War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0254 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

Search Civil War Official Records

we drove them steadily before us to within two miles and a half of Atlanta, and halted and fortified. On the 21st remained in position. On the morning of the 22nd it was ascertained that the rebels had evacuated their works. The Fifty-third was ordered out to support the skirmishers. We advanced to within three-quarters of a mile of Atlanta on the east side, where we threw up a few pieces of timber as a temporary protection. There were no troops on our right, the One hundred and eleventh Illinois Infantry lay on our left; two pieces of Battery A, First Illinois Light Artillery, occupied a position on the left of the Fifty-third. With the exception of skirmishing and occasional shots from Battery A, there was nothing of importance transpired in our immediate front until about 2 p. m., when our skirmishers reported the rebels preparing to charge us. Colonel Jones, commanding Fifty-third Ohio, One hundred and eleventh Illinois [and] Battery A, First Illinois Light, sent them word to be ready to fall back in case they should come upon us in strong force. We were at that time some 600 yards from the main line, formerly the rebel line. It was not long, however, before the officer in command of the pickets reported that they were advancing. The battery was ordered to retire, which they did promptly. On came the rebels with their well-known yell. My regiment poured one volley into them and retired as ordered. We fell back to the frame house on the outside of our main line, halted, reformed our line, marched by the right flank through the works, and took position in rear of the Thirty-seventh Ohio. It was not many minutes, however, before the fighting became general, and I received orders to move my regiment forward to the works. The rebels fought desperately, coming up to within a few yard of our works, but every time they came up in our front we sent them back in confusion, but by a concealed movement on the railroad they got in the rear. The left flank of the Forty-seventh was first turned, then followed the Fifty-fourth, Thirty-seventh, Fifty-third, &c. The troops becoming somewhat confused and mixed up, fell back to our next line of works, where we rallied and moved forward. We charged through the woods to near the railroad, but were repulsed. We afterward formed in an open field on the south side of the railroad, and with the aid of one brigade of fresh troops retook and occupied our works. The rebel dead in my front numbered about 40. My regiment brought off the field about 25 mortally wounded. Our loss was 1 commissioned officer (Lieutenant S. McMillen) wounded, 1 enlisted man killed, 13 enlisted men wounded, 25 enlisted men missing.

Nothing of interest occurred from this time until the 27th of July, when we marched around the rear of the army to the right. On the 28th marched, and formed line of battle on a ridge near the Lick Skillet road, and halted, throwing up a few rails for defense. Were then ordered to charge a position held by the rebel skirmishers, and drove them. The enemy were then re-enforced. The Fifty-third was also re-enforced by the Forty-seventh and Fifty-fourth Ohio Regiments. The enemy advanced in force and we retired to our reserve; fighting all day; repulsed several charges of the enemy. On the 29th remained in camp and buried the dead. On the 30th advanced to new line about half a mile distant.

On the 1st day of August we advanced our picket-line and worked at fortifications on new line, moving into them on the 2d. On the 2nd Companies B and G charged the enemy's rifle-pits, driving the