War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0796 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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having notified me that on my command the protection of this artillery would devolve. It was posted on a bare knob, the highest to be seen on the ridge along which the army line extended, and from it the line in either wing was slightly refused, conforming in its general direction to the course of the ridge, and forming and obtuse angle, of which it was the point. Immediately in front of this elevation is an open field in a valley, about 300 yards in width, extending from the base of the ridge we occupied to that of a wooded hill beyond, and through it runs a small creek nearly parallel to the course of our trenches. This field extends some distance to the left of the high point the artillery was on, and on the right and opposite the position of my center and right regiments it is 600 or 800 yards wide, but between it and the position of those regiments there is a skirt of woods some 200 or 300 yards width, very uneven, and thickly covered with undergrowth and timber. Beyond the field and running nearly parallel with that part of the battle line occupied by Bate's division, and about half a mile from it, is a thickly timbered ridge, as high as the point

on which our batteries were posted. About 11 a. m. the enemy's skirmish line encountered my own, but the latter held its ground, as directed, till forced back by a line of battle which advanced about 12. The artillery poured upon it a rapid and well-directed fire from the time it came in view, but it moved steadily forward till within 300 yards of my line, when, from both small-arms and artillery, it was subjected to a fire so deadly and destructive that it soon wavered and then gave way in confusion. In half an hour another line appeared and advanced under a similar fire, nearer than before, and until that part of it confronting the batteries was sheltered by means of a depression in the hill-side, within 150 yards of the guns. It was promptly dislodged by Colonel Brantly, who moved upon it with that part of his command not in the trenches, and at the same time the remainder of the line, which was in the woods opposite my right and center, yielded to the constant and steady fire of the troops occupying those positions, and the whole line fell back. It crossed the field in the eldest disorder, under a damaging fire from the artillery, which was admirably served. As soon as the flying troops reached the hill beyond, a third line moved on us, but it was checked before advancing as far as either of the others had done, and fled before some parts of my command were able to discharge even a single volley. The enemy's sharpshooters, however, in large numbers secured themselves in the woods opposite my right and center, and so irregular and thickly wooded is the ground that it was found impossible to dislodge them. From these, and others posted in woods beyond the feild in front of my left, a constant fire was kept up on my own line, as well as the batteries. The number of these sharpshooters in the woods nearest us was gradually increased by small bodies passing at irregular intervals rapidly across the open field to the cover of the woods. Many of them were enabled to shelter themselves behind some slight earth-works which had been constructed in front of the main intrenched line, before I occupied it, for skirmishers. By reason of the unevenness of the ground, these were without the range of our artillery. Others found cover in a small ravine, and by sundown the force in the woods was almost as strong as a line of battle and very well protected. When the enemy made his first advance he employed his artillery, posted directly in our front, but with little