HDQRS. THIRD Brigadier, FOURTH DIV., 17TH ARMY CORPS,
Before Atlanta, Ga., July 25, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the engagement of the 22nd instant:
The brigade was in position on the extreme left of our line in the following order, viz: The Eleventh Iowa with its right resting on a road leading at right angles from the old McDonough, or Flat Shoal, road to the new McDonough road, and its left resting on the Flat Shoal road, being formed in the arc of a circle; the Sixteenth Iowa with its right resting on the left of the Eleventh Iowa, and extending across the Flat Shoal road and perpendicular to it; the Fifteenth Iowa to the left and about thirty yards to the rear of the Sixteenth Iowa, and slightly in refuse to it; the Thirteenth Iowa to the rear of the Eleventh and Sixteenth Iowa. My line was about three miles southeast of Atlanta, and facing from it, in which position it was intrenched, with one section of Company F, Second Illinois Light Artillery, on the right, and one on the left of the Eleventh Iowa, the First Brigade being on my right and facing west. About 12 m. my line of skirmishers were driven in, and the enemy advanced in force upon my front and flank, opening a severe fire of musketry and artillery. Receiving orders from General Smith to hold my front line, and that my flank would be protected, I ordered up two companies of the Thirteenth Iowa to the left of the Eleventh Iowa, and two companies to the left of the Sixteenth Iowa, having before that sent one company to the left of the Fifteenth Iowa. This position was held, pouring in a heavy and continuous fire into the enemy, and checking them until completely flanked and I was ordered to retire. The regiments retired by the right flank in good order, the Eleventh taking position behind the front of the line of works built by the First Brigade and facing to the rear; the Thirteenth on the left of the Eleventh and perpendicular to it and facing south; the Fifteenth on the right of and in prolongation of the Thirteenth. The Sixteenth Iowa and three companies of the Thirteenth Iowa, including the one on the left of the Eleventh Iowa, were utterly unable to make their way out, being completely cut off and surrounded by a superior force of the enemy. This position was held, repeatedly repulsing the enemy, until the right of the Fifteenth Iowa was flanked, when the brigade again retired, but in some confusion, and was formed in the rear of the same work and a portion of the works of the Third Division, which position was held, repulsing repeated assaults, until about 4 p. m., when the enemy again advancing in the rear, the brigade was formed on the other side of the works, where the enemy were repulsed with terrible slaughter, losing 2 stand of colors and a large number of prisoners. The fire again coming in rear and flank, the brigade again formed in rear of the works, but, owing to a severe fire of artillery and musketry on the flank, were finally compelled to retire to a line facing south and perpendicular to the line of works, with seven companies of the Eleventh Iowa, their right resting on the hill, which was occupied on the morning of the 21st instant by General Force's brigade, of Third Division, and extending to the left, in which position the brigade repulsed assault after assault. These seven companies of the Eleventh Iowa remained in the above position during the night, with their colors opposite to and but a few feet distant from the colors of the enemy, Captain Anderson, of Company A, Eleventh Iowa, with a portion of his own company and other men