiments in front, viz, the Seventy-third Ohio, Twenty-sixth Wisconsin, and Twentieth Connecticut, in the order named from right to left. Thus formed, the brigade took position immediately in rear of and at the foot of the first bluff or ridge above alluded to, by which it was entirely covered. The One hundred and thirty-sixth New York Volunteers, it will be remembered, was on the right, to which place it was ordered to act as skirmishers. As soon as the brigade and division were in position at the foot of ridge, inasmuch as the skirmishers of the One hundred and thirty-sixth new York Volunteers were not in front of the brigade to which it belonged, I request that that regiment might be relieved from the First Brigade. This was not effected until after the engagement which subsequently occurred; consequently, only the skirmishers of that regiment took part in it. After the formation of the brigade as above stated, I was ordered to put another regiment in reserve or in the second line, so that the brigade line of the battle would be only two regiments front. I ordered the Seventy-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry to take a position in rear of the Twenty-sixth Wisconsin, and connect on the left with the Fifty-fifth Ohio Volunteers, also in reserve. After this formation was made, orders were received to have the men stack arms and make themselves as comfortable as possible; that a farther advance was not at that time necessary. The skirmish line, however, advanced from the front ridge to the second, and took position on its crest. The brigade quietly occupied the position then taken, not anticipating a conflict with the enemy, when, at about 3 p.m., it was announced that the enemy in force was advancing upon us. The rapid discharge of musketry on our left in front of Newton's division, the rapid retreat to the rear of noncombatants, ambulances, &c., of that division, the activity of our own skirmish line, indicated that the announcement was true. I immediately ordered my brigade to advanced at the same time. Over the crest of the hill, down into the ravine on the other side, the line advanced, and as it emerged from the fringe of trees or bushes, with which the bottom of the valley or ravine was lined, it met the enemy. Coolly and deliberately the men poured into their line a well-directed, withering, and destructive, fire, which covered the ground with the dead and wounded. This checked his advance and caused him to recoil. The line centering its fire charged up the hill, gained the crest, and drove the enemy into the valley on the other side. The Twentieth Connecticut Volunteers on the left, by some misapprehension, halted before reaching the crest of the second hill, its commander being erroneously ordered to halt and cease firing, as our skirmishers were still in front. This misapprehension and error was soon rectified, and the regiment advanced to the crest just as a body of the enemy, formed in double column, was about to take advantage of the apparent gap in the line to attack Newton's division on its right flank. A well