move their commands into the trenches, placing one-half in the rifle-pits of the skirmishers and one-half in those of the reserve. That at 5.30 p.m. a single line of skirmishers should advance, and as soon as it appeared that they were advancing with success that a second line of skirmishers should follow, and when the first line reached the enemy's works then the main line should charge. I was induced to adopt this plan owing to the terrible obstructions in my front and to avoid loss of life, and hoped to silence the enemy's guns and drive off their sharpshooters before I exposed a large mass of my men to the enemy's fire. My brigades were in line from right to left in the following order: Gilbert, Harris, and Rinaker. As the right of Rinaker's and left of attack should commence and be taken up to the right and left as rapidly as possible. Rinaker's advance was the One hundred and nineteenth Illinois, Colonel T. J. Kinney commanding; Harris', part of the Eleventh Wisconsin, One hundred and seventy-eighth new York, and Fifty-eighth Hills commanding, and one company of the Twenty-seventh Iowa. At the appointed time, under a brisk fire from all of the artillery, the first line moved, then the second, then the artillery ceased firing, and I saw our men on the enemy's works. I immediately ordered a cheer and a charge. This cheer was taken up on the right and saw our whole army in front of Blakely, most gallantly taking up my movement. My division carried the enemy's works, capturing 100 officers, including 2 brigadier-generals, and 1,524 enlisted men, and 4 sets of colors, 21 pieces of artillery, and 4 mortars. My loss, I am most happy to report, owing to my plan of attack, was very small, only 2 commissioned officers killed and 7 wounded; 39 enlisted men killed and 117 wounded.
I am extremely gratified to be able to speak in the highest terms of praise of my whole division, and am indeed proud to be the commander of so noble a body of soldiers. Among the many who distinguished themselves I desire to invite special notice to my three brigade commanders and to Colonel T. J. Kinney, One hundred and nineteenth Illinois Volunteers, and Lieutenant Colonel Charles S. Hills, Tenth Kansas. The two last-mentioned officers had command of the skirmish in front of their brigades, and for their special gallantry and good conduct well merit promotion. To my three brigade commanders-Brigadier General James I. Gilbert, Cols. Charles L. Harris, Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, and John I. Rinaker, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois Volunteers-I am greatly indebted for their efficiency in the management of their brigades and for the prompt and cheerful execution of all my orders. I would earnestly recommend that their good service be recognized by their promotion. First Lieutenant Angus R. McDonald, Eleventh Wisconsin, especially distinguished himself at the parapet and received one gunshot wound and two from the bayonet. To my staff I am under may obligations for their zealous, efficient, and intelligent discharge of the duties intrusted to them and would be much gratified to see officers of such merit and fine soldierly qualities encouraged and rewarded by being brevetted. The following is a list of their names: Major James B. Sample, assistant adjutant-general; Major Robert W. Healy, Fifty-eighth Illinois, acting inspector-general; First Lieutenant Alexander H. McLeod, One hundred and fortieth New York Volunteers, aide-de-camp; First Lieutenant Sergeant McKnight, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, aide-de-camp; First Lieutenant Richard Rees, Twenty-first Missouri, acting assistant inspector-general, and First