War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0902 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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HEADQUARTERS FRENCH'S DIVISION,

Atlanta, July 25, 1864.

SIR: In pursuance to instructions I have the honor to submit the following report of the participation of my division in the action on the 20th instant near Peach Tree Creek:

My division constituted the extreme left of the army. The largest brigade, that of General Sears, under the command of Colonel W. S. Barry, was posted on the Chattahoochee River above and below the railroad crossing, extending some up Peach Tree Creek. The brigade of Cockrell, under the command of Colonel Elijah Gates, and that of General Ector, reacted with the left on the Marietta and Atlanta road. On receiving the order these last two named brigades moved to the right to, I [sic] near the Pace's Ferry road, and there rested in line of battle.

About 4 p. m. I was ordered to advance on the enemy, to keep from 300 to 400 yards in rear of General Walthall's division in echelon, my right crossing his left. The ground was so covered with abatis, felled timber, and dense undergrowth that I moved by the right of companies until I came near an open field, when the command was formed in ;line of battle under the fire of the enemy's artillery. As I was directed to well guard my left, when I came to the open field in front of Ector's brigade I halted it and examined the position of the enemy, while Colonel Gates continued to move on, supporting General Walthall. I found the enemy posted behind his intrenchments on the ridge at the farther side of the field in force, and supported by two batteries of artillery. As the distance in the open field over which the brigade would have to pass reach the enemy was over 600 yards, I ordered it to the right, to pass through the woods, and move on in rear of Colonel Gates. In this position it advanced until it closed up near the brigade under Colonel Gates, when it halted under the brow of the hill about 300 yards from the line of the enemy's intrenchments.

Apprehension being felt that the enemy might gain an high, commanding ridge on our left, that projected out almost to their line, I was directed by the lieutenant-general commanding to put my batteries there in position and occupy it with Sears' brigade. Leaving the two brigades under the orders of General Ector and the lieutenant-general, who was there present in person, I rode over to the hill and selected the position for the guns and the brigade; but before they could move it was dark, and the order was given to withdraw the troops and move back to my position on the Marietta road, leaving skirmishers out in front to cover the moment. I had but about 1,500 men on the field, and did not engage the enemy except with the skirmishers.

The casualties were 19-1 killed and 18 wounded.

S. G. FRENCH,

Major-General, Commanding

Colonel T. M. JACK, Chief of Staff.

COLUMBUS, GA., February 20, 1865.

Captain W. D. GALE,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

DEAR CAPTAIN: Inclosed I have the honor to forward a report of the operations of my division in and around Atlanta from the time