the most substantial kind, chevaux-de-frise, and palisades of approved styles bristled along our whole front, giving confidence to our troops and speaking defiance to the foe. Four weeks in the month of August were spent in perfecting these works of defense and in annoying the enemy from our picket-line and with the artillery as much as was consistent with an economical expenditure of ammunition.
I refer to the operations of the division during this month with pleasure, as evincing a spirit and determination on the part of the troops as well as an alacrity and skill in the performance of every duty on the part of their officer worthy of the highest praise.
To the brigade commanders (Deas, Brantly, Sharp, and Manigault) I am specially indebted for their prompt obedience to every order and cheerful co-operation in everything tending to promote the efficiency of the command and the good of the service. Their sympathy, counsel, and hearty co-operation lightened my burden of responsibility and contributed to the esprit de corps, discipline, and good feeling which happily pervaded the division, and without which the bravest troops in the world cannot be relied on.
On the night of the 25th of August our scouts reported a movement on the part of the enemy, the precise character of which was not fully understood, but which was indicated by the rumbling of artillery, wagons, &c. On the next morning it was ascertained that he had withdrawn from the front of a portion of the line occupied by Lieutenant-General Stewart's corps, which was on the right of Lee's corps. During the night of the 26th he withdrew from my front. As this movement was not unlooked for by us, preparations for it had been accordingly made. At about 9 p. m. each of our batteries delivered a few rounds for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not a reply could be elicited. With the exception of one or perhaps two pieces on my extreme left, there was no response along my whole front. Before daylight on the morning of the 27th our skirmishers occupied a portion of the enemy's main works without opposition. By direction of the lieutenant-general commanding the corps, Deas' brigade, with Jackson's, of Bate's division, of Hardee's corps, Brigadier General H. R. Jackson commanding the whole, were sent forward in pursuit on the Lick Skilled road. They advanced cautiously a distance of six or seven miles to within a short distance of the Chattahoochee River, and, coming upon a force of the enemy deemed too strong to be assailed by the two brigades, the command was halted, and Brigadier-General Jackson reported the facts and awaited further instructions, whereupon the two brigades were directed, by order of the corps commander, to return to their positions in the line. They reached their places in the trenches at about - p. m., having captured a few stragglers, some sutler's stores, several wagons and mules with forage, broken-down horses, &c. On the 28th and 29th small parties were sent forward for the purpose of scouting my whole front thoroughly and of ascertaining, if possible, the precise route taken by the enemy, and for the purpose generally of getting all the information possible in regard to his movement. These scouts reported the enemy as having moved the larger portion of his forces in the direction of Sandtown and Blue Pond, but one corps at least they reported to have crossed the Chattahoochee River, and to have moved up that stream on or near its right bank in the direction of the railroad bridge or Marietta. Early in the night of the 29th I received orders from corps head-