War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0109 Chapter LXIV. THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

thought the enemy not in any considerable force, nothing more than a few cavalry, but that he was then endeavoring to find out what there was. I then returned to the battery, and, hearing an occasional shot, as a matter of precaution ordered the horses harnesed and htiched up to beready for any emergency that might occur. Before the battery was fairly hitched up the enemy opened with artillery, and his shells fell in the road just to bhe left of our camp. At this time an order came from the colonel commanding the brigade to hitch up and moive forward with one section. Being already hitched up I immediately moved forward, bleaving Lieutenant Bennett in charge of the section remaining, but had not proceeded more than 100 yards when a second order came directing me to move back and take my original position. By this time I discovered the infantry and the section of the Third Michigan Artillery falling back. I then moved as expeditiously as possible to my former position, which I had no sooner reached, and before the infantry regiment supporting the battery had time to form, [than] the enemy appeared in my immediate front not more than 300 yards distant. I opened upon him with canister and checked his advance, and remained in the position I then occupied until the lieutenant-colonel commanding the regiment supporting the battery through it best for me to retire, as his men could not longe resist successfully the enemy, who were then moving on our right flank. I limbered up and fell back, leaving Lieutenant Bennett with one section at the court-house; moved the other section a short distance farther to the rear for the purpose of securing another position in case the enemy compelled a farther retreat. The enemy now advanced their artillery, and before Lieutenant Bennett could get his section in position opened on him with shell, but was quickly silenced by a few well-directed shots.

About this time there was observed crossing the Atlanta road on our right flank a large force of the enemy, who were seemingly preparing to charge us. One gun was to once turned in that direction, and the enemy checked, but still continuing to press us on both flanks, this section was obliged to retire after firing bout twenty-five rounds of ammunition. About 400 yards back a section was ordered again in position and fired a few rounds, when, deeming the infantry support insufficient to allow the battery toi retain this position with safety, I moved back to the line selected for the formation of the brigade, where I remained in position during the night. I cannot close this report without mentioning the name of Lieutenant Henry Bennett. His conduct with his section at the court-house, as well as during the whole engagement, was such as to deserve the highest praise and entitle him to the warmest regard of all who witnessed it. Did he not exhibit something more than ordinary coolness and curage on this occasion, I should not under the circumstances have noticed his bravery. I feel it also to be a duty to mention the names of Sergeants Randolph, Salisbury, Deane, and Adams, and Gunners Close, J. D. Howard, John Howard, and Wolcott as men who are entitled to great credit for their conduct upon that day, and to whom I am indebted for much of the efficiency of the battery. Without making any individious distinctions among the men, I cannot forbear to speak of Private Thomas McClelland, who lost his left arm and manifested an enthusiasm and bravery that was truly surprising in a young lad of nineteen. When spoken to in regard to the loss of his arm he replied that his only regrets were that our forces were obliged to fall back. Each and every man, non-commissioned officer and private, of the battery discharged their duty nobly and manfully, and appeared to vie with each other in their exhibition of coolnessand bravery. During the whole engagement 125 rounds were expended.