On the morning of July 4 was ordered to march in the direction of Sandtown. This was a severe day's march. The heat was very oppressive and water very scarce, causing much suffering among the troops. On the morning of July 5 moved forward three miles, and on July 6 took a position in line. Fortified and remained here until the 10th, when it was found that the enemy had evacuated that portion of the line which lay on the north bank of the Chattahoochee. My skirmish line captured 14 prisoners, and a number of small-arms were secured. On the evening of the 12th received orders to move in the direction of Marietta; moved six miles, and camped for the night. Resumed march on the 13th; passed through Marietta, and camped within a few miles of Roswell; passed over the Chattahoochee on the evening of the 14th and took position about one mile from the bridge, where we constructed fortifications. Moved from this place on the morning of the 17th, came upon the enemy's pickets, and went into line of battle. On the morning of the 18th moved up to within one mile of Decatur and camped; on the morning of the 19th moved again, passing through Decatur on the road to Atlanta. About 2 o'clock I received orders to move forward with my brigade to the support of General M. L. Smith's division, and was placed in position on his left. While here, my command was shelled by the enemy very severely. The same evening the two remaining brigades of the division came forward and went into position, extending my lines to the left, and as soon as the lines were completed the entire division moved forward and took up a new position in the edge of a piece of timber in front of the enemy's line of works.
Here my command immediately constructed fortifications and remained until the morning of the 22d, when, by pressing forward the skirmishers, it was found that the enemy had abandoned his position during the night. The skirmishers in my front brought in 8 or 10 prisoners. Orders were received from you at 7 a. m. to advance my line and occupy the works abandoned by the enemy. Upon reaching the place designated, I reversed the works with such implements as the men could improvise for the occasion, and made them tolerably defensible. At about 12 m. heavy firing commenced on my left, which proved to be an attack on the seventeenth Corps. My reserve regiment (Twenty-Sixth Illinois Infantry, Captain Ira J. Bloomfield commanding), was ordered to report to the Second Brigade, leaving me on the line, Twelfth Indiana Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel James Goodnow commanding, on the right, and Ninetieth Illinois Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel Owen Stuart commanding, on the left. At 3 p. m. the enemy were reported advancing in my front, and soon the engagement commenced. The enemy were soon checked in my front and were retreating, when, to my utter astonishment, I discovered the brigade on my right, belonging to the Second Division, falling back. I held my line in position, and ordered the fire to be directed to the right oblique, and continued firing in that direction until the enemy, who had broken through the line at the railroad, about the length of two regiments to my right and rear, were advancing, pouring in a terrible fire, both with musketry and artillery. My command then fell back under cover of the woods and reformed. The Ninety-ninth Indiana Infantry, Colonel Fowler commanding, reported to me at this juncture, but I deemed it imprudent to send them into the works at that time, and I directed them to form under cover of the timber. My own command having reformed, advanced and re-