War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0380 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

Search Civil War Official Records

The command bivouacked about half a mile east of the town, facing a high range of hills occupied by the enemy. At daylight on the morning of the 27th the enemy pressed forward in heavy force drove in a portion of my skirmishers, and made a determined attack upon a portion of the Fifteenth Army Corps, I immediately formed the command in the following order: The Second Division on the right, connecting with left of Fifteenth Army Corps; the Fourth Division on the left, connecting with right of General Jeff. C. Davis's division, Fourteenth Army Corps. The formation perfected, our lines were advanced, driving the enemy into his works, and our line intrenching itself upon the new ground taken, batteries were placed in position and a strong skirmish line thrown forward. Heavy skirmishing was kept up constantly until 4 p. m. of the following day (May 28), when the enemy, massed in heavy columns, under cover of the timber, made a sudden assault upon our line. This first assault was promptly repulsed, but rallying and reforming his lines, he again, with increased force and impetuosity, charged and contested strongly for possession of the works, many of his dead and wounded being left within fifty yards of our lines, some, indeed, on the works. Three officers and a few enlisted men only succeeded in getting inside the works; they were either killed instantly or captured. This assault, although most desperate and determined, was promptly and gallantly met and repulsed. Welker's battery, Lieutenant A. T. Blodgett, Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry, commanding, being in a position on the front line, did most excellent execution; its constant fire of grape and canister, and the cool, steady fire of the men on the front line, told heavily upon the enemy, causing him to fall back in confusion, leaving his dead and many of his wounded in our hands. The men of my command engaged, being behind strong works which covered them, my loss was very small, while that of the enemy in my front was very large, especially in killed. One of my regiments (Sixty-sixth Indiana Infantry), having in its front alone, and within a few yards of the works, found and buried 53 dead rebels. On May 29 I received orders to withdraw the command during the night from the enemy's front and move, following the rest of the army, toward the left to a position in the vicinity of New Hope Church. During the day my transportation and hospitals were moved, and preparations in compliance with orders made for the withdrawal. At 10 p. m. the enemy (having evidently either suspicioned or discovered the movement) in heavy columns assaulted my lines, making five separate determined attacks, and although in each promptly repulsed, he kept up a continuous and heavy musketry fire along the entire front during the night, thereby necessitating a postponement of the movement for the withdrawal of the army. In the different day and night attacks made by the enemy, in front of Dallas, he suffered great loss. At no times did he move our lines one inch. In every instance he was speedily repulsed and severely punished, and left his dead and wounded in our possession. On May 31 a portion of the Fourth Division, and the Second Brigade, Second Division, Colonel August Mersy commanding, advanced, and with slight loss carried one line of the enemy's works, capturing several prisoners. The Second Brigade was soon after withdrawn and sent to the left, relieving the brigade of Colonel Mitchell, on General J. C. Davis' front.

At 7 a. m. of June 1 the movement for withdrawing the army was commenced. The First Brigade, Second Division, Colonel Rice commanding, was sent in advance to the left to occupy some new