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No. 126. report of Col. Charles M. Lum, Tenth Michigan Infantry, commanding First brigade, of operations August 24-September 8.

Hdqrs. First Brig., Second Div., 14TH Army Corps,
White Hall, near Atlanta, Ga., September 8, 1864.

Captain: Pursuant to orders from headquarters Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, I have the honor to make the following report of the movements of this brigade since August 24, 1864, when I assumed command thereof:

On said date the brigade occupied the left of the Second Division, west-southwest of Atlanta, and remained in the same position until August 27, when orders were received to move at a moment's notice. The enemy shelled our position about midnight without doing any damage. Shortly after midnight the brigade left their intrenched position and marched about one and a half miles on the Sandtown road, about daylight taking up a position on a high knoll facing northeast, five companies of the Tenth Regiment Michigan Infantry being thrown out as skirmishers. During the forenoon the command moved nearly one mile farther to the right and took up a position on a hill facing the Sandtown road, our line running perpendicularly to the main line of the army and covering its left flank. The enemy followed us closely, and some skirmishing took place, without injury to either party, as far as can be ascertained. On the 28th of August the brigade started at 5.20 a. m. and moved rapidly to the right a distance of about four miles. It was considered necessary to throw out flankers during part of said march, as the enemy was in close proximity. On arriving at Mr. Oliver's plantation the command halted for breakfast. Here the brigade was detached from the division and ordered to proceed over a rough and narrow road through woods and uncultivated country in a [653] south-southeast and southeast direction, to protect the supply train and Major-General Thomas' headquarters train. Reached the Montgomery railroad about 3 p. m. without having met with any resistance. Found ourselves on the extreme right of the Army of the Cumberland, and reported to Brigadier-General Morgan, then at Red Oak Station, for orders.

August 29, at daybreak left camp and marched across a broken, swampy, and wooded country due east for about one and a half miles. Took up a position somewhat in the advance and on the right of the division, threw up breast-works, and established a strong picket-line. The Tenth Regiment Michigan Infantry, Major Burnett commanding, went out on a reconnaissance in the direction of Shoal Creek Church with a view of cutting a new road. The regiment fell in with the rear guard of a brigade of rebel cavalry, wounding 2 men, capturing 1 prisoner, 15 horses and mules, and a number of small-arms and horse equipments. When near the church the regiment found the enemy in strong force, at the same time discovering a heavy line of battle in their rear. Major Burnett moved his command out of the road, and by skillful maneuvering managed to bring his command around the flank of the force in his rear and to within three-fourths of a mile from camp. Here he halted, sent out his pioneers, supported by a line of skirmishers, and cut a new road for nearly a mile. He brought his regiment into camp about sunset, without the loss of a man, and received well-merited compliments for the success of his movement. After dark the Seventeenth Regiment New York Infantry was thrown out to the right of our position to protect our trains and guard against surprise. The night was quiet. On the 30th of August the brigade moved out early in the morning, the Tenth Regiment Michigan Infantry in the advance, on the Shoal Creek road, said regiment completing the road commenced the day previous and skirmishing with the enemy, taking 2 prisoners. The brigade halted at Shoal Creek at 10 a. m. and remained till 1.30 p. m., when we again took up the line of march, due east, and proceeded about three and a half miles to a point some five miles from Rough and Ready and six miles from Fairburn. There we went into position, facing east, and threw up breast-works. There the command remained until noon August 31, when we moved out first northward, but soon received orders to turn south, and moved in that direction about two miles. Took up a position in line of battle, facing south, and bivouacked for the night.

