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[688] me, decidedly, the opinion, formed upon the observation of the afternoon, that the Federal artillery would render their positions untenable the next day, and urged me to abandon the ground immediately and cross the Etowah. Lieutenant-General Hardee, whose position I thought the weakest, was confident that he could hold it. The other two officers were so earnest, however, and so unwilling to depend on the ability of their corps to defend the ground, that I yielded, and the army crossed the Etowah on the twentieth, a step which I have regretted ever since. Wheeler's cavalry was placed in observation above and Jackson's below the railroad.

On the twenty-second Major-General Wheeler was sent with all his troops not required for observation to the enemy's rear, and on the twenty-fourth beat a brigade at Cassville and took or burned two hundred and fifty loaded wagons. In the meantime the enemy was reported, by Jackson's troops, moving down the Etowah, as if to cross it near Stilesboro, and crossing on the twenty-third. On the twenty-fourth Polk's and Hardee's corps reached the road from Stilesboro to Atlanta, a few miles south of Dallas, and Hood's four miles from New Hope Church, on the road from Alatoona. On the twenty-fifth the enemy was found to be intrenched near and east of Dallas. Hood's corps was placed with its centre at New Hope Church, and Polk's and Hardee's ordered between it and the Atlanta road, which Hardee's left was to cover. An hour before sunset Stewart's division was fiercely attacked by Hooker's corps, which it repulsed after a hot engagement of two hours. Skirmishing was kept up on the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh. At half-past 5 P. M., on the twenty-seventh, Howard's corps assailed Cleburne's division, and was driven back with great slaughter. In these two actions our troops were not intrenched. Our loss in each was about four hundred and fifty killed and wounded. On the twenty-seventh the enemy's dead, except those borne off, were counted--six hundred. We therefore estimated their whole loss at three thousand at least. It was probably greater on the twenty-fifth, as we had a larger force engaged then, both of infantry and artillery.

The usual skirmishing was kept up on the twenty-eighth. Lieutenant-General Hood was instructed to put his corps in position during the night to attack the enemy's left flank at dawn next morning, the rest of the army to join in the action successively from right to left.

On the twenty-ninth Lieutenant-General Hood, finding the Federal left covered by a division which had intrenched itself in the night, thought it inexpedient to attack — so reported and asked for instructions. As the resulting delay made the attack inexpedient, even if it had not been so before, by preventing the surprise, upon which success in a great degree depended, he was recalled.

Skirmishing continued until the fourth of June--the enemy gradually extending his intrenched line toward the railroad at Acworth. On the morning of the fifth the army was formed, with its left at Lost Mountain, its centre near Gilgath Church, and its right near the railroad. On the seventh the right, covered by Noonday Creek, was extended across the Marietta and Acworth road. The enemy approached under cover of successive lines of intrenchments. There was brisk and incessant skirmishing until the eighteenth. On the fourteenth the brave Lieutenant-General Polk, distinguished in every battle in which this army had fought, fell by a cannon shot at an advanced post. Major-General Loring succeeded to the command, which he held until the seventh of July with great efficiency.

On the fourth of June a letter from Governor Brown informed me that he had organized a division of infantry and placed it under my orders. These troops, when ready for service, under Major-General G. W. Smith, were employed to defend the crossings of the Chattahoochee, to prevent the surprise of Atlanta by the Federal Cavalry.

On the nineteenth a new line was taken by the army — Hood's corps with its right on the Marietta and Canton road, Loring's on the Kennesaw Mountain, and Hardee's with its left extending across the Lost Mountain and Marietta road. The enemy approached, as usual, under cover of successive lines of intrenchments. In this position there was incessant fighting and skirmishing until July third--the enemy gradually extending his intrenched right toward Atlanta. On the twentieth of June, Wheeler, with eleven hundred men, routed Garrard's division of Federal cavalry on our right. On the twenty-first Hood's corps was transferred from right to left, Wheeler's cavalry taking charge of the position which it left. On the twenty-second Lieutenant-General Hood reported that Hindman's and Stevenson's divisions of his corps being attacked, drove back the enemy, taking a line of his breastworks, but were compelled to withdraw by the fire of fortified artillery. In the twenty-fourth Hardee's skirmishers repulsed a line of battle, as did Stevenson's, of Hood's corps, on the twenty-fifth.

On the twenty-seventh, after a furious cannonade of several hours, the enemy made a general advance, but was everywhere repulsed with heavy loss. The assaults were most vigorous on Cheatham's and Cleburne's divisions of Hardee's corps and French's and Featherstone's of Loring's. Lieutenant-General Hardee reports that Cheatham's division lost in killed, wounded, and missing, one hundred and ninety-five; the enemy opposed to it, by the statement of a staff officer subsequently captured, two thousand; the loss of Cleburne's division, eleven; that of the enemy in his front, one thousand. Major-General Loring reported two hundred and thirty-six of his corps killed, wounded, and missing; and the loss of the enemy, by their own

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