Reports of Ma. General Henry D. Clayton, C. S. Army, commanding division (formerly Stewart's) of operations July 22, 28, and August 31.
HEADQUARTERS CLAYTON'S DIVISION,
Near Atlanta, Ga., August 27, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle of the 22nd July, 1864:
This division, composed of Stovall's brigade (Colonel A. Johnson commanding), Baker's brigade (Colonel J. H. Higley commanding), Gibson's brigade (General R. L. Gibson commanding), and Holtzclaw's brigade (Colonel Bush. Jones commanding), being in the trenches on the northeast of Atlanta, about 4 p.m. I was ordered to close to the right, my extreme right remaining fixed, and forming in two lines to begin the attack upon the enemy in my front and upon the left of Hindman's division, already engaged. I placed Baker's and Stovall's brigades in the front line, and Gibson's and Holtzclaw's in the rear. I then ordered Colonel Johnson to move forward and make the attack, forming a connection with Hindman's division upon his right, and that Colonel Jones should follow at a given interval. Observing a considerable force of the enemy moving down his lines from my left to the right, I ordered Major Eldridge, commanding the artillery battalion attached to the division, to move out and open fire. This was done, but with what effect I was unable to judge. At the same time I ordered Colonel Higley to move his brigade forward, but deeming it important to meet this movement of the enemy and at least check it, I ordered him to change his front obliquely to the left and attack. This he did in good style, and, together wit the artillery, checked the movement from that direction. General Gibson's brigade was moved to the right in support of Hindman's division, which had now been repulsed, but the enemy failing to pursue, it did not become engaged. Stovall's and Holtzclaw's brigades, after having made gallant assaults and driven the enemy from their works, were also in turn driven back with considerable loss, the enemy moving from the front of Hindman's division upon their right. Colonel Jones still held his brigade together, when, riding out upon his right, I discovered the enemy moving upon that flank. I ordered him to change his direction and move back about 100 yards to an advantageous position, where I also found General Manigault and a portion of his brigade, whom I ordered to form upon Colonel Jones' left. All the other troops having left the field except Colonel Higley, who was a few hundred yards to my left and still skirmishing with the enemy, I ordered him to withdraw, retaining General Manigault and Colonel Jones in position until night, when I received orders to withdraw them also.
In this engagement I lost many brave men and officers. Conspicuous among the latter were Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, of First Georgia State Line, Stovall's brigade; Lieutenant-Colonel Greene, Thirty-seventh Alabama, Baker's brigade; and Major Shep. Ruffin, of the Eighteenth Alabama, then commanding the Thirty-eighth Alabama, Holtzclaw's brigade.
I conclude this report by tendering my thanks to Major R. A. Hatcher, assistant adjutant-general, and Cadet M. H. Jones, acting aide-de-camp, for their zealous and fearless discharge of duty. Herewith I submit the reports of several brigade commanders.
H. D. CLAYTON.
Major J. W. RATCHFORD, Assistant Adjutant-General.