War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0687 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.--ARMY OF THE OHIO.

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The enemy's position proved to be nearly parallel to the Atlanta road, and we developed by the left until the whole division was in position, Cameron on right, Reilly in center, Barter on left, and Byrd in reserve. A reconnaissance of a regiment of Barter's brigade was pushed out toward the Decatur and Atlanta road and opened communication with the Army of the Tennessee, which was advancing from Decatur. Every advance was fiercely contested by the enemy, and a warm skirmishing fight kept up throughout the day. Toward evening the Second Division passed from our right to our left to continue the line in that direction, relieving a portion of Barter's brigade, which was in position across the Atlanta road, and enabling them to form parallel to the road on a line continuous with the rest of the division. During the next day the works on both sides were strengthened, and a lively artillery fire opened from both sides, while a galling fire from the skirmish pits was also kept up. During the night the enemy evacuated the position in our front, and fell back to the fortifications immediately around the city of Atlanta. Next morning (Friday, 22d) we advance to within 1,200 yards of the enemy's works, and commence the erection of fortifications near the Howard house, on the Atlanta road, under a brisk artillery and skirmish fire. About noon, in obedience to orders to send a brigade back upon the road we had come, to protect trains endangered by the enemy's attack upon the left of the Army of the Tennessee, I dispatched Reilly's brigade to Pea Vine Creek, with orders to secure a position covering the trains and act as circumstances might make necessary for the protection of the rear and flank of the army. A little later, receiving orders to proceed with two brigades to cover the left flank of the Army of the Tennessee, I marched, with Cameron's and Barter's brigades and the Fifteenth Indiana Battery, by the Atlanta and Decatur road to a position one mile and a half from Decatur, and about one mile to the left of the Sixteenth Army Corps, reporting for orders to Major-General Logan, commanding the Army of the Tennessee (General McPherson having been killed in the morning). The brigades were ordered to intrench, Barter's on the left of the road, Cameron's on the right, and the battery in the center. About 4 o'clock General Dodge, commanding Sixteenth Corps, requested the assistance of a brigade, in view of an expected attack upon his left flank, and I immediately dispatched Barter's brigade to him, holding the road with Cameron's brigade and the battery. The enemy did not appear in any force on the Decatur road, and I held the position unmolested through the night. Meanwhile the enemy's cavalry had attacked and driven from Decatur Sprague's brigade, of the Sixteenth Corps, which retired northward a short distance on the Cross Keys road. At the request of Colonel Sprague, Colonel Reilly advanced his brigade in support, and the two brigades maintained the position on the first ridge north of the town, the enemy retiring upon the arrival of re-enforcements to Colonel Sprague's assistance. Byrd's brigade had remained in position on the right of Hascall's division during the day, fortifying the line. About 5 p. m. the enemy made an assault upon the right of the Army of the Tennessee in front of the Howard house, and Cockerill's battery, of this division (Battery D, First Ohio Artillery), was moved from Byrd's line by command of the general commanding the Army of the Ohio, and was brought into action upon the ridge about 100 yards in front of the house mentioned, where it did good service in repelling the attack, causing