War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0588 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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commanding; Third Iowa Volunteers, Captain Mathes, of the Fifty-third Indiana Volunteers, commanding; Fifty-third Illinois Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel McClanahan commanding, composed the brigade engaged with the enemy. The brigade was intrenched on the left of General Leggett's division, or on the right of Colonel Hall's brigade, with two regiments front; the Thirty-second Ohio Volunteers and Fifty-third Indiana Volunteers occupied the front line, and the Fifty-third Illinois Volunteers and the Third Iowa Volunteers as reserves. Major Allison, of the Fifty-third Illinois Volunteers, and eight companies of his regiment had been posted as pickets on the left flank two miles distant from the division on the evening of July 21.

About 1.20 p. m. of the 22nd instant the enemy attacked Colonel Hall's brigade with great impetuosity and turned his left flank. I was directed by General Smith, commanding Fourth Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, to move my reserve regiment to the left of Colonel Hall's brigade and repel the enemy. The Third Iowa Volunteers and two companies of the Fifty-third Illinois Volunteers moved rapidly to the left, but soon met an overwhelming force of the enemy, and after a severe fight of a few minutes were compelled to fall back to the works. In this severe and brief encounter many of the Third Iowa and Fifty-third Illinois were killed, and wounded and fell into the hands of the enemy. It was there the brave and gallant Captain Mathes, commanding Third Iowa Volunteers, was mortally wounded and left on the field. In a few moments after my brigade occupied the works it was attacked on the front, flank, and rear. I then formed the brigade perpendicular from the works west-ward in the edge of a corn-field where I repulsed the enemy's advance three times, and did [not] abandon the position until the enemy's fire enfiladed my whole line, when I changed front with my right regiment and held my position until a heavy line of battle advanced from the direction of Atlanta and also east of our works, when I moved my brigade to the east of the line of works and formed it in the ravine below and advanced my line until I met a superior force of the enemy, and after a sharp engagement, lasting for a considerable time, I withdrew to the rifle-pits, covering the ravine east of the line of works and fronting and covering the left flank of the division, where the brigade remained for the night.

The list of casualties already forwarded shows how severely the contest waged. Both officers and men acted nobly, repulsing line after line of the enemy, displaying a veteran coolness under a murderous fire of a drunk and infuriated enemy.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, commanding Fifty-third Indiana Volunteers, fell wounded through both thighs early in the engagement, and was again struck by a shell on the head and instantly killed. Colonel Jones was in his sixty-fifth year and was a brave and patriotic officer. After he was first wounded he drew his revolver and assisted in guarding prisoners behind the works, where he received his death-wound; then the gallant Major Vestal took command and was soon severely wounded.

Great credit is due Lieutenant-Colonel McClanahan, Fifty-third Illinois, and Captain Morris, commanding Thirty-second Ohio Volunteers, for their bravery and coolness during the entire engagement.

The brigade captured a large number of prisoners, but in the heat of the engagement were sent to the rear and not counted. Amongst them were several line officers.