War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0395 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.-ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE.

Search Civil War Official Records

through the interval between the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Corps. This fact I reported to yourself, and immediately afterward, seeing General McPherson about to start through the woods toward the Seventeenth Corps, I rode up and warned him of the danger. He disregarded it though, and went on, and as he was accompanied by but one orderly, I went with him, being followed by several other members of the Signal Corps. We had gone but a short distance when the enemy appeared on our left within a few yards of the road, and ordering us to halt, fired a volley at us. We all wheeled off the road to retreat, but at that instant the general was struck, and a moment afterward my horse dashed me against a tree with such force as to hurl me to the ground almost insensible. From this position I narrowly escaped, losing horse, hat, and signal glass. Being severely injured I started at once for the hospital, but soon getting some water, and being furnished with another horse by one of Lieutenant Shellabarger's men, I returned to learn the fate of the general, after having imparted information of the attacking force of the enemy which I had gained from prisoners. After learning that the general's body had been recovered, I went to the front of the Fifteenth Corps where the battle was then raging, and after I had carried an important message for one of the staff officers, I met the regiment to which I had formerly belonged, and as I was unable to perform further signal duties, I remained, at the sonication of Lieutenant-Colonel Cavins, commanding, to assist him. Soon the regiment was called on to retake a portion of the rifle-pits, which it did with a gallant charge. I was then placed in charge of the right wing of the regiment, and soon afterward the enemy made a desperate attempt to recapture our works, which we successfully resisted until the regiment on our right, which occupied the crest of the hill, gave way, when, being flanked by overwhelming numbers, we were compelled to retreat. At this moment my horse was shot in two places, and I made my escape with the regiment on foot. Soon we had the men reformed, and after resting a little, moved out and occupied a portion of the line, where I remained until the battle was over and then started to the rear, for my injury had pained me severely all the afternoon. Being unable to find a hospital in the darkness, I was kindly taken care of at General Smith's headquarters.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


First Lieutenant and Acting Signal Officer.

Captain O. H. HOWARD,

Chief Signal Officer, Department of the Tennessee./

Numbers 528.

Report of Lieutenant Joseph L. Shellabarger, One hundred and sixteenth Illinois Infantry, Acting Signal Office, of operations July 22.


Near Atlanta, Ga., July 24, 1864.

CAPTAIN: In obedience to circular calling for report of services performed on the 22nd instant, I have the honor to submit the following:

At 3 a. m. proceed to the station of observation on the line then occupied by the First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps. At 6 a. m.