Wagner’s Atlanta After Action Report

Brig. Gen. George Day Wagner

“Official Records”

No. 43

Report of Brig. Gen. George D. Wagner, U.S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.

Headquarters Second Brig., Second Div., 4th Army Corps, Near Atlanta, GA., September 10, 1864.

Sir: The following is respectfully submitted as a report of the part taken by my brigade, composed of the Fortieth and Fifty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, the Twenty-sixth and Ninety-seventh Ohio Volunteers, and the One hundreth Illinois Volunteers, in the campaign which terminated in the capture of Atlanta.

At the beginning of the campaign the effective force of the brigade was 137 officers and 1,870 men.

On Tuesday, the 3rd day of May, 1864, my brigade with the rest of General Newton’s division, marched from Cleveland southward on the road leading toward Dalton, Ga. We arrived at Catoosa Springs on the 5th of May, nothing of importance having occured during the march. The command laid by one day at the Springs. On the morning of Saturday, May 7, we were again put in motion and moved on the road leading by Lee’s house, in the direction of Tunnel Hill. We arrived at the tannery, about one and a half miles from the town, in the afternoon and encamped for the night. On the afternoon of Sunday, the 8th, pursuant to orders from General Newton, I moved my command eastward into the valley which surrounded the northern extremity of Rocky Face Ridge, for the purpose of supporting General Harker’s brigade, which had driven the enemy  from his advanced position and effected a lodgment on the ridge. The evening passed off without any demonstration from the enemy, and I removed my brigade back to camp at the tannery and remained over night. On the morning of Monday, May 9, General Newton directed me to move my command into position on the crest of Rocky Face, on the left of Harker’s brigade. The nature of the ground was such as to throw our line on the ridge at right angles with the enemy works, which were on the east side of the ridge and in plain view from our position. In the afternoon General Newton directed me to swing my left forward, for the purpose of joining the right of General Schofield’s corps, which was moving in line down the valley on the east side of Rocky Face, with the view of developing the enemy’s works. I found myself unable however, to join Schofield’sright flank without losing my connection with the left of Harker’s brigade, which I was directed to maintain a support him in the event of his making an attack. Adjusting my lines with Harker’s left, I moved cautiously upon the enemy’s works until the skirmishers of my right regiment became engaged, the enemy opening furiously with musketry. About this time a portion of Harker’s brigade assaulted the enemy on the crest of the ridge, but were unable to carry the works, and I withdrew my command and took position on the top of the ridge. After dark I relieved General Harker’s brigade with mine, and having taken measures to avoid surprise, my brigade bivouacked for the night. With the exception of picket-firing, the lines remained quiet during that night and the next day. On the evening of the 10th my brigade was relieved  by the First Brigade, under Colonel Sherman, and I withdrew farther north along the ridge. On the evening of the 11th I was directed to take a position on the north end of Rocky Face, where I remained over night. At daylight on the morning of the  12th I was directed to march my brigade in the valley on the west side of the ridge, and took position in the north end of the valley, covering the approaches from that direction. The enemy threatened our front with a heavy force of infantry, driving in General Stoneman’s cavalry, and I made ready to recieve him covering my line with hastily thrown-up works. The enemy, however withdrew from our front, after driving in the cavalry, and the night passed quietly, the men sleeping on their arms. On the morning of the 13th it was ascertained that the enemy had evacuated his works at Buzzard Roost Gap, and retreated southward in the direction of Resaca. We moved on in pursuit, passing through the town of Dalton and down the valley on the east side of the Chattanooga Mountain, going into camp near Tilton.

