War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0746 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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Numbers 616.

Reports of Brigadier General James A. Smith, C. S. Army, commanding brigade, of operations July 21 and 22.

MACON, GA., August 5, 1864.

Captain I. A. BUCK, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith my reports of the actions of the 21st and 22nd ultimo near Atlanta, Ga.; also, I inclose the reports of regimental commanders, which are rather meager and indefinite. They would have been returned for correction but for the delay it would have occasioned in making out my own reports.

J. A. SMITH,

Brigadier-General.

MACON, GA., August 5, 1864.

I have the honor to report as follows concerning the part taken by my brigade in the action on 21st of July, 1864, near Atlanta, Ga.:

The brigade was moved into position on the extreme right of the army, about a mile south of the Atlanta and Augusta Railroad, at daylight, relieving some cavalry who occupied the position previous to the arrival of my brigade. I immediately proceeded to construct such works for protection as the limited means at my disposal would permit. Owing, however, to the position being much exposed and the close proximity of the enemy, who occupied a strongly intrenched position, our progress was slow. About 7 o'clock he opened a battery on my left, about 800 yards distant, which swept my line from left to right, committing dreadful havoc in the ranks. I have never before witnessed such accurate and destructive cannonading. In a few minutes 40 men were killed and over 100 wounded by this battery alone. In the Eighteenth Texas Cavalry Regiment (dismounted) 17 of the 18 men composing one company were placed hors de combat by one shot alone. When the cannonading ceased the enemy's infantry moved on our front in heavy force, and succeeded in driving the cavalry on my right in confusion from its position, thereby causing the right regiment of my brigade to give way. This regiment, the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Texas Cavalry (dismounted), was soon rallied and in turn drove back the enemy with heavy loss, regaining its position in the line.

During the fearful cannonading on our flank and rear both officers and men demeaned themselves with marked coolness and courage. Not a man left his post, but quietly awaited the coming charge, which was repulsed with heavy loss, the enemy leaving a number of his killed and wounded in our hands.

The loss of the brigade in this affair was 47 killed, 120 wounded, and 19 captured. Among the wounded were Lieutenant-colonel Neyland, commanding the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Texas Cavalry (dismounted); Captain Fisher, commanding the Sixth and Fifteenth Texas Regiments, and Captain Houston, who succeeded him in the command of the regiment. Among the killed was Captain Bennett, of the Tenth Texas Regiment, a most gallant and meritorious officer.

J. A. SMITH,

Brigadier-General.

Captain I. A. BUCK,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Cleburne's Division.