Major J. E. Austin for the efficient services he has rendered. I had frequently to feel and to develop the enemy, and more than one opportunity was offered Major Austin to distinguish himself, and he availed himself of more than one occasion to do so. I regret he has not a large command. Lieutenant S. L. Ware, my volunteer aide-de-camp, was severely wounded in front of New Hope Church. He has no superior in gallantry. My staff officers throughout the arduous campaign have been of great assistance-Captain H. H. Bein, assistant adjutant-general; Captain A. L. Stuart, assistant inspector-general; Major J. H. Henshaw, quartermaster, and Major W. V. Crough, commissary of subsistence. Captain G. Norton, Thirteenth Louisiana Infantry, also rendered efficient services after taking the place of Captain H. H. Bein, whose health broke down. Nor should I omit to mention Lieutenant H. P. Kernochan, Thirteenth Louisiana Infantry, who has charge of the tools of the brigade, but who acted as my aide, and bore himself with zealous gallantry; and the same may be said of my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant J. M. Gibson.
R. L. GIBSON,
Major R. A. HATCHER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Steward's Division.
HEADQUARTERS GIBSON'S BRIGADE,
In the Field, September 16, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that after marching about two miles out of Atlanta upon the Lick Skillet road on the 28th of July I was ordered by Major-General Clayton, commanding division, to form my brigade in line of battle nearly parallel to the road. I was also informed that Holtzclaw's brigade and mine were to form the first line of battle and Baker's to constitute the reserve, and that it was designed to attack the enemy immediately. I proceeded to form my line in the woods, covered with a remarkably dense undergrowth, as rapidly as possible, and having it almost completed directed Major Austin, commanding skirmishers, to advance and to develop the enemy thoroughly. I then went to Holtzclaw's brigade, which was to move forward with mine (the formation of which Major-General Clayton was superintending), to get some special instructions and information with regard to certain points of importance. Having accomplished this I went at once in the direction of the brigade, when to my astonishment I found it had been moved forward without any order from me or notice to me, and as I have since learned by an order given by some staff officer upon the left of the brigade, and improperly repeated and obeyed by Colonel Leon von Zinken, commanding the left, who was not, in my absence, the senior officer present with the brigade, and who should have awaited orders from some superior in command. I galloped through the woods to overtake the command, but heavy firing soon told me that it has truck the enemy in strong force. On reaching the brigade I found the enemy posted in strong works, and having discovered the extent of the line, sending out detachments to turn the left flank. Striking an overwhelming force in a position splendidly adapted for defense and difficult of assault, the brigade fought with much energy and obstinacy, but failed to dislodge the enemy. I at once