On the 7th the right, covered by Noonday Creek, was extended across the Acworth and Marietta road. The enemy approached under cover of successive lines of intrenchments. There was brisk and incessant skirmishing until the 18th. On the 14th the brave Lieutenant-General Polk, distinguished in every battle in which this army had fought, fell by a cannon-shot at an advanced post. Major-General Loring succeeded to the command, which he held until the 7th of July with great efficiency.
On the 4th of June a letter from Governor Brown informed me that he had organized a division of infantry and placed it under my orders. These troops, when ready for service-about the middle of the month, under Major General G. W. Smith-were employed to defend the crossings of the Chattahoochee, to prevent the surprise of Atlanta by the Federal cavalry. On the 19th a new line was taken by the army, Hood's corps with its right on the Marietta and Canton road, Loring's on the Kenesaw Mountain, and Hardee's with its left extending across the Lost Mountain and Marietta road. The enemy approached as usual under cover of intrenchments. In this position there was incessant fighting and skirmishing until July 3, the enemy gradually extending his intrenched right toward Atlanta.
On the 20th of June Wheeler, with 1,100 men, routed Garrard's division of Federal cavalry on our right. On the 21st Hood's corps was transferred from right to left, Wheeler's cavalry taking charge of the position which it left. On the 22nd Lieutenant-General Hood reported that Hindman's and Stevenson's divisions, of his corps, being attacked, drove back the enemy, taking a line of his breast-works, but were compelled to withdraw by the fire of fortified artillery. On the 24th Hardee's skirmishers repulsed a line of battle, as did Stevenson's, of Hood's corps, on the 25th. On the 27th, after a furious cannonade of several hours, the enemy made a general advance, but was everywhere repulsed with heavy loss. The assaults were most vigorous on Cheatham's and Cleburne's divisions, of Hardee's corps, and French's and Featherson's, of Loring's. Lieutenant-General Hardee reports that Cheatham's division lost in killed, wounded, and missing 195; the enemy opposed to it, by the statement of a staff officer subsequently captured, 2,000. The loss of Cleburne's division, 11; that of the enemy in his front, 1,000. Major-General Loring reported 236 of his corps killed, wounded, and missing, and the loss of the enemy, by their own estimates, at between 2,500 and 3,000, which he thinks very small.
On the 1st of July Major-General Smith's division was ordered to support the cavalry on our left. Their effective total was about 1,500. On the 2d, the enemy's right being nearer to Atlanta by several miles than our left, the army fell back during the night to Smyrna Church. On the 4th Major-General Smith reported that he should be compelled to withdraw on the morning of the 5th to the line of intrenchments covering the railroad bridge and Turner's Ferry. The army was therefore ordered to retire at the same time to that line to secure our bridges. The cavalry crossed the Chattahoochee, Wheeler observing it for some twenty miles above, and Jackson as far below. The enemy advanced as usual covered by intrenchments. Skirmishing continued until the 9th. Our infantry and artillery were brought to the southeast side of the river that night because two Federal corps had crossed it above Powers' Ferry on the 8th and intrenched. Lieutenant-General Stewart took command of his corps on the 7th.