Indiana, the companies of the Fifty-third Indiana (A, D, I, and B) occupying the right of the line and connecting with the line of the Sixteenth Army Corps. The enemy's skirmishers were soon encountered and driven back to their rifle-pits, where three regiments of the rebels were held in reserve and so completely concealed by bushes and undergrowth as to be unperceived by our men. The enemy evidently expected to capture the entire line, as they did not fire until our men reached in some instances the parapet of their works, when they opened a murderous fire of musketry, compelling our men to fall back with a loss of 65 killed, wounded, and missing.
The body of Lieutenant White, Company I, Fifty-third Indiana, and several other killed and wounded men, fell into the hands of the enemy, as their skirmishers were immediately advanced to the position from which we had driven them at the commencement of the engagement.
The reconnaissance developed the fact that on the mountain in our immediate front the enemy had several lines of strong works defended by a very heavy force.
I cannot conclude this report without specially mentioning the conduct of Major Ferguson, of the Twenty-third Indiana, and Major W. L. Vestal, of the Fifty-third Indiana. The orders given them were promptly and faithfully obeyed, and their gallantry and coolness throughout merits the highest praise and approbation.
To Lieutenant L. C. Malbon, Twenty-third Indiana, brigade picket officer, is due great credit and commendation for his energy and bravery. He was constantly on the field, and where his duty called him he was always to be found.
My thanks are also due to my staff--Captain J. M. Price, Twelfth Wisconsin; Captain Smith Townshend, Thirty-second Illinois, and Lieutenant H. Duncan, acting assistant, adjutant-general--for their promptness and faithfulness in executing all the orders intrusted to them, and last, though not least, to the men. Never did men fight better. Although greatly outnumbered, the advantages of ground and position against them, they stood nobly until forced to retire; their conduct can be excelled by none; I was proud of them.
Inclosed find a list* of killed and wounded, which I regret to say includes the names of some good and efficient officers.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. SANDERSON,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Captain C. CADLE,
Asst. Adjt. General, Fourth Division, 17th Army Corps.
Reports of Colonel Benjamin F. Potts, Thirty-second Ohio Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of operations July 17-September 8.
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FOURTH DIV., 17TH ARMY CORPS,
In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., July 23, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the First Brigade, Fourth Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, on the 22nd day of July, 1864, near Atlanta, Ga.:
The Fifty-third Indiana Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Jones commanding; Thirty-second Ohio Volunteers, Captain W. M. Morris