a road cut parallel with it, upon which my command moved, and having crossed Peach Tree Creek proper, my advance, Ninth Illinois Mountain Infantry, struck the enemy in force in front of Decatur, and, driving him steadily back, entered the town with the advance of the Twenty-third Army Corps. Being ordered by General McPherson to occupy and hold the town during the night, I ordered General Fuller to place his division (Fourth) in position on a range of hills south of, and commanding, the town. As this division advanced through town, the enemy opened fire upon it with artillery posted on a range of hills west of town. General Fuller threw his division promptly into line; batteries were brought into action, and, opened fire upon, silenced the enemy's artillery. The Second Division was brought forward promptly, and placed in position on the right of the Fourth Division, and west of town. The line then advanced, and occupied and held the range of hills south and west of town. At 1 p. m. of July 20 the command moved, on the Decatur and Atlanta road, in rear of the Fifteenth Army Corps. General Logan having found the enemy in heavy force in his front, near the Three Mile House, and his right being much exposed, requested me to fill the gap intervening between him and the Twenty-third Army Corps, which I did by placing the Second Division in line on the right of the Fifteenth Army Corps, and connecting by a heavy skirmish line with the Twenty-third Army Corps. The position taken by this division was intrenched during the night. The Second Brigade, Fourth Division, Colonel (now Brigadier General) J. W. Sprague commanding, was ordered back to Decatur to relieve General Garrard's cavalry division, and guard the trains of the army.
On the morning of the 21st of July General Fuller was ordered to move the First Brigade of his division into position as a reserve to the Seventeenth Army Corps, and Light Battery F, Second U. S. Artillery, attached to Fourth Division, was placed in position on General G. A. Smith's front, Seventeenth Army Corps. The Second Division moved forward and occupied a range of hills three-quarters of a mile in advance of its former position, forming close connection on right with the Twenty-third Army Corps. The enemy contested this advance very sharply. The new line taken up was immediately intrenched and made secure. At 4 a. m. of July 22 General Sweeny, commanding Second Division, reported to me that the enemy had disappeared a heavy skirmish line, which he did ordered him to push forward a heavy skirmish line, which he did promptly, and promptly, and reported the enemy in force in works surrounding Atlanta. The forward movement made by the army that morning left the Second Division out of line, and General McPherson ordered me to move my command to the left flank of the army, to place the First Brigade of the Fourth Division in line on the left of the new position to be taken up by the Seventeenth Army Corps. and hold the remainder of the command (Second Division) in reserve.
At an early hour in the morning, I rode with General McPherson from his headquarters to the front, on the direct Atlanta road. The sudden evacuation of the enemy caused us some surprise and serious concern, and the general requested me to repair to the left, get my troops on the ground as soon as possible, and to examine the ground in front and on the left of the Seventeenth Army Corps, which I hastened to do. The enemy allowed myself and staff to approach their works on the south side of Atlanta to within easy musket range without firing a shot. When I turned about, however, to re-