War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0108 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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of General Kilpatrick's cavalry, a part of which by this time had moved to the head of my column, and the skirmishers of General Hazen's division, who that day had the advance of my command. Thence followed continual skirmishing to Shoal Creek, where they made another decided stand, using their artillery freely, necessitating the deployment of General Hazen's advance brigade in line of battle, and the opening of a battery to dislodge them. The advance then continued to Renfroe Place, which place named in the order for the termination of the march. The absence of water at that point compelled us to make a farther advance, and we moved forward, by direction of General Howard, to Flint River. Arriving there, we found the enemy posted beyond the river under cover of a strong barricade covering the crossing. I at once directed General Hazen to secure the bridge and crossing and, in conjunction with two regiments of Kilpatrick's cavalry, he ordered his skirmishers to charge the position of the enemy. This order was executed promptly and gallantly, the enemy dislodged, and the crossing secured. I at once crossed my whole command and took position after night on the most advantageous ground that could be secured, about three-quarters of a mile south of the river. It was near midnight before the rear of my column, General Osterhaus' division, had passed beyond the river, yet, at daylight on the morning of the 31st a strong defensive line was completed and my troops in position for defense. The right of General Hazen's division rested on the Jonesborough road, about half a mile from the railroad, his line deflecting to the left, and his pickets, with pickets from Osterhaus' division, extending to the river on the left; Harrow's left rested on the right of the road, connecting with Hazen's right, his line deflecting to the rear in like manner of Hazen's line; Harrow's pickets connected with those of a small force of Osterhaus' division, which held a commanding hill on General Harrow's right flank; General Osterhaus' pickets, with those of General Kilpatrick's extended to the river on my right. With the above noted exception General Osterhaus' division was held in reserve and formed my second line, which was intrenched. The hill spoken of on the right, which was occupied by the Twenty-fifth Iowa Volunteers, of Osterhaus' division, commanded the immediate ground between the right of my line and Flint River, and was a point of great importance, as its possession secured our front position against any attack on the right flank, which otherwise was much exposed. I caused this hill to be fortified before daylight of the 31st, and had the regiment spoken of in position. After daylight on the 31st it was found materially necessary to extend my line on the right so as to connect with the refused line (erected during the night). A permanent and systematic line was accordingly formed, requiring almost all of the troops of the Second and Third Brigades of General Osterhaus' division. During the night and in the morning a number of railroad trains arrived loaded with troops. These trains could be distinctly seen by the pickets, and the troops were observed to debark and go into position. General Osterhaus caused two light 12-pounder Napoleon guns to be placed in front of and within 1,000 yards of the depot. These guns could also play on the enemy's line in his front. A part of the Ninth Iowa and Twenty-ninth Missouri Infantry was ordered to support this section. Another section of light 12-pounders was