War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0154 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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of the Ninth had gained this position, and had reported to me that the enemy were in strong force in his front and left flank threatening them, leaving but four companies of this regiment in line. From the remaining four companies of the Ninth I was compelled to throw out skirmishers or pickets, to connect my skirmish line with the two companies on the hill to the left. I then sent Lieutenant Shields, of my staff, to the general commanding the division, to inform him of what I had done, and to state further to the general that it had been reported to me by Colonel Carskaddon, of the Ninth Iowa, and also by the officer commanding the two companies on the left, that my left flank was seriously threatened, and that I had no support anywhere on my left, and received the assurance that my statement could not be true. In this position I remained, my skirmish line being frequently attacked, and my whole command kept on the qui vive through the night. At daylight, in fact before it was light, I went to the left and found the skirmish line drawn back almost to the line of battle. I went in person to the officer commanding the skirmishers and ordered him to advance them. He reported the enemy but a short distance in his front in line of battle, and that a force was moving by the flank perpendicular to my line of battle. I pushed the skirmishers forward as far as it was possible, in front of the Thirty-first and the small portion of the Ninth which was there. About this time the skirmish line on the left, connecting the two companies, commenced giving way, and reported again that the enemy was coming up in heavy force between my left and the two detached companies. I sent Captain George D. Hilton, of my staff, to inform General Osterhaus of all that is above stated, and soon after, becoming more confirmed in my belief that everything was as report to me, I sent Lieutenant Shields, of my staff, to repeat the same message, and assure the general commanding the division of the fact of the statements which I had instructed Captain Hilton to give, as a representation made by officers who had been reconnoitering. The events above narrated all transpired in a very short time it impossible at daylight. There was a heavy mist or fog, which made it impossible to see a man, or even a line of battle, more than ten paces. While Captain Hilton and Lieutenant Shields were gone with the message to General Osterhaus the firing nearly ceased, and the apprehension of an attack was somewhat lessened, and the skirmish line to the left reformed. Both the officers returned from General Osterhaus and assured me there was no enemy on or near my flank. While Captain Hilton was reporting to me this intelligence, a heavy fire was opened on the flank driving in the skirmishers. I instantly went to the extreme left and found the skirmish line connecting with the two companies on the hill falling back. I had just given orders for the fragment of the Ninth Iowa, then present, to form at a right angle to the position they then held, when a terrific fire was opened from the enemy, who had marched across my left flank. This attack was sudden, and the strong picket, which had been out on the left, coming in precipitately, and on account of the fog missing the flank of the regiment, thus coming to the rear among surgeons, cooks, litter-bearers, servants, and non-combatants generally, created some apparent confusion; when, indeed, but few, if any, who had been in line had given way. The enemy were soon repulsed and the fire ceased. My brigade being now several hundred yards in advance of