No. 134. report of Col. John G. Mitchell, one hundred and thirteenth Ohio Infantry, commanding Second brigade.
Hdqrs. Second Brig., Second Div., 14TH Army Corps, Jonesborough, Ga., September 4, 1864.Captain: Herewith please find a report of the operations of this command from May 2, 1864, to the occupation of Atlanta, Ga., on the 2d day of September, 1864. The following were the regiments, and their commanding officers, of my brigade: Thirty-fourth Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Lieut. Col. Oscar Van Tassell commanding; Seventy-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Col. Carter Van Vleck commanding; Ninetyeighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Col. John S. Pearce commanding; One hundred and eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Col. George T. Limberg commanding; One hundred and twenty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Col. Henry B. Banning commanding; One hundred and thirteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Lieut. Col. D. B. Warner commanding. May 2, marched from Rossville to Ringgold, Ga., and took position near the gap. May 3 to 7, remained in camp unchanged. May 7, marched to Mill Creek Gap (Buzzard Roost) and formed line, connecting on my left with Fourth Army Corps. May 8, moved my command to the track of Atlantic and Western Railroad, covered the front with double line of skirmishers, under command of Colonel Banning, the Seventy-eighth Illinois and the One hundred and thirteenth Ohio on the right and left of the front line, the remaining three regiments in rear line. With this disposition attacked and drove the enemy from the summit of the first spur of Rocky Face Ridge, which stood directly in the mouth of Mill Creek Gap. The second spur, immediately in front of the first, was taken in the same manner by a strong skirmish line. At the same time I deployed two companies, A and F, of the Thirty-fourth Illinois, Captain Ege commanding, to occupy a hill on the right of the railroad, and to the right rear of the crest first taken. These men, in reaching this hill, were compelled to wade the backwater of Mill Creek, waist deep. They plunged into the water, crossed, and scaling the hill at a point where it was so steep that they were compelled to hold on by the undergrowth, drove a battalion of the enemy from it, and held it antil the Ninety-eighth Ohio relieved them. May 9 to 12, position  unchanged; constant skirmishing. May 12, marched at 6 a. m. to mouth of Snake Creek Gap. May 13, marched through the gap. May 14, with the Ninety-eighth Ohio, One hundred and eighth Ohio, and Thirty-fourth Illinois in front line, remaining troops in rear line, I was ordered to occupy a position from which a brigade of the Twenty-third Corps had been driven, connecting on my left with the Second Division, Twenty-third Corps, and the Third Division, Fourteenth Corps, on my right. The position assigned was in an open valley, at the base of a range of hills, directly facing and within easy rifle-range of an elevated intrenched position of the enemy. My line moved down the hill and into the valley, when the enemy opened on it with ten pieces of artillery. I pushed the men forward as quickly as possible, until their assigned position was reached, and then screened them behind a creek bank. Our sharpshooters rendered it impossible for the gunners to work their pieces in their front. For a short time, however, the cannonading was most terrific, and we lost some of our most accomplished officers and men. May 15, relieved two brigades of Twentieth Army Corps, and held their front. May 16, returned to Snake Creek Gap and took main road for Rome. May 17, placed Thirty-fourth Illinois in front as skirmishers, and six miles from Rome met the enemy's skirmishers; drove them rapidly, allowing no time for formation, until, when within one mile of the city, they opened on us with artillery from a fort. Formed my lines at once, and requested that Fifth Wisconsin Battery should be sent to the front. The battery was sent and placed in position. Colonel McCook's brigade was on my left, General Morgan's on the right, massed. The enemy had advanced from his works and was rapidly coming toward us. The plan adopted was to draw back my skirmish regiment before the enemy's advance, the entire remaining force concealed, inducing him to think that regiment constituted our entire force. When he had come sufficiently far to receive our fire from the front line he would have been enveloped on either flank. Colonel McCook asked and obtained permission to take a range of hills in his front, and in doing so wheeled to the right, and struck the enemy on the right flank, thus discovering to him some estimate of our force. He fell back at once behind his works. We intrenched our line and laid on our arms for the night. May 18, the skirmish line, under Capt. M. B. Clason, of the One hundred and twenty-first Ohio, was advanced at daylight and discovered the enemy's works evacuated. I immediately ordered the One hundred and twenty-first Ohio to occupy North Rome. May 19 to 23, remained in camp near Rome. May 23, crossed at the mouth to the south side of the Etowah River. May 24, marched toward Dallas. May 25, reached Dallas. May 26, no change. May 27, in forming line a gap of two and a half miles was discovered between General Hooker's right and the left of General McPherson. Under orders, I detailed the Thirty-fourth Illinois to find the line and complete the connection between these two wings of the army. The dangerous duty was performed with eminent satisfaction, though the colonel, with a small squad of his men, passed at one time through the enemy's picket-line. By midnight the entire line was perfect. May 28, 29, and 30, position unchanged. May 31, relieved by brigade of General Sweeny's division. June 1, relieved two brigades of Twenty-third Army Corps. June 2 and 3, occupied same position. June 4, relieved by General Whitaker's  brigade. June 5, relieved brigade of General Williams' division. June 6, took up line two miles west of Big Shanty. June 7, 8, and 9, position unchanged. June 10, advanced line and faced due south. June 