On Saturday, the 14th, we again moved forward and formed a junction about 9 a.m. with General Schofield’s corps, which was moving upon the enemy, who was found to be intrenched near Resaca. About midday General Newton put his division into position on the left of the Twenty-third Corps, and my lines advanced to within 500 yards of the enemy’s rifle-pits and artillery, the enemy’s guns being protected by heavy earth-works, with an open field in front, where the enemy shelled us most furiously. I here lost one of my best officers, Lieut. Col. Lennard, Fifty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, by shell. This was a great loss to this regiment, the brigade, the service, and to this country. He lived as a soldier and gentleman, and died like a hero and Christian. All honor to his memory. After night-fall I constructed a line of works on the crest of a ridge in the open field in advance of my position, and, placing two regiments (the Fifty-seventh Indiana and the Ninety-seventh Ohio Volunteers) to support them, I put two batteries of artillery in position, which opened on the enemy’s works at daylight next morning and effectually silenced his artillery, which had been delivering a galling fire upon our troops the day before. On the morning of the 15th General Newton directed me to relieve Colonel Sherman’s brigade, which was done accordingly, and a heavy fire kept up throughout the day between my lines and the enemy, both being behind works and not over 100 yards apart. At about 11 p.m. the enemy made a demonstration against my front with heavy musketry fire, which was promptly returned by my advance line, which held it’s ground. The firing was kept up for half an hour, when the demonstration ceased and all remained quiet till morning, when it was found that the enemy had evacuated Resaca and crossed the Oostenaula River. On the 16th the division crossed the river and moved southward in the direction of Calhoun, which point we reached at sundown and encamped for the night. On the 17th we again took up the line of march and reached a point neat Adairsville, where enemy were found in force, my brigade taking position in rear of Colonel Sherman’s, which was skirmishing heavily with the enemy, my troops being disposed so as to cover and protect Sherman’s right flank. Late in the evening I relieved Colonel Sherman’s command with my brigade and continued skirmishing with the enemy till after dark, suffering a loss in my command of 26 men wounded. The enemy evacuated during the night. On the morning of the 18th we continued our march, passing through Adairsville and taking the road leading to Kingston, and camped by the railraoad at a point some four miles from the latter place. On the 19th we continued our march, arriving at Kingston at noon. At 2 o’clock, pursuant otorders from General Newton, I marched my brigade southward across Two-Run Creek and took position in an open field, from which the enemy was in plain view, but beyond the range of musketry fire. I remained here but a short time, when General Newton directed me to move my brigade to a point about a mile farther east, which I did, recrossing the creek and taking position in an open field near the – Mills. I here threw forward a regiment, deploying one-half as skirmishers, and prepared to advance. Just at this time a brigade of General Geary’s division, of the Twentieth Corps, came up on my left. I pushed forward and again crossed the creek just below the mills, and advanced across the open field about three-fourths of a mile and massed my troops at the edge of the woods. We lay here for half an hour, when General Newton directed me to move forward and put my brigade in line, joining my left with the right of the Twentieth Corps, but before I could gain this point the lines were closed by the First Division, of the Fourth Corps, forming a junction with Geary’s division. By this time night had come on and we took a position in reserve and bivouacked for the night. On the morning of the 20th no enemy was found in front of our army, and my command remained here till noon of the 23rd, when I was directed by General Newton to march my brigade in the direction of the Etowah River at Gillem’s Bridge, which was reached before sundown, but the road being filled with troops and transportation from other divisions my brigade was delayed crossing till long after dark. After crossing the river we marched some four miles in the direction of Euharlee Creek, and bivouacked for the night. On the 24th we again moved forward, crossed the Euharlee at (Barrett’s) Mills, and, crossing Raccoon Creek by (Dallas) road, went into camp for the night near Burnt Hickory. This evening a heavy rain fell. On the 25th we moved forward, following General Kimball, commanding First Brigade, who was in advance of the division. Nothing of moment occurred until we crossed Pumpkin Vine Creek, on the road leading to New Hope Church, where we found that the Twentieth Corps, in our advance, had met and engaged the enemy. We went into position to support those of the Twentieth Corps in our front, who were having a sharp engagement. Night closing in the operations for the day ceased, and I took up a position on the left of Kimball’s brigade, which had connected with the left of the Twentieth Corps, General Harker forming on my left.

