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[265] may seem, Colonel Van Vleck not only lives, but when I last heard from him yesterday evening, was entirely free from pain, conversed with clearness and ease, and seemed likely to survive! The bullet, however, is unquestionably in his head, and was either diverted downward to the base of the cranium, or penetrating the brain, lodged against the skull on the opposite side. Such is the theory of surgeons whom I have heard discussing this remarkable case.

Colonel Van Vleck is widely known throughout the division to which his regiment is attached, as an officer of more than ordinary intellectual ability, who constantly gave all his attention and energy to the discharge of whatever duties were imposed upon him. While his efficiency gained him the esteem of those with whom he was associated, his modest demeanor and kindness of heart secured their undivided love. He is a citizen of Macomb, Macdonough county, Illinois, and I am reliably informed was accustomed to exhibit in private life, the same qualities which have endeared him to his fellow-soldiers in the field. Many a prayer will go up for his recovery.

As our guns have obtained the range of the rebel pits and batteries, our firing yesterday was more effective, and evidently did the enemy considerable damage. It must be admitted, however, that our fire was vigorously returned, and that the rebel gunners seemed deficient neither in audacity nor accuracy of aim.

The lines of the Twentieth corps were advanced and shortened in the forenoon. The rebel pickets struggled furiously to prevent it; but the Twentieth corps learned under Hooker to make its movements with very little regard to the wishes or efforts of the enemy.

Contrary to the rule which had prevailed for nearly two weeks, no rain fell on the eleventh or twelfth. Last night the atmosphere was clear, the sky cloudless. A flood of mellow moonlight fell upon the earth, softening the harsher features of the landscape, and smoothing even the wrinkles of “grim-visaged war.” I rode for the distance of half a dozen miles on a route parallel with, and considerably to the rear of our lines. All was calm, peaceful, and still; and only the drippings of musketry and the occasional deep roar of a cannon reminded us that we were near two mighty armies contending for the mastery. Nature can quiet herself; but she cannot quiet those hostile hosts. She can make peace in the rear-bat the musket still blazes and rattles in the front. She can hush the voices of her own children, but the thunder of the cannon reverberates ever and anon among the hills. Have you moonlight away up in Ohio?

We have as yet received no intelligence of the arrival from Richmond of any reinforcements for Hood. The rebel authorities are trying to keep up the spirits of their men by promising them that Kirby Smith will soon come to their assistance. It will be a burning shame to those who have the conduct of our military and naval affairs if these promises are ever verified.

before Atlanta, August 14, 1864.
Last night Logan's skirmishers attacked the rebels in their line of earthworks, and in a very brief space of time carried them, and captured a large number of prisoners, about one hundred and twenty-five in all. As usual, Logan lost in the skirmish but a very few men, wounded.

The Fourteenth corps yesterday and last night got quite a number of deserters, among whom were a few commissioned officers; these, with Logan's captures, reduced Hood's army over two hundred in one night. The deserters were from the skirmish line, and declared that the reason of their farewell to Dixie was the fall of Mobile, which points to another retreat, and as the present opportunity was a good one to escape, they availed themselves of it.

The anticipated attack of the rebels upon our left was not made last night, although we had a noisy time of it during the whole night. Our artillery opened along the whole line with great vigor, and until daylight was kept up by us, with a feeble response from the enemy. Our shots must have had their effect, for picket officers report hearing bells rung and seeing fires in different parts of the city. We have occasionally glimpses of Atlanta by climbing trees, from which the interior of the city can be distinctly seen-troops moving through the streets, women waving handkerchiefs to them from windows, ambulances moving about the streets, &c. The rebel works can also be seen quite distinctly. Veterans are spread along the skirmish line, militia man the main works, with veteran reserves in the rear of both lines, to keep the raw recruits from retreating.

The army on the right, or rather the right wing--under General Schofield's temporary command — is in statu quo, and has been for two or three days. However, it will not be so long, for there are unmistakable evidences about us that “something is going to happen.”

It seems almost miraculous that in the frequent skirmishes upon the line more men are not lost. The skirmish lines will get up an impromptu fight, expend several thousand cartridges, artillery will give forth its deep-toned bass, and when the music of the battle is absorbed in air, we not unfrequently find that our loss in the whole corps front is but two or three. In these skirmishes, two or three of which occur per day, I am conscious of being within bounds when I say the average loss is less than twenty daily!

August 15--11 o'clock A. M.--Two heavy attacks upon our pickets were made during the past night, upon the right wing, with what success, of course, we have not yet learned. The first “picket fracas” was about eight P. M., lasting half an hour, the last at two o'clock, lasting about the same period. The artillery must take a hand in, and the moment the pickets get to spitting lead at each other, that moment the loud-mouthed artillery speaks.

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