Report of Major Martin A. Oatis, Twenty-second Mississippi Infantry, of operations July 20.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-SECOND MISSISSIPPI REGIMENT,
Lovejoy's Station, Ga., September 12, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Twenty-second Mississippi Regiment in the affair in front of Atlanta, July 20:
On the morning of the 20th my regiment occupied a position on the line about three miles east of the Chattahoochee. About 12 m. the brigade moved to the right along our intrenched line, and crossing the Mill's Ferry road was halted about a mile to the right of the road, the right of my regiment resting on a small stream that ran at the base of a stupendous hill and intersected our works at right angles. In obedience to orders, one company (Company G, Captain Standley commanding) was thrown forward as skirmishers, with instructions to oblique to the left in advancing. This company, passing over the abatis in front of the ditches, soon disappeared in the woods beyond, and obliquing too far to the left,uncovered my front and did not participate in the battle with the regiment. The company, however, killed, wounded,and captured 20 or 30 Yankees. Having formed my regiment outside the works, I was ordered by Brigadier-General Featherston to break by the right of companies to the front; to advance in this order, obliquing to the left as we advanced, until my skirmishers engaged the enemy; then to form in line of battle, move forward, and when we discovered the enemy's works to fix bayonets, charge, and take them. Owing to the rough and broken ground, the ravines, the small streams with their overhanging and exuberant growth of vines and brambles, and fences covered with briers so dense as to form an almost impenetrable jungle, it was found exceedingly difficult, and, in fact, impossible, to advance in good order. My regiment was in the center of the brigade, the Third and Thirty-third Mississippi Regiments
being on my right,and the Thirty-first and Fortieth Mississippi Regiment on my left. The First Mississippi Battalion Sharpshooters was deployed as skirmishers.
On reaching the rifle-pits on the picket-line, about 800 yards to the front, having been governed in obliquing to the left by the regiment on my left, I had become separated from the regiment on my right about 150 yards. The brigade was halted and formed in the order of battle, and my regiment marched by the right flank to close the interval that separated it from the Third Regiment, on my immediate right. From this point (being in an old field and the field to my right extending all the way to the enemy's line of battle) the enemy were distinctly seen about 800 yards in front, and were actively engaged in pulling down fences and making preparations for battle. Halting at the rifle-pits some ten minutes, we again moved forward, this time in the order of battle, but soon encountering a small creek, and beyond this a fence that (for reasons stated above) prevented our advance in this order, it again became necessary to break by the right of companies to the front. In this order my regiment cleared the old field and entered a dense forest on a hill. This wood was about 100 yards in width, and beyond it lay an old field 350 or 400 yards, on the farthest side of