At daylight on the 26th I found my lines to be within easy musketry range of the enemy’s works, and at once proceeded to adjust my lines, and erected in front a good defensive line of works. The skirmishing at this point was very sharp, and the casualties numerous. On the 27th my lines were moved forward. The skirmishers of the brigade, the Fifty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Blanch, advanced with great gallantry, driving in those of the enemy, but suffering a loss of 2 enlisted men killed and 2 officers and 23 enlisted men wounded. We had heavy skirmishing constantly while we remained at this place, but nothing of moment occured from this time till the night of 4th June, when the enemy evecuated his position in our front. It was while lying at our position near New Hope Church, on the 30th of May, that Capt. John A. Burrell, of the One hundredth Illinois Volunteers, a brave and efficent officer, was killed by a musket-shot, the ball passing directly through his body, while on duty with his command on the skirmish line. On the morning of the 6th instant, in accordance with orders, I moved my command from my position near, New Hope Church to the left, some six miles in an easterly direction, to Morris’ Hill Church, going into camp on the right of General Harker’s brigade, about two miles from Acworth. Here the command rested until the morning of the 10th instant, when I moved forward some four miles, and formed line of battle on General Kimball’s right, confronting the enemy, who occupied a strongly intrenched position on Pine Mountain. The 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th were spent in skirmishing, to ascertain the enemy’s strength and exact position, and in fortifying the ground gained by pushing the enemy to their main works. During the night of the 14th instant the enemy retired from their works, and at 4:30 o’clock the following morning my skirmishers advanced and took possession of them. Advancing cautiously we soon developed the enemy, strongly intrenched in his new position. My brigade was formed in column of regiments in mass, supported by General Kimball’s brigade, Harker having three regiments deployed as skirmishers in my front. We found the enemy too strongly intrenched behind works that had been constructed for some time, to be attacked with reasonable hope of success. I immediately threw up works, where I remained that night and until evening of the next day, when we advanced our lines, driving in the enemy’s skirmishers, throwing up barricades within easy musket-range of the enemy’s main works. The night of the 16th instant the enemy again evacuated their works, which we occupied early on the morning of the 17th, when pushing forward we found the enemy again strongly fortified behind heavy works. The Ninety-seventh Ohio Volunteers and the Twenty-eighth Kentucky Volunteers, under the command of Col. John Q. Lane, Nintey-seventh Ohio Volunteers, were deployed as skirmishers, and gallantly charged the enemy’s skirmish-pits, capturing a number of prisoners, and maintained their position under a continuous and heavy musketry fire from the enemy’s main line of works during the night. The loss of the Nintey-seventh Ohio Volunteers in the charge was 9 enlisted men wounded; that of the Twenty-eighth Kentucky Volunteers, 4 enlisted men killed and 12 wounded. The regiments were relieved on the following morning by the Twenty-sixth Ohio Volunteers, Fifty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, and One hundredth Illinois Volunteers, under command of Colonel Bartleson, One hundredth Illinois Volunteers, who was ordered to charge and take the enemy’s main line of works, if possible. This charge was made during one of the most terrific rain storms of the season, and, not withstanding the men were compelled to wade two creeks, both of which were waist deep, under a terrible fire from the enemy, they succeeded in taking the works, capturing a number of prisoners, and driving the enemy to their rear line of works. Colonel Bartleson notified me that his left was in danger, having no connection, and being enfiladed. I ordered up the remainder of the brigade, sending Captain Tinney, assistant adjutant-general, with the Fortieth Indiana Volunteers to the left of the line, asked and obtained a regiment, the Third Kentucky Volunteers, from General Harker, which made the connection complete with General Baird. My entire line was within easy musket-range of the enemy, who kept up a heavy and incessant fire upon us from artillery and infantry when we would slacken our fire sufficient for them to look over their works. It was therefore, necessary for our own safety to keep up a constant fire, and thus keep the enemy down in their works, and away from their artillery. In this charge my brigade sustained a loss of 1 commissioned officer and 13 enlisted men killed, and 8 commissioned officers and 86 enlisted men wounded. Lieut. Benjamin F. Beitzell, the officer killed, was a gallant and meritorious officer, and his loss deeply felt by his regiment and regretted by the entire command. My command maintained its position until after dark, when I was relieved by Kimball’s brigade. The enemy evacuated their works during the night of the 18th, and at 7 o’clock the following morning my command moved out to join in the pursuit. Moving forward the distance of a mile, the enemy were again found, strongly intrenched at the base of Kennesaw Mountain.

