War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0684 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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the bed of the creek and part by passing round the dam a few rods above the mill. He was further ordered, on getting a portion of his command over, to deploy skirmishers and occupy the crest of the wooded ridge facing the Chattahoochee River and the roads leading up the country. This being done, he was directed to reconnoiter for an old fish-dam, crossing the Chattahoochee half a mile above Soap Creek, and ascertain, if possible, without disclosing, the presence of his force, whether the river was fordable at that point. The remainder of the division was massed behind the ridge skirting the river below Soap Creek, the crest being occupied by skirmishers. The whole command was ordered to preserve great silence, fires were forbidden, and every precaution taken to make a crossing of the river by surprise. I then proceeded in person to reconnoiter the opposite bank of the river from the ridge, and found it apparently held by a cavalry outpost of inconsiderable strength, with one piece of artillery placed to command Isham's Ford and Phillips' Ferry, both at the mouth of Soap Creek. Meanwhile, the major-general commanding having completed his own reconnaissance of the position, and the pontoon train and engineer battalion, commanded by Colonel Buell, as well as the division of General Hascall, having come up, I received orders to prepare for the crossing at 3.30 p. m. Colonel Cameron was ordered to select fifty men as an advanced guard to cross by fording at the fish-dam at the hour named, massing the brigade under cover of the woods as near the ford as possible and crossing the whole, except one regiment, by the same means, if the advanced guard obtained a foothold on the opposite shore and found the ford practicable. As soon as his command should thus be over, he was ordered to push down the river by the heights on the opposite side, attacking and driving off any force he might meet and cover the crossing of a portion of the command by the pontoon boats, after which the bridge was to be constructed under cover of the whole force so crossed. A detail of 500 men was made to assist in setting up the canvass pontoons, and Byrd's briade was ordered to cross first. The Twelfth Kentucky, Lieutenant-Colonel Rousseau commanding, was ordered to cross in the first passage of the pontoons, covered by the other regiments of the brigade deployed on the river's edge at right and left of the ferry. Lieutenant-Colonel Rousseau was ordered to keep the boats well together, to permit no firing, but form his men quickly when he should reach the opposite bank, and instantly charge any force he might find in his front, and, if possible, seize the ridge above the river and form connection with Colonel Cameron. The hour for the pontoons to shove out from the creek, where they were set up and launched under cover of the wood, was fixed at 4 o'clock, so as to leave Colonel Cameron half an hour to get part of his command over at the fish-dam ford and favor the crossing of the boats by attracting the attention of the enemy in that direction. The brigade of Colonel Byrd, excepting Twelfth Kentucky, was deployed in the wood at the foot of the ridge above and below the creek, ready to advance rapidly across the open bottom land (a young corn-field) at the signal. I should not omit to notice the fact that the oarsmen for the pontoons were furnished by detail from General Hascall's division. At the time fixed, Colonel Cameron pushed his advance guard, consisting of a detachment of the One hundred and third Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Colonel J. S. Casement commanding, closely followed by the regiment,