Report of Captain William H. Perry, Eighteenth Texas Cavalry, commanding Seventeenth and Eighteenth Texas Cavalry (dismounted), of operations July 20-22.
ATLANTA, August 2, 1864.
Report of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Texas Cavalry in the engagement of the 20th, 21st, and 22nd of July before Atlanta.
July 20, we did not participate in the engagement, being in reserve for General Cheatham's division. We were exposed to some extent to the shells of the enemy. Loss of the regiment 2 men wounded. 21st, at daylight we formed our line within 250 or 300 yards of the enemy's pickets, and some 500 or 600 yards from the main line of the enemy's works under a heavy fire from the pickets of the enemy. The regiment sustained some loss while building our works. About 9 a. m. the enemy advanced with two or three lines of battle, driving our pickets and rushing on to get possession of our line. They were met with a volley of bullets and turned their course. After rallying and making several faint charges they disappeared. The loss of the enemy was heavy. The regiment did not suffer but little from the minie-balls, but suffered heavily from shells, the enemy having an enfilading fire upon our lines.
The regiment had 184 rank and file. Loss during the day-killed, 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, and 10 non-commissioned officers and privates; wounded, 3 lieutenants, 36 non-commissioned officers and privates. I suppose the enemy must have had 6,000 or 8,000 in the engagement. No captures were made.
July 22, the regiment went into the action with about 160 men. The cook detail having been ordered in, and the picket that had been left on the line some two or three days previously having come up, we advanced rapidly upon the enemy and in good order, notwithstanding the thick undergrowth and the marshy ravines we had to pass through. We drove emerged into an open field and advanced to the third line on double-quick, the enemy pouring musketry into us from our front and right flank, playing on us at the same time with cannon. The right of the brigade, having engaged the enemy, failed to move forward with us and left our flank exposed. Not until we had reached the third line did we discover that we had no support on our right with the exception of the left wing of the Fifth Confederate Regiment. We were separated from the left of the brigade by a marshy ravine and an angle in the works. The brigade received orders to move out by the left flank as soon as our position was ascertained, but the orders failed to reach our regiment. Captain Manion, commanding the regiment at that time, sent Lieutenants McKnight and Little to General Smith for orders and to know what to do; but before they could return the enemy made several charges upon us and had succeeded in getting in our rear. We fought the overwhelming forces of the enemy in almost a hand-to-hand encounter until further resistance would have been folly. Thus it was that many of our gallant men fell into the hands of the enemy. I know nothing of the killed and wounded after the occupation of the third line. We captured several pieces of artillery, wagons, ambulances, horses, and several hundred stand of small-arms. I saw