War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0558 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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my horse, the second passed over the column, but observing the flash of the gun I ordered my men to lie down instantly, which was done, and the men escaped unharmed. General Hovey promptly ordered the column to retire to the protection of the hill in the rear.

While thus moving a third shell struck between the third and fourth divisions, wounding the color bearer severely and 2 privates slightly. Under the cool direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Zollinger and Major De Long the column retired by the rear of divisions in good order, and being faced to the front were ordered to deploy and charge double-quick across the open field; this command was executed with alacrity and, I believe I may say, in gallant style, with the exception of one company on the left, which was hindered by brush and the caissons of a battery, the line was kept steady and well dressed, although the men were exposed to the rebel artillery and a galling fire of musketry during the entire charge. Passing through a narrow skirt of timber we found the enemy formed and in force along the line of the railroad directly in our front, and we opened fire upon them at once; our fire was sharply returned, but fortunately the enemy, as a general thing, overshot our line. At one time they evidently attempted to mass a force on our left, but were too much exposed to the range of our guns, and, after an engagement of about one hour, they gave way, moving rapidly around the hill to our right. A white flag was observed in our front and I ordered the firing to cease. Six of the enemy came over and surrendered and were sent to your headquarters; four others came in at a later hour. During the engagement a rebel flag fell in the immediate range of our fire, but when the firing ceased an officer from a regiment posted on the hill on our right rode out and bore it away.

We held the line we had taken until 10 a. m. of Monday, the 16th, the men mean time barricading their front and remaining under arms during the night.

I am happy to know that from personal observation you can bear testimony to the coolness of my men while engaged, and that your survey of the ground at an early hour on Monday enables you also to certify to the deadly effect of their fire. The field between us and the enemy had a front on the railroad of some 300 yards. On Monday morning twenty-five dead rebels were counted on less than an acre of ground immediately in front of this field. My casualties amounted to 18-2 wounded mortally, 2 severely, 14 slightly. I append a list prepared in detail by my adjutant.*

I should add that prior to the engagement Company A was detailed as skirmishers and did not rejoin the regiment until we marched on Monday. Major Walters, who command the skirmish line, will report their operations. From him and from Captain Cole I learn verbally that the company did good service on our left, killing several rebels, including one mounted man supposed to be an officer, and taking some prisoners.

I cannot conclude this portion of my report without special mention of Lieutenant-Colonel Zollinger and Major De Long. Owing to my own illness the regimental had virtually been under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Zollinger, assisted by Major De Long, for some ten days, and so it was during the action; I was able to be with my command, but scarcely in condition to assume the entire control. To say that both Lieutenant-Colonel Zellinger and Major De Long did their whole duty is less than they deserve. I was sev-


* Nominal list omitted.