September 1, about 8 a. m. the brigade was put in motion and returned over the same road we had come; advanced beyond our previous position in a northerly and easterly direction, and, after crossing a creek, where the enemy's artillery first reached us, passed under steady fire of shell and solid shot from a rebel battery some distance up the Jonesborough road. Our artillery soon silenced the enemy's guns, the command crossed to the left of the road, traversed a swampy bottom, and formed on a slope overgrown with young pine trees. Soon we received orders to move to the left across an open field and through a deep ravine to form in the rear of Colonel Mitchell's brigade. This was speedily executed, and the brigade formed in column by battalions, the Fourteenth Regiment Michigan Infantry in the front line. Shortly after 4 p. m. order was given to advance. Crossing a strip of woods in our front, the brigade came out into an open field, where we found our forces [654] drawn up in line of battle, facing the enemy's works in the woods and running perpendicular to our brigade front. There was an opening between the right of General Baird's division and the left of Colonel Mitchell's brigade. Capt. T. Wiseman, assistant adjutant-general Second Division, brought order for this command to fill said gap. Consequently the several regiments were brought by the right flank down to a muddy creek, overgrown with thick and tangled bushes, across that creek, and were formed in the space between the two divisions in such a manner that the Fourteenth Regiment Michigan Veteran Volunteer Infantry joined the left of Colonel Mitchell's brigade, the Sixtieth Regiment Illinois Infantry on the prolongation of the same line, the left wing of said regiment slightly advanced, and the Seventeenth Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry was to fill the gap between the left of the Sixtieth Illinois and the right of Baird's division. Striking the creek above mentioned in a very difficult place, this regiment was unable to take up its proper position in the front line before the general advance. The Sixteenth Illinois formed in the rear of the Fourteenth Michigan, and the Tenth Michigan in the rear and somewhat to the left of the Sixtieth Illinois. While maneuvering for these positions, the command was exposed to a brisk fire of grape and solid shot, but performed the movements with great coolness and precision. Suddenly, without any orders to or from the commanding officer, the brigade moved forward, following the impulse of a general advance, marching steadily and silently, in beautiful order, up the slope in front of us, and without firing a shot entered the woods, where the enemy were awaiting the onset behind strong breast-works. Colonel Mitchell's brigade advanced on a line converging with the one our brigade followed. The Fourteenth Regiment Michigan Infantry gained the advance, and, ably led by Col. H. R. Mizner, was the first to enter the woods and the first to break through the enemy's lines, driving them away from their artillery, the capture of which is claimed, as it seems justly, by Colonel Mizner. The suddenness, determination, and silence of the assault appears to have astounded and disconcerted the enemy, as they left their first line of intrenchments after but a feeble resistance. At the second line of breastworks the contest grew hotter, but soon the enemy fell back, leaving a great number of prisoners in our hands, among whom Brigadier-General Govan, who surrendered at the summons of First Sergt. Patrick Irwin, Fourteenth Regiment Michigan Volunteers. Said regiment also captured the battle-flag of the First Regiment Arkansas (Confederate) and 4 mules with harness. The determined and rapid manner in which the Fourteenth Michigan advanced was probably the reason why the loss in that regiment was comparatively small (2 killed and 28 wounded). The Sixteenth Regiment Illinois Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Cahill commanding, followed the Fourteenth Michigan closely, occupied the first line of the enemy's breast-works, turned some of the captured guns upon the retreating foe, entered the earth-works, and held possession of them; This regiment lost 2 killed, 5 wounded, and I missing. The Sixtieth Regiment Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Col. W. B. Anderson, advanced nearly on a line with, and on the left of, the Fourteenth Michigan, carried the enemy's works in splendid style, bayonets being freely used over, the second line of breast-works. Beyond that line the regiment advanced about 200 yards, threw up breastworks, and remained there all night. Colonel Anderson claims to [655] have captured four pieces of cannon, although they seem to have been the same pieces which the Fourteenth Michigan had already passed by. The regiment captured a good number of prisoners and small-arms, losing 2 men killed, 2 commissioned officers and 16 enlisted men wounded.

