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[51] corps, which was moved around from the right, as a support for Hooker, lost slightly.

About two o'clock the enemy, learning from prisoners taken from us, that Hovey's Indiana division of “raw recruits” held a position in the line, and smarting under their successive repulses on other portions of the line, hurled a heavy force upon Hovey, convinced that the recruits would run. Not so, however, The rebels held a strong position in a gorge in the hills, and out of their breastworks they swarmed in large numbers and made a furious attack upon the division, which nobly repulsed them after a short and bloody contest of fifteen minutes. The assault was renewed, when the “raw Hoosiers” charged upon them on the double-quick, under heavy fire of grape, and literally mowed them down. They did not assault the Indianians the third time. To-night the encomiums of the whole corps are being showered upon Hovey's division, who have written a glorious introductory chapter in their history.

About ten P. M., Hooker's command commenced throwing up breastworks to strengthen their position; and to cover their movements, it was found necessary to advance their skirmish line. In doing so the skirmishers ran against the rebel line. Immediately a heavy artillery and musketry fire opened from both contestants, which lasted until two o'clock in the morning. The night battle was desperate and losses on both sides heavy, probably three hundred killed and wounded. At two the rebels were repulsed along the whole line; a deafening cheer rang out on the night air, and all was still save the piteous moans of the dying, who lay upon the bloody field, awaiting with anxiety the early dawn, when they were gathered into the hospitals, and every care bestowed upon them by our hard-working surgeons.

Monday, May 16.
The morning was very bright, but the whole valley was filled with smoke and fog. At day-light not a gun was heard. Newton immediately advanced to feel the enemy, and discovered that they had disappeared.

The Retreat across the Oostenaula.

Immediately upon being informed of the evacuation of the valley, General Howard informed General Sherman, and our lines at once advanced. It was discovered that the enemy had made good his retreat, carrying off all his artillery, but destroying his wagon trains by fire lest they should fall into our hands. I have just made a tour of the field on the left, and find it covered with rebel dead and wounded, all of whom were left in our hands for burial and treatment. Prisoners, at the hour I write, nine A. M., are being brought in by hundreds. The victory is complete so far, but would have been more so had McPherson's corps been enabled to cross the river and take a position in the rebel rear. McPherson made several attempts to throw down the pontoons and cross his corps, but the enemy poured such a raking fire into his pontoons that the work had to be abandoned. I have no particulars of what was accomplished by McPherson's command, but I learn that the Fifteenth corps, under Logan, lost forty-eight killed and four hundred and forty-eight wounded.

Our total losses are estimated at from four thousand to five thousand, of whom fully two thousand are so slightly wounded in the hands and feet that they will be fit for duty in two or three weeks. The killed will amount to about eight hundred, among whom are many brave officers who have left behind them brilliant records. Ohio has lost her full proportion. Indiana, too, will mourn the loss of many of her brave sons.

The enemy's losses are fully as large as ours, if not larger. In every assault upon our lines their loss was very heavy, and they were driven back, leaving hundreds of their killed and wounded in our hands each day.

We have taken nearly four thousand prisoners and deserters, including many Colonels, Lieutenant-Colonels, Majors, and line and staff officers. Many of them were willing prisoners, who remained in the rebel works and surrendered when we advanced in pursuit.

On the evacuation of the valley, the enemy crossed all his cars and locomotives and burned five span of the railway bridge, which can be repaired, however, in one or two days. At nine this (Monday) morning, Hooker's corps threw down pontoons and crossed near Resacca, while Schofield is crossing on the left near Pelton. The cavalry, under Stoneman and McCook, commenced the pursuit early in the morning, and at the present writing they are engaging the enemy with artillery. Brisk firing can be heard, and the rebel rear-guard are evidently meeting with a warm parting salute from our cavalry, which this season is in excellent trim and superior to that of former seasons. McCook, Stoneman, and Kilpatrick, are dashing officers, who never refuse a fight, and invariably whip their antagonists when the forces engaged are at all equal.

Two battles, two defeats, and two retreats, have so dispirited the enemy that it is almost idle to speculate upon what he will probably do, or where he will make his next stand. Sherman is too much for Johnston, especially on the flanking process, and it is not unlikely that the rebel chieftain will retreat until he reaches the Altoona range of mountains, where he can better protect his flanks than he could at Buzzard Roost and Sugar Valley. Citizens and deserters say that the Altoona Mountains are filled with very powerful fortifications capable of great resistance, and that the enemy will make a stand there and give us battle. Be that as it may, the country may rely upon Sherman and Thomas, and the invincible force they command, for working out a more glorious victory than the one just achieved.

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