fellow, ran his engine clear up against our line of fortifications, and thrusting the cow-catcher into the breastworks, lay there full ten minutes, while the whistle was shrieking at its topmost. The boys of the corps, who were within hearing distance, gave cheer upon cheer, and the wrathful rebels opened upon the saucy locomotive with showers of shot and shell. The labors of the past week have been excessive. Within five days the second division of the Twenty-third corps built nine heavy lines of works, besides marching, picketting, and skirmishing almost incessantly. All this was necessary to secure safety, but it was at a fearful cost of nerve and muscle. Besides all that, it was extremely difficult to push the supply wagons on after them, through thick woods and ravines, and there was a lack temporarily of supplies and forage.
twenty-Third Army corps, before Atlanta, August 11.Everything is in a state of perfect quietude on this flank — the extreme right of the army. There has been nothing of a warlike nature, except skirmishing and an occasional cannonade, since the sixth, a day long to be remembered by the troops of General Cox's command. Sherman's troops have advanced, until it seems impossible to gain another foot, and it is equally impossible from the nature of the country, and the status of affairs, for the army, or either army, for that matter, to flank to the right. In other words, things are aptly expressed by the term statu quo, the rebels are “pushed to the wall,” and with manifest increase of strength, have become more saucy and obstinate than ever. The evident policy of Sherman is to hold his present position, feel the enemy's lines, and ascertain their weak points. Nothing decisive need be looked for from this quarter, till one side or the other break over their present boundaries or adopt a new base. Once for all, let me tell the sensation-lovers of the North that they need not expect now, a week hence, or in a month to come, any such news as “the rebels evacuating Atlanta!” The steady day-by-day skirmishing, to which we are so well used as to scarcely notice, is picking off by degrees this large and heroic army, till our hospital lists embrace not only every regiment, but every day of the month, and yet, even in the aggregate, the figures fail to astonish. Rather do we hear the exclamation, “So few!” The enemy have become so enraged at our close approach to their works and lines, that they have given vent by turning all their batteries of siege guns and columbiads upon us — a spleen so wildly developed and poorly executed that the damage has been but slight, and mainly consists in throwing up dirt and tearing through the timber. Our guns have either not been able to cope with them, or have lain back awaiting a more favorable opportunity for a display of their gunnery. From present indications I think the thunders of some big guns will be heard from the embrasures of our works ere you get this into print, and that any future demonstration of the enemy's cannonading propensity will receive, for a punishment, the concentrated fire of all the guns that can be brought to bear on the offenders-and that it will be prolonged till they are silenced. The enemy, with a city at their back, cavalry on their flanks, siege guns on their main lines, and militia and dismounted cavalry on their front, have become much emboldened of late; so much so that we look for nothing else than an early and desperate assault on our lines. This is, of all the things likely to “turn up,” the one most desirable, easiest met, and for which we are best prepared. In the language of a predestined martyr, our — boys unanimously exclaim: “Let 'em come!”
on the Banks of Utoy Creek, August 14.Thursday passed without anything occurring to break the monotony which has settled down upon us, except a rumor that a movement was to be made upon a certain portion of the line, and a vigorous demonstration along the front of the Fourth corps (Major-General D. S. Stanley's) to support said movement. The demonstration was made; but the movement remained — a rumor. So much cannonading was done that each wing of the army believed the other heavily engaged; but it all ended in huge sounds and-smoke. Yesterday and last night certain things occurred which would send a thrill of joy to loyal hearts throughout the land. We have recently received the most substantial proofs that in the very army which seems so obstinately to confront us, there is a wide-spread and growing-dissatisfaction with the rebellion and the rebel Government, which confines itself no longer to thoughts and words, but takes the form of solemn and significant deeds. We shall have battles still to fight. The leaders of the rebellion will struggle fiercely as long as they can put a legion in the field. Enough will cling obstinately to the falling “Confederacy” to make it necessary to dash their power to pieces by the weight of battalions and artillery. But if we continue the present pressure a little longer,--if we sternly and firmly fill up and push on our columns, three fourths of the strength of the rebellion will melt away, and disappear in a manner of which some of us little dream. A singular and unfortunate casualty occurred on the evening of the eleventh instant, which will deprive the service of an able officer. Colonel Carter Van Vleck, Seventy-eighth Illinois, was walking toward his tent, half a mile in rear of our skirmish line, when a chance bullet struck him above the left eye and penetrated his forehead. Although the wound has been probed to the depth of three inches, the ball cannot be found; and yet, incredible as it