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[14] up August Mersy's brigade from Dodge to replace Martin's, whose early call and march to help the leftmost battle had weakened Lightburn's front.

The cannon were making much disturbance. The smoke was often blinding and the roar deafening; such firing kept back the remainder of Cheatham's lines. Woods's men advanced steadily down the line; there was no break, no hesitation, no halt; on, on they go till the opening is reached and the continuity of Logan's line was soon restored. Every Confederate who was not made a prisoner fled toward Atlanta, and Captain DeGress, though his horses were killed during the cannonade, had the joy of recovering his big guns.

Schofield now urged Sherman to put a column on Cheatham's flank from himself and Thomas to roll up that Confederate line and so interpose between the outside Confederates and those defending the works of Atlanta. Sherman, whose face now relaxed into a pleasant mood, said: “Let the army of the Tennessee fight it out”

In the afternoon Sprague, near Decatur with his own regiments, aided by Kuhn's battalion of mounted infantry, handsomely repulsed Wheeler's vigorous cavalry and artillery attacks and saved all the trains under his care from capture or damage.

Hood, at last weary, drew Hardee and Cheatham back to the shelter of the Atlanta forts, leaving havoc behind, but sweeping in some prisoners of war, some flags, and many cannon. He reported bravely to Richmond and issued orders of congratulation to his troops. He doubtless at first esteemed this bloody battle a Confederate victory. But we never so regarded this; it was indeed the main battle of Atlatta.

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