rebel works, or the nature and character of the ground over which the charge was to be made. The only other order I received was to recall my skirmishers when my first line came under fire, and to order my men to advance with a yell and take the works. No discretion was given me as to the manner of the attack, and my whole duty was simply obedience to the reiterated command. I accordingly ordered an advance, and as well as I was able kept my men in line in passing over the troops of the Fourteenth Corps and through the dense and tangled undergrowth of the forest. We passed over one or two ridges and valleys, and at length reached a ridge, the top of which was within musket-range of the earth-works which crowned the hill fortified by the enemy. They here opened fire upon us, but my men steadily advanced, passing over a fence at the foot of the hill, when they came upon a plain exposed to the full fire of the enemy from artillery and musketry. As soon as the cleared ground was reached the whole line started forward with a tremendous shout for the rebel works. Never did men more gallantly breast the storm of death which was hurled upon them from every quarter, and their advance continued until they were broken by a bog and creek into which they plunged more than waist deep.
To climb the opposite bank, under such a murderous fire was more than they could do, especially when we found the works so strong that with the force then attacking there was not the slightest chance of success. Under these circumstance we were forced back, leaving fully one-third of the attacking party killed and wounded on the field. A large number of the men found protection under the banks of the creek, and from there kept up a constant fire upon the men who worked the artillery in the rebel works, and succeeded in compelling them to load their guns lying down. They remained here until after dark, when they returned to their regiments. Both of my lines were engaged in the charge, and every regiment suffered severely.
My connection with the brigade has sent but recent, and I therefore must refer to the reports of the regimental commanders for the names of any who may have particularly distinguished themselves, as they strangers to me; but I desire to say that without one exception, as far as my personal observation went (and I kept with my men through the whole extent of the charge), both men and officers conducted themselves with the most distinguished gallantry.
I desire also to mention in the highest terms the members of my staff, who went with me upon the field. Captain Minor, assistant adjutant-general; Captain Stagg, aide-de-camp; Captain Gallup, assistant inspector-general; Lieutenant Thorp, topographical engineer, and Lieutenant Veluzat, acting assistant quartermaster; all of them, with the exception of Captain Stagg, had their horses shot under them, as was also my own.
The above report was written on the day it bears date, and was not sent in because of the loss of the reports of regimental commanders. They were all captured by Wheeler's cavalry near Cassville, Ga., together with the records, of the brigade.
N. C. McLEAN,
Captain E. J. KERSTETTER,
Asst. Adjt. Ga., Second Division, 23rd Army Corps.