Report of Captain William D. McNeill, Forty-second Alabama Infantry, of operations May 7-31.
HEADQUARTERS FORTY-SECOND ALABAMA REGIMENT,
May 31, 1864.
The following report of the part taken by the Forty-second Alabama Regiment since 7th of May is respectfully submitted:
The regiment, in obedience to orders, was drawn up in line in Mill Creek Gap on the 7th day of May. In this position it remained without engaging the enemy and without any casualties until the night of the 12th of May, when our position was evacuated, and we took up the line of march for Resaca, where the command arrived on the evening of the 13th. We were immediately placed in position about one mile and half north of the town on the right of the railroad.
About 4.30 o'clock on the evening of the 14th of May the command moved forward and a line of battle formed on the railroad preparatory to a charge on the enemy. The line being formed, the brigade was ordered to advance, and the command was third to the battalion of direction. The undergrowth through which the regiment marched in line of battle was so thick that it was utterly impossible to keep a perfect line. The regiment on our right, it seemed, oblique somewhat to the right. This necessarily compelled us to do the same, although the guide was to the left. We soon emerged into an open field, at which place we were exposed to light fire from sharpshooters. Crossing this field and going up a hill the line was again formed, and after a short rest we again moved forward. Through another field we passed, and a battery of the enemy on the opposite hill opened upon our column advancing; but pressing forward again with vigor, the enemy was forced o retire and the hill was gained. We pushed on some distance farther, when a halt was ordered, and here again we were exposed to tolerably heavy fire. Night coming on, the men rested on their arms until about 12 o'clock, when we again returned to our position near the railroad. In this charge only 3 were missing and 2 slightly wounded.
On the 15th, about 4 o'clock in the evening, we advanced across an old field under fire in a tolerably good line. Reaching the edge of the woods the line seemed to be a little broken or confused, caused no doubt by the woods through which we were passing. The command pressed forward until they got within fifty yards of the enemy, who were in position in a peach orchard. Here we were exposed to a tremendous fire of musketry. We were fighting at a great disadvantage, and this soon becoming evident to the men they fell back without greater confusion than could be expected under such circumstances. It is deemed necessary to state that in this engagement Sergeant Richey, of Company G, saved the colors of a Georgia regiment of Stovall's brigade. In this engagement the loss out of 300 officers and men amounted to 5 officers wounded, 2 men killed, 32 wounded, and 14 missing. Rev. J. P. McMullen, a missionary for Baker's brigade, was also among the killed.
About 12 o'clock on the night of the 15th we left the breast-works and commenced retreating. The regiment was not engaged any on the retreat, but was in line of battle near Adairsville to check the advance of the enemy. The command arrived at New Hope Church on the 25th of May and formed in line of battle. The men soon