War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0476 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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turned by the Thirty-third Ohio, including the colonel, the adjutant, and 1 campaign. Immediately after this charge I discovered that such if the enemy's line as overlapped our right flank was marching past the right of the Twenty-seventh [Ohio]. Regiment on toward Atlanta, which now lay in our rear. His supports followed closely, halted and some rebel regiments marching in columns doubled on the center, changed direction to their right, and marched straight for the flank of those regiments which had just made the charge described. Seeing this, I ordered these regiments to change front to face this new enemy. To accomplish this we were obliged to throw back the right rapidly; a very hot fire during this hazardous but necessary maneuver rendered it impossible to keep the line well dressed, and for a moment it seemed as if these veteran regiments would be routed. The Twenty-seventh [Ohio] especially, occupying the right and obliged to make the movement on a run, when reaching the ground, where it was to halt and face about, was in confusion and looked like defeat. There was not a moment to lose, and the din of the battle was too great to hear orders, so the colors were moved out from the confused mass toward the approaching enemy, and my sword indicated where the line should be reformed. The men of the Twenty-seventh [Ohio], nothing this movement of their colors, and instantly comprehending what was required, with a great shut came up on either side in less time than I can write. The Thirty-ninth [Ohio] instantly formed on their left, bayonets were brought down to a charge, our men advanced, and the rebels, now distant less than a hundred yards, came to a right-about, and ran back into the woods. While the movements just described were occurring, some rebel regiments which had outflanked the Twenty-seventh Ohio, and were marching toward out rear, were stopped by the fire of the Sixty-fourth Illinois and the Eighteenth Missouri. Colonel Sheldon, of the Eighteenth, rapidly changed the direction of his line, so as to give his men a raking fire on the enemy. These rebels were partly covered by a piece of rail fence, but soon began to break, when a general officer (supposed to be General Walker) rode out from the woods, and swinging his hat made a great effort to urge forward his troops. The next moment his horse went back riderless, and so sharp was the fire of our men that the enemy disappeared almost immediately, and nobody seemed to heed the cry of their officers to "bring off the general." The slaughter here may be judged from the report of Colonel Sheldon, who found as many as 13 dead rebels in a single fence corner. It was just after these combats that General McPherson, who had been looking on from high ground in our rear, rode away to see how General Giles A. Smith was getting on. He rode down the road which led from my right flank, into the woods, where he must have been immediately killed. Very soon, the rebels having reformed under cover of the woods, returned to the fence at the edge of the railroad, and reopened a heavy fire upon us. I ordered the sixty-fourth Illinois to move to the right, then advance into the woods, and, if possible, get a flank fire on this line. This proved a heavier job than one regiment could accomplish. They drove back the rebels temporarily; they captured and sent to the rear 40 prisoners; they took a stand of colors; and their valor rescued the body of McPherson, whence it was borne to the rear; but after a hard fight, in which they lost several officers and more than 50 men, they were driven out of the woods pell-mell. Yet our line in the field, now lying down and partially covered by the