Reports of Colonel Milo Smith, Twenty-sixth Iowa Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of operations July 22-28 and August 23-September 2.
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., 15TH ARMY CORPS,
Near Atlanta, Ga., August 5, 1864,
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my brigade-consisting of the Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry, Colonel William B. Woods commanding; Thirtieth Iowa Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel Aurelius Roberts commanding; Twenty-sixth Iowa Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel T. G. Ferreby commanding; Twenty-seventh Missouri Infantry, Major D. O'Connor commanding-in the engagements of the 22nd and 28th of July, 1864:
On the morning of the 22nd of July, the position I then occupied being near the main Atlanta and Decatur road and within some two miles of the city, skirmishers reported the enemy's evacuation of their works, and, in compliance with orders from general commanding division, I at once moved my brigade forward and took position in the deserted works of the enemy immediately on the left of the Second Brigade of this division placing the Twenty-seventh Missouri Infantry and Thirtieth Iowa Infantry in the front line, and on the right and left of the Fourth Ohio Battery, respectively, with skirmishers thrown well out to the front who reported the enemy in strong occupation of their second line of works. The Seventy-sixth Ohio and Twenty-sixth Iowa Infantry were held in reserve. There was a vacancy between my left and the troops nearest adjoining of some 250 yards, the intervening ground much depressed and swampy. So soon as proper tools could be obtained, the enemy's rifle-pits were reversed, and my position strengthened with all possible dispatch. From demonstrations now making by the enemy it became manifest they were massing troops immediately in front of the Second Division on my left, which was soon proven by their attack in such force as to break through our lines at that point. I made immediate preparations accordingly, not, however, withdrawing my skirmishers, and by refusing my left having completely changed my front so as to face the flank of the lines on my left, I made room for the Second Brigade on my right, and moved rapidly forward across the swamp now appearing in my front, at once attacking the enemy on their flank, and so vigorously that they were soon obliged to abandon the works they had temporarily occupied, together with De Gress' battery of 20-pounders that had been in their possession, and also leaving their dead and wounded in our hands. The works being now strengthened by the arrival of more forces, my brigade was at once ordered back to reoccupy its original position. The movement was not executed any too soon, as the enemy was quick to improve the advantage presented, and before we could resume our position in the works had already hurriedly driven in our skirmishers and were pressing rapidly forward. The Second Brigade had been so advantageously posted in the gap heretofore mentioned that they were able to suddenly check the advancing column, and their well-directed volleys, aided by the Thirtieth Iowa, now in its old position in the works, soon drove the enemy back to the timber from which they had emerged with such confidence. I cannot speak in too great