War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0710 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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learned, proceeded to General Cleburne, and made directly to him the report intended for me, though, it may be proper to add, this was neither directed or suggested by those who sent him. The condition of affairs at the time my two right brigades reached the front line, and also at the moment of my arrival, was our attack upon the enemy seemed suspended; firing, with exception of scattering shot and some artillery discharges, having ceased along our entire line, and the enemy was reported endeavoring to follow up the repulse he had given, voices of their officers being heard urging them forward from their trenches, with assurances of easy victory. Porter's and Gordon's brigades having advanced about one mile were in line upon a ridge crest, under cover of a skirt of timber bordering an extensive open field in their front. Through this on a parallel with my line, and at about an average distance of 350 yards, were the enemy's works, running almost due east and west, in some parts covered with both abatis and palisade obstructions, and at all points with one or the other. The works continued through the open field in direction of my left, considerably beyond the front that could have been occupied by my entire command in single line, and ended apparently in a swamp or creek bottom, covered densely with wood and entangled undergrowth. Two batteries were distinctly developed immediately in my front. Carter's brigade, though not fully up, was in view and moving into line on the left of Gordon, but Mccullough's, by far the largest brigade of the division, was not yet in sight. The delay of this arose from the fact that being on the extreme left, or wheeling flank, it not only had by far the greatest distance to move, but the ground it had to pass was rough, and in many places covered with an entanglement of timber undergrowth and brush, through which it was extremely difficult, if not impossible, to pass with rapidity or in order. With a single exception, however, my staff had at different times been sent to press forward the left, and I knew it was being brought up as rapidly as possible. In this condition, my order being to attack with my "whole division," and myself convinced the whole was necessary to afford reasonable chances of success, I deemed it best to await the arrival of all my command and make concerted effort with it rather than increase the risk of repulse and failure by attacking in detail and with only a part; and, further, my order being to attack the enemy "in flank or rear," and not knowing but expectation of his exposure in this particular was the inducement and reason for the order, I felt it proper, probably highly important, that my immediate commander should be advised of enemy's formidable and apparently as it was probable this information could be imparted before all my command could arrive and be gotten in position for engagement. For this purpose, my own staff having not yet rejoined me, and knowing nothing of Captain Locke having gone to General Cleburne, I sent Captain Porter, assistant adjutant-general of Porter's command, to advise General cleburne of affairs, and with information that I was then awaiting arrival of my entire command to make assault, unless there was a change of orders. But in view of enemy's strength and preparation at this, and our apparent cessation of attack at all other points, asked, if practicable, that some additional force be sent to offer my command if repulsed, or secure full advantage of the success if, after carrying the works, it should be too much weakened to effectively press the enemy farther. Mean time, that existing orders might be