On the morning of the 22nd, in accordance with orders, I relieved General Harker’s brigade with my command, throwing forward the Nintey-seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteers, under commandof Lieut. Col. Milton Barnes, as skirmishers, who was ordered to make a demonstration on that part of the enemy’s works confronting my lines. Moving forward they encountered the enemy in heavy force strongly posted behind works. Having no protection from the galling fire poured upon them, this regiment lost very heavily in both officers and men, but gallantly held and fortified all the ground they so nobly battled for. The losses of this regiment alone were 11 enlisted men killed and 7 commissioned officers and 80 enlisted men wounded. The 23rd instant I was ordered to further demonstrate in my front, and relieving the Nintey-seventh Ohio Volunteers with the Fifty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, throwing the Twenty-sixth Ohio Volunteers on their right, the two regiments, under command of Colonel Bartleson, One hundredth Illionis Volunteers, were ordered to move forward and take the enemy’s rifle-pits, if possible. The regiments moved forward at a double-quick and succeeded in taking the enemy’s pits, capturing a number of prisoners in same, but losing heavily in the charge. It was found impossible to hold the captured works on the left of my line, as the enemy had a converging fire upon the same, therefore the left of the Fifty-seventh Indiana Volunteers fell back in good order to the position they started from in making the charge. My losses in this charge were 2 commissioned officers and 36 enlisted men wounded. Colonel Bartleson, One Hundredth Illinois Volunteers, in command of the line, and Captain Stidham, Fifty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, both very gallant and tried of superior ability, were killed whilst nobly performing their duty. Colonel Bartleson lost one arm at Shiloh, was captured at Chickamauga whilst gallantly leading his regiment on a charge, and had returned from Libby Prison but a few days before his death. The 24th, 25th, and 26th were spent in skirmishing with the enemy in front of their position at Kennesaw Mountain. On the morning of the 27th I recieved orders to have my commandin readiness at daylight to take position behind a portion of the works occupied by General Stanley’s division for the purpose of charging the enemy’s works. After being relieved by troops from General Wood’s division, I moved my command to the rear of the outer line of works occupied by Colonel Grose’s brigade, of General Stanley’s division, and , agreeably to orders, massed them in column by division, left in front, in the following order: The Fortieth Indiana Volunteers in advance; the Twenty-eighth Kentucky Volunteers following; the One hundredth Illinois; Twenty-sixth Ohio, and Ninety-seventh Ohio Volunteers in the order named; The Fifty-seventh Indiana Volunteers deployed as skirmishers. The Fortieth Indiana and Twenty- eighth Kentucky Volunteers were under the command of Col. John W. Blake, Fortieth Indiana Volunteers; the One hundredth Illinois, Twenty-sixth and Ninety-seventh Ohio Volunteers under command of Col. John Q. Lane, Ninety-seventh Ohio Volunteers; the skirmishers under the direction of the division officer of the day. General Harkers brigade was formed on my right, leaving sufficent interval to admit my deploying to the right, and forming connection with his left. General Kimball was formed to my left and rear. At a given signal the skirmishers on my front moved forward, and soon became heavily engaged, and soon thereafter my entire command moved up to and scaled our outer line of works. As soon as the head of my column began crossing our works the enemy opened a terrific and deadly fire of artillery and musketry from their main line of works, but, nothing daunted, the column moved forward, charging the works of the enemy, unmindful of the terrific havoc in their ranks. After repeated efforts of both officers and men to get to the enemy’s works, the same being defended by heavy lines of abatis, as well as by artillery and infantry, the command fell back for shelter to a ravine close to the enemy’s works, and deployed into line. About this time I received an order to the effect that General Kimball’s brigade would charge in conjunction with mine, and I directed the  regiments in my brigade to move forward with those of his. The commands moved forward simultaneously, but met with such a terrific fire from the enemy that they were compelled to fall back. In falling back a heavy fire was poured into the right flank of my command, giving evidence that the troops on my right had failed to effect a lodgment in the enemy’s works, and had fallen back to our main line of works, and that the enemy were coming out of their works and striking me on the flank. After my command was repulsed in the last charge they fell back to the main line, and I received orders to return to the camp I had left in the morning, relieving those of General Wood’s troops who had relieved me. My losses in this assault were 4 commissioned officers and 35 enlisted men killed, and 11 commissioned officers and 165 enlisted men wounded. The Fortieth Indiana Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Leaming commanding, suffered terribly, they being in advance. Captains Elliott and Kirkpatrick, Fortieth Indiana Volunteers, were two of the finest officers in the service. The last I saw of Captain Kirkpatrick he was in front of his command withdrawn sword waving them forward. As he passed me he simply asked me & quot; “where shall I strike the enemy’s lines ?”; Captain Elliott was not only fit to command a company or regiment, but was one of the most accomplished officers and gentlemen in the service. Lieutenant Sharp, Fortieth Indiana, and Captain Berkshire, Nintey-seventh Ohio Volunteers, were both killed while gallantly leading their companies in the charge. Nothing of importance occurred in my command until the night of the 2nd of July, when the enemy evacuated their strong hold at Kennesaw, and retreated toward the Chattahoochee River.

On the morning of the 3rd I was ordered to march to Marietta, and from thence in pursuit of the enemy, whom we found strongly intrenched some five miles distant, in a southerly direction. The 4th of July was spent in skirmishing with the enemy, who were driven into their main works, the same which they evacuated during the night, retreating in the direction of Atlanta. We followed to Vining’s Station, near the Chattahoochee River. The day was excessively warm, and the march very tedious, many of the men falling out of the ranks from sheer exhaustion. About 5 p.m. the brigade was massed about one-half mile northwest of Roswell, where the men prepared supper, and about dark resumed the line of march through the town, and to the river, which was crossed after dark by fording, and we immediately proceeded to relieve Miller’s cavalry brigade, which had secured a position on the bluffs on the south side. Pickets were thrown out to the front and the troops went into camp. The line occupied by this brigade conformed to the top of the bluff, and was partially protected by works hastily thrown up by cavalry. On the morning of the 10th the line was somewhat changed by throwing forward the left to the next ridge in its front, and connecting with General Kimball’s brigade, of this division. In this new position a line of works was constructed by felling trees and covered with earth. In the afternoon this command was relieved by General Sweeny’s division, of the Sixteenth Army Corps, which occupied the line of works constructed in the morning. We encamped in their rear as reserves, and on the morning of the 11th recrossed the river on a bridge temporarily constructed by the Sixteenth Army Corps, near the ruins of the one burned by the enemy, and encamped for the night near Roswell. On the morning of the 12th resumed the march and returned to our old camp near Vining’s Station. On the 13th of the month again crossed the Chattahoochee River at Powers’ Ferry, where the First and Third Divisions of this corps had already taken up position on the south side. We marched about one and a half miles from the river, and formed line on the right of the division, and connecting with General Wood’s left, having one regiment in reserve. The position was well chosen on the summit of the river bluff, commanding all the ground to the front and affording an excellent camping-ground. Here we constructed a strong line of works and remained in camp for several days, the rest being needed by the troops. On the 18th of July, at 7 a.m., the line of march was resumed on the main Atlanta road, and at 4 p.m. camped in order of battle near Buck Head, the brigade being formed in two lines; commenced building works immediately, and by dark were strongly intrenched. Remained in this until 4 p.m. of the 19th, when we again went into position about two miles in advance upon the high ground on the north side of Peach Tree Creek where we encamped. On the morning of July 20th crossed Peach Tree Creek and relieved Hazen’s brigade, of Wood’s division, who had effected a crossing yesterday, and built works, which we occupied. The works were on the brow of a hill on the bank of the creek, and commanded the ground for some distance on either flank, but to the front of the hill was extended into a ridge, on the crest of which ran the main Atlanta road. About 300 yards distant on this ridge the enemy’s skirmishers were posted in a wood, which protected them from view, while they were continually annoying us with their fire. About noon the skirmish line was advanced. Two regiments of this brigade, Nintey-seventh Ohio and Twenty-eighth Kentucky, acting as a support – they having been ordered to report to General Kimball – drove the enemy’s pickets some distance, and halted our line on a narrow ridge running transversely to the main Atlanta road. At this juncture two more regiments of this brigade, Fifty-seventh Indiana and One hundredth Illinois, were by General Newton’s order placed under command of the former, and sent on a reconnaissance toward the left of our skirmish line. As these two regiments did not rejoin the brigade, but were entirely separated from it, recourse will have to be had to the reports of the commanding officers for a knowledge of their operations during the remainder of the day.

The two regiments ordered to report to General Kimball this morning now returned to the brigade, and a line of battle was formed on the skirmish line, conforming to the crest of the above-mentioned ridge, the right joining the left of the First Brigade, and the left flank refused, there being no connection. One regiment, the Twenty-eighth Kentucky, was held in reserve. The troops immediately began to build works, but had made little progress, when the pickets were driven in and the enemy were upon us. The reserve regiment was immediately advanced to the front line, and the pioneers of the brigade, who had been working on the intrenchments, were withdrawn from the line and posted on the left flank in a line running perpendicularly toward the rear, making the form of our line a battle nearly semicircular. In this position the brigade repulsed repeated and desperate assaults of the enemy, inflicting severe loss, and sustaining but little injury. In the intervals of the enemy’s charges the men continued work on their defenses, and by night-fall had completed a strong breast-work. The loss of the brigade during the entire fight was but 38 killed, wounded and missing, while next morning 29 of the enemy were found dead in our front within twenty paces of the works. During the night the enemy withdrew to his main line of works, about three-fourths of a mile distant. The entire command, both officers and men, behaved with the utmost gallantry, and although the enemy marched in line past the flank, at one time gaining our rear and completely enveloping us, yet every one stood nobly to his work, and inflicted a signal defeat upon the foe. The brigade remained in the position of yesterday during the 21st, and in the morning of the 22nd advanced to within two miles of Atlanta, the enemy having evacuated his works in our front the night before. We here took up position in a dense woods, about one-half mile east of the main Atlanta road, and commenced building works, the enemy occasionally throwing a shell into our midst from his fortifications around the city. The works in this position were not yet completed, when we were relieved by a portion of General Wood’s division, and moved to the right as far as the Atlanta road formed, with the right resting on the road extending to a ravine on the left, and again built works. This was about 3 p.m., and until dark the enemy kept up a fierce cannonade in the position, throwing shells into our midst and exploding them everywhere around, killing 1 man and wounding 4. On the 23rd the Nintey-seventh Ohio was posted on the opposite side of the ravine, on our left, and built a work extending across to a second ravine. A portion of this work was afterward occupied by a regiment of General Wood’s division. On the night of the 24th a second work was built in advance and to the right of the one built by the Nintey-seventh Ohio, and was occupied at first by a portion of that regiment and afterward by the One hundredth Illinois Volunteers. From the 10th of July until this time I was sick, and the brigade was commanded by Col. J.W. Blake, Fortieth Indiana, who is now absent, and has made no report. My report is, therefore, derived from others – mainly from Lieutenant Cox, aide-de-camp, acting assistant adjutant-general at the time, including the account of the battle of the 20th of July. I, therefore, cannot hope to do justice to the regimental commanders and others during that time from my own observation, but must leave their actions to speak for them; and I am under many obligations to Colonel Blake for the manner in which he commanded the brigade during my absence. In the position above given, having one regiment, Twenty-sixth Ohio, in reserve, the brigade remained during the investment of Atlanta, working almost continually on their intrenchments and in placing abatis and entanglements in front, rendering them impregnable to a front attack. Nothing worthy of note transpired in this position until August 3, when the skirmish line, which consisted of details from the diffrent regiments, was re-enforced by the One hundredth Illinois, and advanced aginst the enemy’s works. As soon as our advance was discovered he opened furiously with grape and shell, and continued a heavy fire of musketry and artillery until dark, when our skirmishers were withdrawn to their old position. Our loss was 6 wounded. With the exception of an occasional demonstration of this kind, nothing worthy of note transpired while the troops remained in this position. On the night of August 25, preparations having been made for a grand coup, our position on the Buck Head and Atlanta road was abandoned. The movement began about 11 p.m. from the left, regiments being moved out in succession toward the right until the whole line was withdrawn. We then marched by a circuitous route to a position about three-quarters of a mile in the rear of the lines built by the Twentieth Corps, and threw up a line of works, which were not yet completed when the march was resumed, and we passed to the rear through General Wood’s division and marched to near Utoy Post-Office, where we camped for the night. Marched at 3 p.m. of the 27th some five miles, and went into position after dark on the right of General Wood’s division.

