War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0401 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.-ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE.

Search Civil War Official Records

tion, the former on the right, and the latter on the left of the Calhoun road, about 100 yards north of the river, and commanding a large open filed in front of the works on the south side. Up to this time no enemy of importance had been developed, owing, it is supposed, to the demonstration made by the Third Brigade and a battery at the ferry above during the crossing, in compliance with instructions given Colonel M. M. Bane, its commander, in the morning. At 12 m., and while the right of the line was being thrown forward preparatory to constructing a second line of works, the first having been completed, the enemy appeared, advancing from the woods in line of battle, charging across the field, making for our right and center, moving with a degree of boldness that showed clearly their confidence in being able to crush and annihilate the small force thus opposed to them, with a deep river in its rear and but a floating bridge for its passage in case of defeat. As soon as the assaulting lines of the enemy had unmasked and stretched out upon the open field, Batteries H and I, First Missouri Light Artillery, opened a destructive fire from their ten guns upon the advancing enemy, which compelled him first to waver and then break in confusion, moving by the left to the cover of an orchard and a dense growth of small timber, when he struck the advance regiment of Colonel Rice's brigade, the Seventh Iowa Volunteers, which opened a deadly volley of musketry upon the already discomfited foe, who, after delivering a rapid fire into the ranks of this regiment, and trying in vain to overpower it by mere numbers alone, gave up the field and fled in disorder, completely routed and defeated. No further assault, or even demonstration, being made by the enemy the command commenced constructing a second line of works, skirmishers being thrown well to the front, and the battery brought forward across the river. At 5 p. m. the Third Brigade and Battery B, First Michigan, Light Artillery, having been bought down from Calhoun Ferry, the former was thrown across the river to a position in advance of the second line of works, near a brick house, and immediately commenced throwing up earth-works, the battery occupying the position left by Battery I, First Missouri Artillery, on the north side. Thus at dark of this day this division had secured and fortified a position on the south bank of the Oostenaula River, placing itself nearly in rear of the rebel army at Resaca, and threatening their only line of communications, the Atlanta and Chattanooga Railroad. Every officer and soldier seemed impressed with the importance of this undertaking, and manifested a determination that it should not fail, if gallantry, perseverance, and promptness could avail. During the night of this day extreme vigilance was kept up, not only by the skirmishers, but by the entire line, and, in compliance with instructions given brigade commanders, select parties were sent to the front as far as the Rome road, and reported hearing distinctly the moving of wagon trains and trains of cars. This information was at once communicated to Major-General Sherman, commanding Military Division of the Mississippi, by one of his staff officers, who was present during these operations.

On the morning of the 16th of May, pursuant to orders from Brigadier-General Dodge, commanding Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps, the division moved south in the direction of Calhoun, the Third Brigade and battery in advance, Second Brigade and battery in center, and First Brigade and battery in rear, followed by

26 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT III