War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0832 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

Search Civil War Official Records

flank and by file left, with position at right angles to that previously occupied, advanced upon the left flank of the enemy, who were quickly routed, in their haste leaving their knapsacks, &c., upon the field. The pursuit was continued about one mile, when, night coming on, the whole command was halted. Subsequently the division was withdrawn to its original position.

On the morning of the 15th the line was advanced about half a mile to conform to the new line of General Stevenson's division on the left. At 4 p.m., having received very particular instructions from the major-general commanding as to a movement about to take place, I communicated them to my regimental commanders with the same particularity. I ordered the regiments to move out successively, beginning on the right, and advance with a left half-wheel, guiding to the left. To make the matter doubly sure, I moved out The Eighteenth Alabama Regiment, Colonel Holtzclaw, on the right, and then the Thirty-second and Fifty-eighth Alabama Regiments, Colonel Jones, and executing a left half-wheel, halted them in that position, with the left overlapping the next regiment by 100 yards or more. I then sent a staff officer to direct the two regiments still behind the breast-works to move out promptly on the new line, took my position near the center of the brigade to superintend its movements, and gave the command to forward. Although a portion of the line was subjected to a heavy fire so soon as it left the breast-works, overlapping Reynolds' brigade upon the left, it moved promptly forward between 200 and 300 yards, when the fire became very heavy and destructive, as my thinned ranks attest. Being at the moment with the Thirty-second and Fifty-eighth Alabama Regiments, their unexceptional conduct came under my immediate observation. The line becoming somewhat confused, I directed that the alignment should be corrected about fifty yards in rear of the most advanced position and hastened forward; but General Stovall's brigade having abandoned my right, and Reynolds' brigade, upon my left, having failed to advance altogether, I saw no alternative but to fall back to my position behind the breast-works, which was deliberately done and the dead and wounded, as far as practicable, removed to the rear.

In this affair I think my officers and men entitled to the very highest commendation, whether regarding the impetuous advance of the Thirty-sixth and Thirty-eighth Alabama Regiments through the open field under a heavy fire from the moment of leaving the breast-works, or the more steady step of the Eighteenth and Thirty-second and Fifty-eighth Alabama Regiments, all of whom pushed up to within a few paces of the enemy's works without hesitation, though they knew what was before them and the fate they would certainly encounter.

After having 2 color-bearers killed, Colonel Lankford, of the Thirty-eighth Alabama Regiment, was last seen with his colors in his hand. Whether he was killed or wounded I have been unable to learn, as he fell into the hands of the enemy.

Without doing injustice to others, I feel that I ought particularly to mention the names of Lieutenant John R. Hall, of Company F, Thirty-sixth Alabama Regiment, and Lieutenant J. M. Walker, of Company D, and Lieutenant J. T. Jackson, Company A, same regiment, and Lieutenant Joseph Flant, Company K, and Lieutenant L. F. Irwin, Company G, Thirty-eighth Alabama Regiment, the first of whom was killed on the field, and the others wounded and have since died, except Lieu-