moved through the works where they had been so bloodily repulsed the day before, and recovered and buried their dead left on the field. The loss was small, as might have been expected; so small as to be scarcely worth the naming. The line was completely straightened out, so that the Twenty-third corps formed a prolongation of the line of the Fourteenth, both running north and south. The Second division of the Twenty-third was still more swung around, so that its direction was a little south-east, and its extreme right was retired close along the north bank of the south branch of Utoy creek. The extreme right flank had advanced during the day fully two miles and a half, though, by swinging, it had accomplished but a small part of this distance toward the railroad. About one hundred and seventy-five prisoners were captured by the Twenty-third corps during the day by a rapid advance upon their skirmish line.
Utoy Creek, August 8, 1864.The movements of the day were summed up in the occupation, by Colonel Strickland's brigade, of the south bank of Utoy. The passage was effected with little difficulty, and the brigade, forming on the south bank. began to advance through a corn-field, when they encountered two rebel lines of battle, and retired to their works, though the rebels were little disposed to fight, and withdrew without offering battle. The vast importance of the advance which the Twenty-third corps has made for the few days past toward the railroad cannot well be exaggerated. The day when we lay hold upon that, that day the rebels, if they have not already left it, must lay aside their hopes of holding Atlanta. Garrard's cavalry hold the Augusta railroad in their possession, and, with this last one in our grasp, we throttle them as inevitably as death. Already our batteries could knock the trains from the track, if only they could find a hillock which would raise them above the interminable trees. This they cannot for the present.
near Atlanta, August 10, 1864.The movements of the enemy during the past few days are calculated to impress one with the belief that Hood's policy is to guard the railroad until the last moment, and, when it has been struck by our prolongated lines, suddenly turn upon us, and, by massing upon a weak point, break it and throw us on the defensive. Since Friday last our line has been slowly reaching out parallel with the line of railway, and one division of the Twenty-third corps has swung round upon and struck the enemy's flank, compelling him to fall back. The situation at present is quite favorable, and our line now extends to within seven eighths of a mile of the railroad. As we approached it the enemy threw in brigade after brigade, and regiment after regiment, to cover our line; but they have put in their last regiment, and can extend no further without shortening their line on their right. Our line is now fully fourteen miles long, yet we can find troops enough to cover the railroad. When that is accomplished, and the rebel's last railway communication is in our possession, he must either evacuate and march out by the dirt roads on the south-east side, or give us battle. One or two more days will develop more fully Hood's intentions. General Sherman issued orders to-day for all the batteries of the various corps that had range upon Atlanta to open upon the city with solid shot and shell, expending fifty rounds to each gun during the day. While this artillery demonstration was making, General Schofield was ordered to fully develop the strength and position of the enemy on our right. Lively skirmishing was also to be kept up along our lines, to attract the enemy's attention. At ten o'clock the roar of artillery was terrific, beginning miles away to our left, from the Fourth corps (General Stanley), the echoes of which reverberated like rapid peals of distant thunder, and ere the dull, heavy sound had died away among the hills, the batteries in the centre belched forth their hissing shots and clouds of smoke. Oftentimes our pieces were “fired by battery,” that is, by discharging all the guns at one signal or order. It was appalling to hear these fearful iron messengers as they literally tore through the air. Not less than thirty heavy guns have maintained a constant bombardment upon the doomed city, whose shattered walls and chimneys attest the accuracy of our artillery firing. Up to the present hour of writing, midnight, no report has been received from General Schofield concerning his progress to-day. This fact is looked upon as good evidence that every thing has so far progressed favorably. General Hood, true to his word, is holding on to Atlanta, but he does not seem much in the humor of attacking us. He uses his big guns with a great deal of pertinacity; but he may learn, even to-day, that there are two parties who can handle big guns, and that he has more to damage in the beautiful town of Atlanta than we have out here in the woods. But you are deceived if you think we are asleep or idle. Could you ride over the ten miles along which our line extends and see the lines of earthworks, heavier than any we have ever made before, and notice the fine forts lately erected, you would give us credit for industry, even if you could not believe that it has been well directed. Let it, then, be understood that we are steadily at work, day and night. Do you imagine that all our toil will be unproductive of results? When such an army as General Sherman's has closed in on three sides of a town fortified with the skill and labor that has been expended on Atlanta, their advance is necessarily slow. We are now on the east and north sides, within easy shelling distance. The extreme right of the army reaches toward the Macon railroad, which we are trying to get in our possession, and the rebels are opposing our endeavor by all means in their power. Day by day we are steadily working our way up. It is done in this way: