War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0938 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., July 25, 1864.

I have the honor to report that on the 20th instant my brigade (except the Ninth Arkansas Regiment, then on the skirmish line), on the left of the division of the attacking portion of the army, moved out of our works on the left and nearly parallel with the Pace's Ferry and Atlanta road at 2.30 p. m., moving by right of companies to the front. When near our skirmish line of battle was formed, and I moved on and right obliquely across the Pace's Ferry and Atlanta road near the enemy's line to connect with General Cantey's brigade on my right. I soon became engaged with the enemy's pickets and drove them ion and pressed on, my left capturing a portion of the enemy's works and few prisoners. My right did get to the works, being directed to keep dressed with the brigade on its right. Shortly after entering their works the enemy poured an enfilading fire down my left flank and compelled the brigade to fall back some 75 or 100 yards. I at once directed Major Preston, chief of artillery of division, to move a battery to a position on the left of the road and drive the enemy from my left flank. He promptly put Selden's battery (commanded by Lieutenant Lovelace) into position and opened on the enemy with telling effect. The battle now raged fiercely along my line for some time. The battery under the immediate supervision of Major Preston and Lieutenant Lovelace did noble service, and I regret to state that Major Preston was killed and Lieutenant Lovelace wounded; yet, although wounded, Lieutenant Lovelace kept his battery in position until it had fired its last round of ammunition. And now having no protection on my left, and the troops on my immediate right having fallen back, and being enfilade from the left with artillery and small-arms, the brigade fell back about 100 yards farther, but soon retook this ground and held it during the remainder of the engagement. Finding both flanks exposed scouts and vedettes were sent out to keep from being surprised or surrounded and cut off. The firing continued more or less fiercely along my line from the battle opened until after dark. The enemy seemed determined for some time to try and recover the ground I had taken from them. Shortly after dark and long after the firing ceased on other parts of the line it ceased in my front and the brigade was withdraw and carried inside of our works. The Ninth Arkansas Regiment being on the skirmish line did not operate with the brigade, but with other skirmishers of the division was formed and used on the right of the division and afterward joined General Quarles and returned inside of the works with his brigade.

I inflicted considerable punishment on the enemy, killing and wounding a number of them and capturing a few prisoners. My whole brigade did not exceed 540 effective, including the Ninth Regiment. My loss was 6 killed, 52 wounded, and 9 missing.

I am greatly indebted to my regimental commanders for the able manner in which they discharged their duties on the field and also to my staff, who were prompt in carrying orders.

The officers and men of the brigade behaved with gallantry, and although outflanked on the right and left, they maintained their position in advance of the whole left of our army until ordered to withdraw.



Captain W. R. BARKSDALE, Assistant Adjutant-General.