ground being an open field and gradually ascending the whole distance. The division moved gallantly forward in two lines and were met by a heavy fire of musketry. They continued to advance until nearing the top, when the enemy opened with artillery loaded with grape and canister at such short range, and with such deadly effect, as to stop our advance. The line halted and returned the fire, but evidently without doing much damage the enemy, who lay securely behind his works. The ground in front of the Fourth Division was held about half an hour, when, General Leggett having well established his lines and the main object of the attack having been accomplished, in assisting General Leggett to maintain his position he had carried on the enemy's right flank, the Fourth Division was withdrawn from its exposed position within our works. The officers and men of the Fourth Division acquitted themselves in a highly creditable manner. Colonels Potts and Shane, commanding First and Third Brigade respectively, are especially commended by General Smith for their skill and good conduct. Before 9 a.m. of the 21st General Leggett had placed a battery in position on the hill and threw shell into Atlanta, which was not more than a mile and a half distant. The position thus secured by General Leggett was one of the greatest importance and commanded all the ground occupied subsequently by the Army of the Tennessee, and if the enemy had been allowed to retain it and fortify himself securely upon it, he could not only have prevented our advance, but would have made the positions previously held by the Seventeenth and Fifteenth Corps, exceedingly insecure and dangerous. Our occupation of this point compelled the enemy to give up his line in front of my Fourth Division, and also in front of the Fifteenth Corps, and fall back nearer Atlanta. The loss in my command in the fight of the 21st was quite severe, and amounted to 728 in killed, wounded, and missing; the loss in the two divisions being nearly equal. The enemy's loss could not have been so large as mine as they fought from behind their intrenchments. Their principal loss was in front of the Third Division, in their efforts to recover the hill from which they had been driven. During the day the enemy were observed moving to my left, and to meet their movement the Fourth Division was moved to the left of the Third Division and took up a position on a continuation of the same ridge held by the Third Division and along the line of the McDonough road, with its left flank refused toward the east. As the corps under my command held the extreme left of the army in position before Atlanta, and as movements of the enemy toward my left were constantly reported me, I endeavored to guard my flanks by pickets and outposts as well as it was possible to do with my limited force. Unusual precautions were deemed essential from the absence of our cavalry force from this flank, it having been sent some days previous to make a raid on the Augusta railroad. The balance of the day of the 21st and the following night were used in intrenching and fortifying our position. Late in the evening of the 21st a brigade of the Sixteenth Army Corps, commanded by Brigadier-General Fuller, was sent to me, and placed in reserve in rear of my line.
On the morning of the 22nd information was brought to me that the enemy had withdrawn from my front and retired into the works of Atlanta. I found the enemy had given up a line of rifle-pits made by them the night before, about three-quarters of a mile in advance of my line, and fallen back to the heavy fortifications of the city,