War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0426 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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on main road, with no connection on either flank. In this position the line remained for several hours, skirmishing with the enemy. The line was advanced much farther than I directed, but I was informed by Major Morrison that he advanced it in accordance with General Sherman's orders given to him while deploying his men. While in this position the five companies held in reserve were exposed to the shells of the enemy, many of which exploded over and among the men. About 10 a. m. I received orders from your headquarters, delivered by Lieutenant Randolph, that my companies on the skirmish line would be relieved by men from General Woods' division, Fifteenth Army Corps, and directed me to rejoin the brigade at our last line of works. This order I promptly obeyed, leaving Major Boyd to conduct the remaining five companies to camp when relieved. On arriving in camp, I found the brigade had marched. Lieutenant Randolph further instructed me that as soon as the other five companies came up I was to rejoin the brigade with as little delay as possible. Some delay occurred in relieving the skirmish line; those companies did not rejoin the regiment as soon as I expected. The last company had just rejoined the regiment, when an orderly from your headquarters delivered me the following order: "Tell Colonel Bowen to hurry up as fast as God will let him; the enemy are in our rear, and the brigade is fighting like hell." The publication of this order caused the men to spring to arms instantaneously. Knowing that the heat was too intense to make the entire distance on the double-quick, I ordered the battalion to move as fast as the men could walk. On arriving within three-quarters of a mile of the battle-field I met one of your orderlies directing me to double-quick, which order was promptly obeyed. Notwithstanding the men were much exhausted from the pressure of heat, they moved forward to the scene of action with commendable zeal and celerity, and with ranks well closed. Arriving on the crest of a hill overlooking the entire battle-field, and at a time when the tide of battle seemed to be turning, a right hearty cheer was given, and continued until arriving in rear of the position assigned me in line. By your direction I moved up the crest of the hill, resting the right of my command on the left of Captain Welker's battery. In this position my command remained during the continuance of the battle, without becoming engaged, yet considerably exposed to the enemy's fire. After getting into position, 2 men fell nearly senseless from the effects of the heat, and were removed from the field to the hospital. One man received a slight wound in the breast from spent ball while getting into position. No other casualties occurred during the day. Not more than 5 or 6 men fell out of the ranks in reaching the scene of action, and within fifteen minutes thereafter every man was up and at his post.

Every officer (with one exception) came up with their respective commands. Their conduct, as well as the conduct of the men during the day's entire operations, was commendable and all that could be desired. Captain W. H. Wilcox, commanding Company G, fell out soon after the double-quick movement began and did not rejoin his command until the battle was over and the regiment was transferred from the left to the right of the brigade in the formation of a new line and had hastily constructed rail breast-works. Captain Wilcox offers in excuse for his absence that he was unable to rejoin his command at an earlier hour on account of the prostration and debility occasioned by the heat.