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[241] rebels became aware of our design, for a prisoner captured yesterday stated that he was stationed where the mine “would have blown him to thunder, had not our'ns left.”

The fourth--the day we celebrate, was ushered in this morning in the usual style — music and cannonading. The former was at headquarters, while the latter was at the rebels, who have made a demonstration on a range of hills immediately in our front, and four miles south of Marietta. This is in all likelihood only a feint, in order to give Johnston time to get properly posted at the Chattahoochee — a “grapevine” being in circulation that nearly all his infantry and artillery is across the river, except the rear guard.

On Wednesday morning last, a truce was arranged upon between Colonel Langley of the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Illinois, of McCook's brigade, and the rebel Colonel Rice, of the Twenty-eighth Tennessee, to bury the dead killed in the assault made on Monday. Colonel Rice was very anxious that the arms and accoutrements of our soldiers who fell at the rebel breastworks should be given over to the rebels. But to this Colonel Langley objected, and proposed that they should be regarded as neutral property, and not touched by either party until one or the other should occupy the ground. To this Colonel Rice reluctantly consented — knowing that if he did not, it would be equivalent to saying that the rebels were not going to hold their position. The upshot of the matter was just as Colonel Langley expected; the rebels evacuated, and we got all the arms, some two hundred and fifty Enfield rifles.

From the Colonel I gather the following in relation to the personnel of Hindman and Cheatham, with whom he had a long conversation; Cheatham's uniform consisted of an old slouched hat, a blue hickory shirt, butternut pants, and a pair of cavalry boots. The supports to his unmentionables were an old leather strap and a piece of web — the tout ensemble presenting the appearance of a “Johnny” run to seed. Cheatham was of the opinion that the war would be settled by treaty, as neither party could conquer. He was satisfied that we had so completely revolutionized Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland and Louisiana, that they would never form part of the Confederacy. He virtually admitted that he was only fighting from principle, and not for the love of the Southern Confederacy. When Tennessee passed the ordinance of secession, he went with it, and as he had cast his lot, he did not feel disposed to “back down.” Hindman hails from Arkansas, and has the reputation of being a confirmed gambler and blackleg. He does not command the respect of his own troops, and by his brother-officers is despised. In appearance he is quite dressy. His auburn hair flows in ringlets over his shoulders, and it is said a light mulatto girl dresses it for him every morning.

Great praise is due to the rebel Colonels Rice and House, for the gentlemanly and humane manner in which they assisted our forces to pay the last sad rites to those who fell, bravely fighting in front of the enemy's works, on the twenty-seventh of June.


Ruff's Station, seven miles South of Marietta, July 6.
After the rebels fell back from Kenesaw, and assumed the second great line of defence I have mentioned before, our army at once followed them up, and with an abundance of artillery firing, made them develop their lines full and distinct. The part played herein by the left will be, doubtless, fully set forth to you by your correspondent in that portion of the forces. The Twentieth corps performed a conspicuous part in the splendid artillery practice, which finally made it too hot for the rebels in their new line, which they evidently had constructed with the fond hope that we would again fling upon it our infantry.

On the morning of the fifth, the Twenty-third corps had been fully put in the rear (in reserve) of the forward movement of the Twentieth corps, which at the same time was advancing to the right, obliquely toward the river, so that it was deployed directly in front of, and about two miles in advance of the Twenty-third. The Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth corps had, meantime, got into position on the right, in the order named, from left to right, and began to advance, skirmishing slightly, and cannonading the enemy wherever the enemy appeared to be in force. The advance of the Fourteenth, Twentieth, and Fourth corps, meantime, toward the river was gradually straightening out the rebel semi-circular lines, which I have alluded to in a former letter as investing the railroad bridge, and causing their forces to lengthen out, and consequently, extend down the river. They had, besides, a good reason for this extension down the river, in the fact that the right of our army was pushing in that direction to strike the river and occupy a sufficient extent of its bank to enable us to effect a crossing. The race was so hotly pushed, however, that we did not succeed in reaching the river until above Howell's Ferry, and then only at an angle, without being able to stretch any considerable force along its immediate bank. The enemy offered what opposition they were able to this movement, by constructing hasty works, but they were unable to draw our forces into an attack. They contented themselves with simply cannonading them at long range, and marching as rapidly as possible for the river.

The task which remains for the right at present, then, is to crowd the enemy so hard against the river that he will be compelled to retire upward along its bank, and allow our forces to cross below a point which they can command with their artillery. This will be a difficult task, as the enemy are said to have constructed several forts, mounting four or five pieces each, that will offer much resistance.


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