War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0876 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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Near Lovejoy's Station, Ga., September 15, 1864.

MAJOR: In accordance with your instructions I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle of Peach Tree Creek, in front of Atlanta, on the 20th of July, 1864:

The position of my division before the movement was in the trenches on the right of your corps, my right connecting with the ran nearly due east and west. I was informed at an early hour of the intention of fighting a battle on that day, and was requested, in company with my brigadiers, to examine the topography of the country in front for that purpose. The enemy was reported to be crossing Peach Tree Creek and extending his line on our front. The reconnaissance was thoroughly made, the enemy being about two miles distant. The lieutenant-general informed me that the movement was to be made at 1 p. m. in echelon by division, at 200 yards distance, the corps on my right (Hardee's) to take the advance. At 1 o'clock the lieutenant-general notified me that General Hardee would move to the right the distance of half a division front, and I must follow the movement with my division and connect with his left. The order was obeyed, but instead of General Hardee's corps halting at the distance indicated, and that a line of skirmishers from Hardee's corps was expected to fill the separation between the main lines of the two corps, and that General Hardee left a staff officers behind to designate the point where the right of Stewart's corps should halt, but through some misunderstanding the staff officer failed to give the information, and an officer had just been dispatched to General Hardee to inform him of it. It was now about 3 p. m., too late, General Stewart throughout, to make any change. It was subsequently ascertained that beyond out, through which we were compelled to charge, giving my division the most exposed position on the whole line. My orders were as soon as the division on my right had gained the distance of 200 yards mine was to follow in single line of battle without reserve; that we must not stop for any obstacle, and if we came to breast-works to fix bayonets and charge them. Each division was to incline gradually to the left as it advanced and press down Peach Tree Creek. It was further stated that commanders on my right had received similar orders.

Featherston's and Scott's brigades, numbering 2,700 men, composed my present force. Adams' brigade had been detached several days before for picket duty on the Chattahoochee River, and had not yet been returned. The division on my right having gained the prescribed distance, my division at the word of march moved forward with alacrity and great spirit. After marching about half a mile the enemy's pickets were encountered, but fled after firing a few scattering shots. We here merged into the open fields before mentioned. The enemy was in plain view about 700 yards distant on the