War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0608 Chapter L. THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records


Near Atlanta, Ga., July 29, 1864.

Brigadier General GILES A. SMITH,

Commanding Fourth Division, Seventeenth Army Corps:

The general commanding thanks you for the assistance rendered him yesterday by sending to his support the Fifteenth Iowa and Thirty-second Ohio Regiments, under command of Colonel William W. Belknap.

The general a so thanks Colonel Belknap and his brave men for the efficient manner in which they performed their duty.

By order of Brigadier General M. L. Smith:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 594.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel Addison H. Sanders, Sixteenth Iowa Infantry, of operations July 22.

SIR: I have the honor to report the action of the Sixteenth Iowa Veteran Infantry in the battle before Atlanta, Ga., July 22, 1864, resulting in the capture of nearly all of said regiment and myself.

On the morning of July 21 my regiment charged on the rebel batteries, and, after a desperate assault, lost 65 men. The regiment was complimented by General McPherson for its daring bravery. General McPherson's last words to me the day he was killed were, "The old Sixteenth shall be remembered." On the afternoon of the 21st the old Iowa brigade was removed to the extreme left flank of Sherman's army, about two miles from Atlanta. The Sixteenth Iowa formed a line at right angles with the main line of the army. Immediately on the right of the Sixteenth's works the Eleventh Iowa established themselves in rifle-pits; on a road running between the Eleventh and Sixteenth Iowa's works were planted two Napoleon guns of the Second Illinois Battery, protected by heavy works. On the left of the Sixteenth and a little to the rear the Fifteenth Iowa had rifle-pits. About 100 yards to the rear of the Sixteenth the Thirteenth Iowa had breast-works. During the night of the 21st each regiment of the brigade built substantial rifle-pits along the line that I have designated, and each cleared a space of fifty yards in front of its works. Still the heavy underbrush concealed the works of the different regiments from each other's view. On the 22nd we were under arms at daylight, but no enemy appeared. The afternoon before, immediately on our arrival, I had thrown out two companies (B and G) several hundred yards in front to act as pickets and skirmishers. About noon on the 22nd I received an order from General Smith in person to have my regiment ready to fall in at a minute's notice, and that he expected my to hold those works to the last, as the safety of the division might depend on the delay we could occasion the enemy at that point. This was the last order that I received that day from any commanding officer. About 1.30 p. m. our skirmishers in front commenced a brisk firing. I immediately formed the regiment in the intrenchments, and soon after the skirmishers were driven in upon us. I again sent them out, but a strong line of the enemy forced them back. Lieutenant Powell, commanding the battery, opened his fire on the advancing enemy, but I requested it stopped until the enemy should get nearer. I ordered my men not to fire a gun until they received my command,