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[305] the time working to the south and east along the old Sandtown road. On the twenty-second General Hooker had advanced his line, with General Schofield on his right. The enemy, Hood's corps, with detachments from the others, suddenly sallied and attacked. The blow fell mostly on General Williams' division of General Hooker's corps, and a brigade of General Hascall's division of General Schofield's army.

The ground was comparatively open, and although the enemy drove in the skirmish lines (an advanced regiment of General Schofield, sent out purposely to hold him in check until some preparations could be completed for his reception), yet when he reached our line of battle he received a terrible repulse, leaving his dead, wounded, and many prisoners in our hands. This is known as the affair of the “Kulp House.” Although inviting the enemy at all times to commit such mistakes, I could not hope for him to repeat them after the examples of Dallas and the “Kulp House,” and upon studying the ground, I had no alternative, in my turn, but to assault his lines or turn his position. Either course had its difficulties and dangers. And I perceived that the enemy and our own officers had settled down into a conviction that I would not assault fortified lines.

All looked to me to “outflank.” An army to be efficient must not settle down to one single mode of offence, but must be prepared to execute any plan which promises success. I waited, therefore, for tho moral effect, to make a successful assault against the enemy behind his breastworks, and resolved to attempt it at that point where success would give the largest fruits of victory. The general point selected was the left centre; because, if I could thrust a strong head of column through at that point by pushing it boldly and rapidly two and one half miles, it would reach the railroad below Marietta, cut off the enemy's right and centre from its line of retreat, and then, by turning on either part, it could be overwhelmed and destroyed. Therefore, on the twenty-fourth of June, I ordered that an assault should be made at two points south of Kenesaw on the twenty-seventh, giving three days notice for preparation and reconnoissance; one to be made near Little Kenesaw by General McPherson's troops, and the other about a mile further south by General Thomas' troops. The hour was fixed, and all the details given in Field Orders, number twenty-eight, of June twenty-fourth. On the twenty-seventh of June the two assaults were made at the time and in the manner prescribed, and both failed, costing us many valuable lives, among them those of Generals Harker and McCook; Colonel Rice and others badly wounded; our aggregate loss being near three thousand, while we inflicted comparatively little loss to the enemy, who lay behind his well-formed breastworks. Failure as it was, and for which I assume the entire responsibility, I yet claim it produced good fruits, as it demonstrated to General Johnston that I would assault, and that boldly, and we also gained and held ground so close to the enemy's parapets that he could not show a head above them.

It would not do to rest long under the influence of a mistake or failure, and accordingly General Schofield was working strongly on the enemy's left; and on the first of July I ordered General McPherson to be relieved by General Garrard's cavalry in front of Kenesaw, and to rapidly throw his whole army by the right down to and threaten Nickajack creek and Turner's ferry across the Chattahoochee, and I also pushed Stoneman's cavalry to the river below Turner's.

General McPherson commenced his movement the night of July second, and the effect was instantaneous. The next morning Kenesaw was abandoned, and with the first dawn of day I saw our skirmishers appear on the mountain top. General Thomas' whole line was then moved forward to the railroad and turned south, in pursuit toward the Chattahoochee. In person I entered Marietta at half-past 8 o'clock in the morning, just as the enemy's cavalry vacated the place. General Logan's corps of General McPherson's army, which had not moved far, was ordered back into Marietta by the main road, and General McPherson and General Schofield were instructed to cross Nickajack and attack the enemy in flank and rear, and, if possible, to catch him in the confusion of crossing the Chattahoochee; but Johnston had foreseen and provided against all this, and had covered his movement well. He had intrenched a strong tele du pont at the Chattahoochee, with an advanced intrenched line across the road at Smyrna camp-meeting ground, five miles from Marietta.

Here General Thomas found him, his front covered by a good parapet, and his flanks behind the Nickajack and Rottonwood creeks. Ordering a garrison for Marietta, and General Logan to join his own army near the mouth of Nickajack, I overtook General Thomas at Smyrna. On the fourth of July we pushed a strong skirmish line down the main road, capturing the entire line of the enemy's pits, and made strong demonstrations along Nickajack creek and about Turner's ferry. This had the desired effect, and the next morning the enemy was gone, and the army moved to the Chattahoochee, General Thomas' left flank resting on it near Pace's ferry, General McPherson's right at the mouth of Nickajack, and General Schofield in reserve; the enemy lay behind a line of unusual strength, covering the railroad and pontoon bridges, and beyond the Chattahoochee. Heavy skirmishing along our whole front during the fifth demonstrated the strength of the enemy's position, which could alone be turned by crossing the main Chattahoochee river, a rapid and deep stream, only passable at that stage by means of bridges, except at one or two very difficult fords.

To accomplish this result I judged it would

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