HEADQUARTERS CANTEY'S BRIGADE,
In front of Atlanta, Ga., July 31, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to order from division headquarters, I submit the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the engagement of the 20th instant, on Peach Tree Creek:
The brigade was formed in rear of the trenches to the right of the Pace's Ferry road, the Thirty-seventh Mississippi, Colonel O. S. Holland, on the right; the Twenty-ninth Alabama Regiment, Colonel John F. Conoley, on the left; the Seventeenth Alabama, Major T. J. Burnett, the right center; the first corps of sharpshooters, Captain Sid. B. Smith, left center, and the Twenty-sixth Alabama Regiment,
Major D. F. Bryan, the center. We moved by the right if companies, and having advanced about half a mile, the brigade was temporarily halted near the church and ordered into line, which order was promptly obeyed. The line being formed, the command forward was given, and we advanced a short distance quietly, when our pickets becoming hotly engaged, I gave the command to charge the enemy, and continued to forward and drive every obstacle before them, which order was obeyed with a cheer, driving in heavy line of skirmishers and line of battle. The ground over which we advanced was very rough and the bushes and undergrowth dense and tangled, yet the line was well formed and advanced in good order, except on the left, where, from some misapprehension, some one gave the command "guide left," which threw the Twenty-ninth Alabama Regiment too far to the left, and left too much ground for the sharpshooters and Twenty-sixth Alabama Regiment to cover, attenuating their line almost to a skirmish line. we continued to push forward, driving the enemy before us, and advanced to within a short distance of some works the enemy had thrown up, having passed a line top our right some hundred yards. This line was crescent-formed, which fact was not discovered till we emerged from the dense wood into an open field. The Thirty-seventh Mississippi and the three right companies of the Seventeenth Alabama Regiment had swung around by a right well to face this line in the field, and had commenced a heavy and telling fire on it, when it was discovered we were not supported by the troops on our right, who had failed from some cause to come up, and that we were being flanked and enfilade by a battery. Is danger of being flanked and captured the brigade fell back, not in very good order, but was soon rallied and formed, when a second charge was made, aided by the Twenty-fourth South Carolina Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel[Jones] commanding) and the second corps of sharpshooters, Captain W. H. Lindsey, Twenty-sixth Alabama Regiment; but being unsupported were compelled again to fall back and take another position, where we remained till ordered back to, the position in the trenches which we had left in the morning. We drove the enemy nearly a mile, captured some of his works, and had punished him severely, and were executing the order of the major-general to kill or capture everything in our front, when from the cause above adopted we were compelled to fall back.
In justice to the brigade which I for the first time had the honor to command in battle, and to the other troops of this division, I must say, that if the whole of our line had pressed forward with the same energy and determination which the troops of this division did, we would have carried the have and driven the enemy in confusion across the creek.