While advancing from the position in the open field, the four right companies of the Tenth Regiment Michigan Veteran Volunteer Infantry became entangled in a jungle of briars, several rods in width, and were considerably delayed. They finally extricated themselves and got into their proper place on the left of the Sixtieth Illinois Infantry, advanced with that regiment, and finally took up a position along the first line of the enemy's works, beyond which it was not considered advisable to proceed, the left flank being wholly unprotected. The six left companies of the regiment, unaware of the delay on their right flank, pressed eagerly forward. Finding a gap between our brigade and General Baird's right flank, Major Burnett threw his regiment toward the left, filled the gap, and tfus effectually secured the flank of General Baird's right brigade. After entering the woods, said brigade (Colonel Este's) seems to have been greatly reduced in numbers (it is alleged through the falling back of one or two of his regiments), and finding himself unsupported on both flanks, Colonel Este requested Major Burnett to form on the left of said brigade. The moment was portentous; delay would be disastrous. Major Burnett moved rapidly to the left, formed in the position desired, advanced, and secured a brilliant success, on a point where Colonel Este's men, before his arrival, saw nothing but destruction, and were ready to surrender. The Tenth Michigan advanced bravely, capturing the Second Kentucky Regiment and parts of the Ninth and Sixth Kentucky, with the battle-flag of the latter. The Second Kentucky tore their flag into shreds, thus preventing it from falling into our hands. The gallant and gentlemanly Major Burnett here fell, his head pierced by a rebel bullet while cheering on his men to storm the second line of earth-works. Captain Dunphy took command, led the charge in person, and routed the enemy after a desperate hand-to-hand fight. The regiment lost 2 commissioned officers and 17 enlisted men killed, and 4 commissioned officers and 54 enlisted men wounded.

The Seventeenth Regiment New York Veteran Volunteer Infantry, as above mentioned, encountered great difficulty in crossing a creek while getting into position, and consequently did not arrive at its proper place before the whole line was put in motion. Colonel Grower hastily formed his regiment and advanced up the hill. At that time one or two regiments in his immediate front came rushing to the rear in great confusion, and it was to be feared that the Seventeenth, being under fire for the first time after the re-organization, would be carried off by the current, but, inspired by their brave leader, they pressed onward, reaching the edge of the woods in perfect order. Here Colonel Este, commanding a brigade in General Baird's division, called on Colonel Grower for support, his brigade having got into a dangerous position and showing signs of being discouraged. Colonel Grower, seeing our brigade in perfect order, the space to be occupied by his regiment for the time filled by the Tenth Michigan, and witnessing the confusion in his front, thought best to comply with Colonel Este's request, and moved his command to the left. Here he advanced under a terrible fire, the men falling fast, until he himself fell mortally wounded. Seeing no support on his [656] left, and great confusion on his right, he ordered Major Martin to fall back until he could find proper support. Major Martin, assuming command of the regiment, fell back to the edge of the woods, reformed his line, and seeing the Tenth Michigan on his right, thought himself in his proper place. Again advancing, he received orders to join the Sixtieth Illinois, then somewhat in the advance. He moved forward, and before reaching his position fell in with Colonel Este's brigade. That officer did not know the position of our brigade, and there was no one on hand to give information as to their whereabouts. Colonel Este being hard pressed and his left greatly exposed, applied for assistance, and the Seventeenth formed on his left. Shortly afterward a colonel (Moore) commanding a brigade in the First Division came up and told Major Martin that unless immediately re-enforced he would be obliged to fall back, and urged the major to assist him. The regiment moved forward, advancing the right so as to pour an enfilading fire into the enemy's line. This fire was not returned, the enemy hurriedly retreating. After this, order was received to take up a position on the left of the Sixtieth Regiment Illinois Infantry. Having received correct information as to their position, the regiment moved up and formed as directed, throwing up earth-works in their front and remaining in said position over night. In this engagement the regiment lost 4 commissioned officers wounded (one of whom, Colonel Grower, afterward died), 23 enlisted men killed, and 70 wounded. Many prisoners passed through the lines of the regiment, but it was not considered advisable to weaken the ranks by securing them. The colonel commanding takes pride and pleasure in testifying the unexceptionally excellent behavior of his command. All officers and men stood up nobly to their work. There were no signs of hesitation or wavering. Every man seemed imbued with the importance of the result and was determined to conquer. The Tenth Regiment Michigan and the Seventeenth Regiment New York Infantry deserve particular credit for the promptness and firmness with which they acted under trying circumstances. It is but just to say that by the gallantry of those two regiments the right of General Baird's division was saved from defeat — a defeat which might have proved disastrous to the whole army.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Charles M. Lum, Colonel, Commanding Brigade. Capt. Theodore Wiseman
, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Division, 14th Army Corps.

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