Report of Major John N. Slaughter, Thirty-fourth Alabama Infantry, of operations July 28.
HEADQUARTERS THIRTY-FOURTH ALABAMA REGIMENT,
Near Atlanta, Ga., July 28, 1864.
I have the honor to report to you the part borne by the Thirty-fourth Alabama Regiment in the engagement of July 28 with the enemy near the Sandtown road, southwest of Atlanta.
At 10 a. m. we ordered to move out of position, and took up line of march on Sandtown road; crossed both lines of intrenchments, and moved beyond some three-quarters of a mile, and filed to the left through a field into second line to support division. After several changes of position we were finally formed with left near the branch in field in rear of the hill, some half a mile from enemy's forks. Very soon Tucker's brigade was engaged, and we were ordered forward to his support, with instructions to be governed by the movements of the regiment on our right. Moving through a very thick woods na over very uneven ground, we reached an old field; moved through that to the road near old house on road. Halting here a few minutes, we were ordered forward to the assault, and crossed a field in our front some 500 yards in width under heavy fire from the enemy. Reaching a boggy branch in front, the regiment advanced promptly across it into the woods. Though somewhat confused by the branch, the regiment quickly rallied and opened fire. They approached the works to within from [fifty] to sixty yards, the left resting a short distance to the left of the round top hill. At this juncture the regiment received a heavy and destructive enfilading fire from the left, being outflanked by the enemy on that side, and having no support. Notwithstanding these difficulties the regiment started forward for the enemy's works, but seeing the brigade falling back on the right, a retreat was ordered, and they retired from the field. It was the fifth general engagement in which the regiment had participated, but this was by far the most destructive fire they ever had been under. They behaved nobly, and did all that could be done under the circumstances to carry the position.
The regiment retired to the road and formed on the left of the brigade near the old house, but the men and officers were entirely exhausted by their efforts and the heat of the day. Many wandered to the water and shade, but soon returned to their places in ranks. We were ordered forward a second time, and advanced as far as the brown of the hill in the field, but the brigade closing to the right into the woods and leaving a portion of the regiment in the field, and our line being so thin that it was impracticable to advance farther, I ordered the men to seek protection behind stumps, logs, brow of the hill, and gullies, and open a fire on the enemy, which they kept up. We remained in this position until Walthall's second line had advanced over us. They then commenced falling back, and not knowing where the brigade was, and seeing no colors to my right, except the Twenty-eighth Alabama Regiment, I ordered the regiment to fall back to the temporary breast-works and reformed.
50 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT III