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[595] ridge; passing a mill and house we found the enemy in force, behind their ever-attending breast-works. Up to this time we had met with nothing but the enemy's skirmishers, who yielded stubbornly at our approach, but when Wood's leading brigade (Hazen's) advanced into the open field a terrific fire was opened upon them. The line continued to advance under a galling fire of musketry and artillery. It was soon found impracticable, however, to carry their works with our force; and dispositions were made by Wood to occupy the rising ground in the woods. This deployment placed me in the front line on the left of Knefier's brigade, which moved up into the edge of the field. The enemy, emboldened by his success in checking our progress, furiously assaulted the whole line; this was repeated several times and as often repulsed. They soon became more and more active upon my part of the line, and a movement to turn the left was discovered. Already a severe fire enfiladed the Thirty-seventh Indiana. The Twenty-first Ohio, First Wisconsin, and Thirty-eighth Indiana, who had been thrown across the creek, were swung forward, thereby clearing the hill and checking the enemy in this direction. My line was thus now disposed from right to left, Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania, Thirty-seventh Indiana, Thirty-eighth Indiana, First Wisconsin, and Twenty-first Ohio in the front line on the left of Wood, the Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania having been detailed for special duty at Resaca, I had only the Seventy-fourth Ohio in the second line.

The enemy, failing in their attempt to turn my left, renewed their attack upon my right. The Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania and Thirty-seventh Indiana were most exposed, and, with a persistency and heroism worthy of all praise, maintained their ground, expending sixty rounds of ammunition, and for four hours were hotly pressed. About 10 p. m., after a short lull in the battle, the enemy was discovered making preparations for a night attack. Ammunition was distributed from the surplus held by the second line. Breast-works of rails had been hastily thrown up, and every preparation to receive the assault. At length the yell of the enemy was heard. They came rushing and shouting like demons, and were received by a volley from our lines, from the extreme right to the left. After this a deep and ominous silence occurred. I soon observed that the troops on my right were falling back, and was soon left alone with my right exposed. The Seventy-fourth Ohio was hastily brought up, and a strong skirmish line thrown out, with its right refused, and so occupied the ground of the division on my right that when the enemy's skirmishers, who had continued advancing on the right, met my advance, they were not aware of any material change in our lines. While in this position, my regimental commanders were instructed as to the position to be occupied in case we should be forced to fall back. By changing my front perpendicular to the rear, we would unmask the left of General King's brigade, at the same time have a cross-fire ourselves, as the enemy crossed the wheatfield. But the emergency for this movement did not arise. We continued to hold the position upon which we first halted. At no time during the engagement did we yield ground. This was the state of affairs when I was ordered to retire my command. This movement required much caution, but was executed without the further loss of a man. We not only got off our own killed and wounded, but many of the enemy's wounded, among whom were


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Resaca (Georgia, United States) (1)
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Thomas J. Wood (3)
Frederick Knefier (1)
Z. L. King (1)
William B. Hazen (1)
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