Report of Major General Grenville, M. Dodge, U. S. Army, commanding Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps, of operations April 29-August 19.
HDQRS. LEFT WING, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Atlanta, Ga., August 11, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to herewith report the part taken by this command and in the battle in front of Atlanta, Ga., July 22, 1864:
On the morning of the 22nd my troops were dispose as follows:
One division (Second) was in position on the right of the Army of the Tennessee, with one brigade in reserve. The First Brigade, of the Fourth Division, was in reserve near the left of the army, and in rear of the center of the Seventeenth Army Corps, being held as a reserve to the left of the army. The Second Brigade, of the Fourth Division, Colonel J. W. Sprague commanding, was posted at Decatur, to hold that place and cover our trains during the absence of the cavalry. At daylight the pickets in front of Second Division discovered the enemy had evacuated works in our front. They pushed on, finding the enemy in his works surrounding Atlanta.
About 8 a. m. I received a verbal order from Major-General McPherson to move the Second Division from the right to the extreme left of the army, and mass it in rear of the new position to be selected for the Seventeenth Army Corps, and to place one brigade of the Fourth Division in position on the left of this new position. The Second Division moved promptly, and halted about half a mile south of the railroad, in a position marked A on the map,* on the road running parallel to and a three-quarters of a mile in rear of the position of the Seventeenth Army Corps. The brigade of the Fourth Division had not yet moved. I went in person to select a position for this brigade, and also to select good ground to mass the Second Division. I had just accomplished this when, ascertaining that the Seventeenth Army Corps would not move into its new position until night, I sent orders for the Second Division to bivouac where it then was an await orders. I also ordered Brigadier General J. W. Fuller, commanding Fourth Division, to send out working parties to intrench the position he was to occupy. About 12 m., while at General Fuller's headquarters, straggling shots were heard in the rear of the left of the Seventeenth Army Corps, and reports came in that the enemy were in force in our rear. Brigadier General T. W. Sweeny, commanding Second Division, sent out skirmishers in that direction, who immediately developed the fact that the enemy in considerable force was in the timber in rear of the Seventeenth Army Corps. Hearing the shots, I immediately sent orders to the Second Division to go into on the ground it then occupied, facing east and south.
At the same time I ordered General Fuller to post one regiment to cover the right flank of the Second Division. The Second Division had hardly gone position when it was discovered that the enemy were in heavy force in our front. General Fuller perceiving this, ordered out his entire brigade instead of one regiment, and went into position on the right of the Second Division. Two batteries,
* To appear in the Atlas.
24 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT III