found intrenched on the opposite bank of the creek. About noon I received an order to force a passage of the stream and secure a lodgement on the southern side. I detailed the Third brigade, Colonel Knefler, for this service. The average width of the creek is about thirty yards, and the average depth about five feet. The crossing was effected in the following manner: One hundred picked men, fifty from the Ninth Kentucky and fifty from the Seventy-ninth Indiana, were selected to go over first and deploy rapidly as skirmishers, to drive back the enemy's skirmishers, seen to be deployed on the opposite bank. The brigade was moved down the stream some distance to a point below the enemy's intrenchments on the opposite bank. At this point a ravine leads down to the creek in such a way as to hide troops moving down it from the view of the opposite shore. The pioneers of the brigade were each armed with a spade about thirty feet long, to be used as sleepers for the construction of the bridge, and the one hundred picked men each took a rail. Thus provided, these parties moved quietly down the ravine to the water's edge, and quickly threw the bridge over. The one hundred men passed rapidly over, deployed, and drove back the enemy's skirmishers. The brigade followed quickly, deployed, moved to the left, flanked the enemy's intrenchments, forced him out and captured some prisoners. As soon as the Third brigade had got across, the First brigade, higher up the stream, threw over a bridge, crossed, and joined the Third brigade. The two brigades immediately intrenched themselves strongly, and the lodgement was secured. The enemy resisted the crossing with artillery as well as musketry, but our artillery was so disposed as to dominate the enemy's. Owing to the manner in which the stream was crossed, as well as the rapidity with which the whole was accomplished, the casualties were small. Considering that half of the rebel army might have been precipitated on the troops which effected the crossing, and that the passage was made in the presence of a considerable force, it may be truly asserted that no handsomer nor more artistic operation was made during the campaign. The Second brigade, General Hazen's, was ordered up from Buckhead during the afternoon, and as soon as the lodgement was made on the south bank, the brigade was put to work to construct a permanent bridge. The work was nearly finished by nightfall, and the remainder, by order of Major-General Howard, was turned over to General Newton's division for completion. Leaving General Hazen's brigade to hold for the night the intrenchments constructed by the First and Third brigades, on the south side of Peach-tree creek, I returned to the camp at Buckhead with these two brigades, to get their camp equipage, which had been left there when they moved out in the morning to make the reconnoissance. Monday, July twentieth, my division was ordered to follow the First division by a road crossing the branches of Peach-tree creek above the junction which forms the principal stream. During the day the brigades were deployed, two on the northern side of the main stream, and the Third brigade on the southern side, for the purpose of closing up the gaps, in our general line. Tuesday, July twenty-first, was passed in constructing intrenchments, and in forcing the enemy back into his line of works intermediate between Peach-tree creek and Atlanta. The day was marked by some very sharp skirmishing, which fell particularly heavy on the Third brigade. Thursday night the enemy abandoned his eleventh line of intrenchments, and retired within his defensive works around Atlanta. Early Friday morning my division was pressing closely on the heels of the retiring enemy. Pressing closely up to the enemy's main line of works, my division took a strong position in the forenoon of July twenty-second, and intrenched it securely. This position, varied slightly by changes growing out of pressing the enemy more thoroughly into his defensive works, was maintained till the night of the twenty-fifth of August. During the whole period sharp skirmishing was kept up on the picket line, and throughout the whole time the division was exposed to a constant fire of shot, shell, and musketry, which bore its fruit in numerous casaulties. During the period, also, many important demonstrations were made by the division, with the double purpose of determining the strength and position of the enemy's works and of making a diversion in favor of the movement of the troops. In some of these demonstrations the casualties, for the number of troops engaged, were quite severe. Several of them were graced with brilliant captures of the enemy's picket intrenchments. On the twenty-seventh of July, Major-General Howard relinquished command of the Fourth corps to assume command of the Army of the Tennessee, rendered vacant by the death of the lamented McPherson. Replete with professional knowledge, patriotic zeal, and soldierly ambition, General Howard's administration of the Fourth corps was a happy combination of energy, zeal, and prudence, of enterprise and sound military views. He came among us personally a stranger, known to us only by his professional reputation. He left us regretted by all, respected as a commander, esteemed as a friend and loved as a comrade in arms. The casualties in my division during that part of the campaign in which General Howard commanded the Fourth corps, amounted to twenty-six hundred and three officers and men. Brigadier-General Hazen was transferred on the seventeenth August to the Army of the Tennessee. By this transfer I lost the services
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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