On the morning of the 28th formed the brigade in single line with one regiment in reserve between the First and Third. Built a line of works connecting with these two brigades, behind which we remained until about 3 p.m., when the command moved back about a mile on the road followed yesterday, and turned to the east and marched about three miles in the direction of the Atlanta and Montgomery Railroad, and went into position on the right of the division and joining General Kimball’s left. The 29th of August was spent in constructing works in the position taken last night, and on the 30th marched at 6:30 a.m. to about three and a half miles from Rough and Ready Station, on the Macon and Atlanta Railroad, where the brigade was formed semicircular form, built works, and went into camp. On the 31st of August marched about two miles and took up a position separated from the rest of the division on the bank of Mud Creek, where we built works and went into camp for the night. About 2:30 a.m. September 1 the pioneers of this brigade were sent forward to tear up the railroad. At 7 o’clock the command marched, reaching the Macon and Atlanta Railroad about 9, and immediately commenced tearing up and burning it, which we continued at until reaching Jonesborough, where the Fourteenth Corps and Army of the Tennessee were engaging the enemy. At 4 o’clock formed on the left of the First Division in two lines, with the Fifty-seventh Indiana deployed as skirmishers. Immediately advanced and with our skirmish line drove the enemy across two open fields, about one-third of a mile each, and capturing his front line of rifle-pits, taking 6 prisoners, and losing in killed, wounded, and missing 1 commissioned officer and 17 enlisted men. Darkness prevented a farther advance, and the night was spent in building works, and afterward in preparing to charge the enemy’s lines at daylight. September 2, 1864, at daylight, it was discovered that the enemy had abandoned his position. We immediately marched on after for about six miles to near Lovejoy’s Station, where we found a strong line of works. Went into position on the left of the division, connecting with General Wood’s right. We here remained confronting the enemy, the pickets constantly skirmishing until 8 p.m. of September 5, when we abandoned our position, and withdrew to our old camp near Jonesborough. We here remained until 7 a.m. September 7, and then resumed the march, camping near Rough and Ready Station, having traveled about eight miles. Broke up camp on the morning of the 8th and marched to Atlanta and through the town, going into camp about one mile out on the Decatur road.

The casualties in each regiment during this campaign are as follows:

Headquarters of brigade – Officers 3 – Men 2

26th Ohio Volunteers – Officers 10 – Men 107

97th Ohio Volunteers – Officers 17 – Men 201

100th Illinois Volunteers – Officers 10 – Men 73

40th Indiana Volunteers – Officers 10 Men 217

57th Indiana Volunteers – Officers 16 – Men 144

28th Kentucky Volunteers – Officers 3 – Men 78

Total – Officers 69 – Men 822

The fighting strength of my command at the beginning of the campaign was 137 officers and 1,870 enlisted men; aggregate, 2,007. Losses from battle, 69 officers and 822 enlisted men; aggregate, 891. Losses from expiration of term of service , 2 officers and 40 enlisted men; aggregate 42. Strength of brigade on arriving at Atlanta, 75 officers and 940 enlisted men; aggregate 1,015.

I am under great obligations to Colonels Blake and Lane, who frequently commanded lines of two and three regiments, but particularly on the 27th of June, when their action was particularly worthy of commendation; also to Lieutenant-Colonel Blanch, Fifty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Hammond, One hundredth Illinois Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Boone, Twenty-eighth Kentucky, who was wounded at Kenesaw, but refused to leave the field; Major Barth, Tweny-eighth Kentucky Volunteers, who has commanded the regiment since Lieutenant-Colonel Boone was wounded; Lieutenant-Colonel Squires, Twenty-sixth Ohio; Major Peatman, Twenty-sixth Ohio, who has had command of his regiment much of the time; Lieutenant-Colonel Leaming, Fortieth Indiana, and Lieutenant-Colonel Barnes, Ninety-seventh Ohio, both of whom have had command of their respective regiments during the absence of the colonels; and to the many officers and men of my command, whom want of space will not permit me to mention, but who have conducted themselves with a heroic and patriotic valor worthy of the holy cause in which they are engaged.

The command was under fire about ninety days during the four months of the campaign.

To my present staff I am under great obligations for their faithful and intelligent service during the campaign. Capt. H.C. Tinney, assistant adjutant-general; Lieuts. D. Royse and L.L. Cox, aides-de-camp, I desire particularly to commend as officers deserving promotion, and not less faithful is Dr. Glick, who has been my brigade surgeon for the past two years until within the last few days, and is succeeded by Dr. Tillson, Fifty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, a competent officer; Captain Howard, provost-marshal; Capt. G.A. Lemert, topographical engineer; to Captain Minger, acting commissary of subsistence, and Lieutenant Sterne, acting assistant quartermaster, who had but few equals in their departments; Lieutenant Sterne should be promoted for long and faithful service of nearly three years. Capt. John W. Aughe, inspector, deserves commendation. Lieut. George W. Rouse, who was my inspector until the 30th of July, while inspecting the picket-line in front of Atlanta a cannon ball took off his leg, from which he died. He was one of the most correct young men it was my fortune to know, as well as an accomplished officer. To know him was to love him, and had he lived would have been a man of worth. Lieutenant Royse was twice wounded at Resaca, with shell in the arm, and at New Hope Church by minie-ball in the head, severely, but is on duty. Lieutenant Cox was slightly wounded at New Hope Church.

I am sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: