Fayetteville road about one mile and a half. I then turned to the right,following a very crooked country road, the general direction of which was toward Atlanta, and parallel to the railroad between that place and Decatur. After marching three of four miles I struck the road running nearly north and south, and in front of Clay's house. At this point the Fourth Division, commanded by Brigadier-General Gresham, discovered the enemy posted a half or three-quarters of a mile west of Clay's road, in a strip of timber, who immediately opened with artillery upon my advance. I immediately ordered up two batteries and silenced the enemy's artillery, and in the mean time the Fourth Division was deployed into line and advanced, driving the enemy fully a mile and a quarter to a ridge of hills. At this point my right connected with the left of Major-General Logan, commanding the Fifteenth Army Corps. I found, however, that I could not advance farther with the Fourth Division, as the left of my line was commanded, and in case of an advance would have been enfilade, by the enemy from a high, bald hill on my left. General Gresham was shot by one of the enemy's sharpshooters from this hill after his troops had taken up the position I have described. The Third Division, commanded by Brigadier-General Leggett, which had been in reserve during the day, was now advanced up into position on the left of the Fourth Division, and I sent orders, which, however, did not reach General Leggett, to assault the hill on the left of Gresham immediately. My loss was light in the advance of the 20th, as the enemy in my front consisted of cavalry and militia. If my order had reached General Leggett on the evening of the 20th, I am sure the hill would have been carried without serious loss on our part. General Gresham, who was very seriously wounded in the affair of the 20th, displayed the greatest courage and skill in the management of his troops on that day. I immediately advised General McPherson that General Gresham had been badly wounded, and that it was necessary to assign another officer to the command of the division. Brigadier General Giles A. Smith was accordingly assigned to me and reported for duty at 2 o'clock on the morning of the 21st. Both division had in the mean time thrown up intrenchments, the Fourth Division occupying the right of my line and connecting with the Fifteenth Army Corps, and the Third Division holding the left of my line and the extreme left of the army.
On the morning of the 21st, about sunrise, General Leggett moved his division upon the enemy's works on the bald hill in his front. The enemy made a stubborn resistance, having been strongly re-enforced during the night as I afterward learned, and as I had anticipated they would be, but the Third Division moved upon them at a double-quick and took possession of their works, capturing 40 or 50 prisoners. The enemy rallied and made repeated attempts to regain possession of the hill, in all of which they were unsuccessful, and suffered considerable loss. The First Brigade, of the Third Division, commanded by Brigadier General M. F. Force was conspicuous in this fight, and to use General Leggett's works "did great honor to themselves and the cause for which they fought." As soon as the Third Division took possession of the hill on their front, I ordered the Fourth Division to advance, to engage the enemy, and prevent them from turning their whole force upon General Leggett. The enemy occupied a line of works in front of the Fourth Division, in the edge of a wood, about 600 yards from our intrenchments, the intervening