were sun-struck or entirely prostrated by the had and dust. It was the hardest day's work we have endured on this campaign, and was productive of the most important results.
On the 2nd General Smith's division, of the Fifteenth Army Corps, relieved two of my brigades on the right, Colonels Cooper and Strickland, who in turn were placed on the left to fill up the gap between my own and General Cox's division. The enemy finding us in force here, were compelled either to evacuate their position about Kenesaw, or to attempt to drive us back. To accomplish the latter would require a heavy force, the withdrawal of which from other portions of the line would endanger the whole army. On the night of the 2nd they retreated. On the 3rd a reconnaissance was made to Nickajack Creek, but the enemy had already been driven across the creek. On the 4th I was ordered to send a brigade to fill the gap between the Sixteenth and Twentieth Army Corps. Colonel Swaine was sent, but as the gap was afterward closed, he was withdrawn.
On the 5th was in readiness to move as ordered, but the move did not make place until the 6th, when we moved over Nickajack Creek toward Ruff's Station, through the interminable works built by the enemy after their retreat from Kenesaw Mountain On the 7th remained in camp near the railroad. At an early hour on the morning of the 8th we moved to Isham's Ford, at the mouth of Soap Creek, on the Chattahoochee River. My command was held in support to General Cox; my batteries, under direction of Colonel Schofield, placed in position on river bank to cover the crossing. Two hundred picked men were detailed, by orders, and reported to Colonel Buell, of the pontoon train, to man the boats and ferry over such forces as were needed until the bridge should be finished. On the 9th Colonel Cooper and Colonel Hobson, with their brigades and Nineteenth Ohio Battery, were sent over the river and placed in position on the right of General Cox. On the 11th the remainder of the division crossed over, and took position on the ridge, prolonging General Cox's line. On the 14th I was ordered over the valley into a new position on the left of the Fourth Army Corps, covering the road toward Cross Keys and Buck Head. On the morning of the 17th I moved from this position on the Buck Head, road to within two an d a half miles of the latter place. The enemy's cavalry offered some resistance. Night found my command in position some distance from the remainder of the army, General Howard on the right, Secure Cox on the left. The position was made secure, however, by strong works. On the day following (the 18th) moved through Cross Keys to Johnson's Mills, on a branch of Peach Tree Creek; one brigade, Colonel Cooper's, was sent on the road toward Atlanta as a strong picket force.
Early on the 19th the division crossed Peach Tree Creek and advanced in the direction of Decatur. The enemy's cavalry offered stubborn resistance, and my artillery was freely used. They finally took refuge in the town, but were shelled out by Captain Shields with Nineteenth Ohio Battery, and Colonel Swaine with his brigade was moved forward to take the town. A train of wagons and the depot, said to contain a large amount of tobacco, was burned. The railroad was torn up for some distance. Colonel Swaine was afterward relieved by a portion of General Dodge's command, that came up soon after I occupied the town. The troops were put in camp near the main Atlanta road. On the following morning (the 20th) I was ordered to move on the Atlanta road, following General Cox.