11, advanced line, and intrenched one and a half miles north of Kenesaw Mountain. June 12, affairs unchanged; skirmishing constant. June 13, advanced skirmish line and captured prisoners. June 14, moved to the left and intrenched on the WTestern and Atlantic Railroad, my left connecting with Sixteenth Army Corps. June 15, advanced skirmish line one-half mile. June 16, 17, and 18, no important change. June 19, main line advanced and intrenched at the base of Kenesaw Mountain. June 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24, position unchanged; all the time under a terrible fire of musketry and artillery; loss severe. June 25, relieved at midnight by a portion of General Harrow's division, Fifteenth Army Corps; marched to our right, and bivouacked at daylight. June 26, relained in camp. June 27, received orders to assault the enemy's works at 8 a. m. The ground over which the assaulting column was to pass was hilly, with thick belts of trees interspersed, while the valleys were low and marshy. The distance to be passed was little less than one-half mile. The Thirty-fourth Illinois was deployed as skirmishers, and ordered to advance to the enemy's main works. The assaulting force was formed in column of regiments, the One hundred and thirteenth Ohio in advance, my brigade on the right of Colonel McCook's and the extreme right of the line. The signa.l was given and the line sprang from the trenches at 8.30 a. m. The enemy's skirmishers were all killed or captured, the first line of riflepits taken, and the column passed to the last thin belt of trees separating us from the main works. As the column reached this pointthe fire which had before been very heavy, now became terrific-it was subjected to an enfilading fire of artillery and musketry. Still the column moved on, the summit of the hill was gained, the works were reached, but we could not pass them. A few of my men did get through the dense abatis, succeeded in scaling the works, and are now held as prisoners, but no continuous line could have done so. We fell back until covered by the crest of the hill, and with bayonets and tin cups threw up a line of works within forty paces of the enemy. Our failure to succeed in this assault is owing to the following facts: First, the distance to be passed was too great; second, the excessive heat; third, inadequate support on right flank. Our loss was very heavy, especially in the two regiments in the front line, the One hundred and twenty-first Ohio having deployed, as was ordered, to the right the moment the One hundred and thirteenth Ohio reached the works; these two regiments lost nearly one-half of their force. The conduct of Col. H. B. Banning was particularly conspicuous during the entire day. June 28, 29, and 30, July I and 2, no material change in position.--Continued to advance my lines by system of gradual approaches, keeping up constant firing; were much annoyed by the enemy's sharpshooters. July 3, at 2 a. m. the enemy evacuated his works. We followed and passed to the right of Marietta, near which point the enemy had taken new lines. July 4, position unchanged. July 5, enemy evacuated last night; at daylight started in pursuit and at 2 p. m. came upon him, south of Marietta and Atlanta road; intrenched nine and a half miles from Atlanta, one-half mile south of Atlantic and Western Railroad. July 5 to 17, general features unchanged; constant  skirmishing and artillery firing. July 17, at 5 a. m. crossed Chattahoochee River at Pace's Ferry, took position, and advanced skirmish line with but little resistance to Nancy's Creek. July 18, advanced to Peach Tree Creek, right resting on the Chattahoochee. July 19, ordered across Peach Tree Creek to support Third Brigade, which was being heavily pressed; crossed my command on logs and rafts, threw forward the Thirty-fourth Illinois to check the enemy, attempting to turn the left flank, and then moved the Seventyeighth Illinois and Ninety-eighth Ohio to the left of the Third Brigade main lines and intrenched them. In this affair our loss was considerable. July 20, heavy firing all day from our main works, finally compelling the enemy to retire. July 21, made reconnaissance with One hundred and thirteenth Ohio to Atlanta road, within onehalf mile of Chattahoochee bridge; discovered enemy in strength. July 22, advanced at 12 m. to within two and one-fourth miles of Atlanta, crossed Proctor's Creek, formed line parallel with Turner's Ferry road. July 23 to 28, aspect unchanged; firing constant. July 28, made reconnaissance to Turner's Ferry and back to right of General Howard's right; skirmishing heavy; loss slight. July 29, advanced to White Hall road; intrenched. July 30, moved one mile to the right and intrenched. July 31. reconnaissance to Utoy Creek; enemy in force. August 1, 2, and 3, position unchanged. August 4, moved southeast one mile. August 5, advanced, bearing left and facing eastward; took position under heavy artillery fire. August 6, position unchanged; enemy's artillery enfilading my line entirely; number of men wounded. August 7, advanced skirmishers and captured lines of rifle-pits, prisoners, arms, &c.; during the night strongly intrenched Seventy-eighth Illinois and Barnett's battery on picketline within 300 yards of the enemy's works. August 8, 9, 10, and 11, general appearance unchanged; firing constant. August 12, moved to the right and relieved portion of Twenty-third Corps east of Sandtown road. August 13 to 19, unchanged. August 19 and 20, held entire division-front with my brigade, returning to our camp at night. August 21 to 27, no material change; firing constant. August 27, moved south of Utoy Creek at 4 a. m. August 28, moved across the Montgomery railroad one mile to the southeast. August 29, assisted in destroying railroad. August 30, marched at 6 a. m.; went into camp half way between Jonesborough and Rough and Ready. August 31, marched to one and a half miles of Macon railroad. September 1, moved down the main Jonesborough road and formed line in center of division on range of hills north of the town. The Ninety-eighth Ohio was deployed as skirmishers; the Seventy-eighth Illinois and One hundred and thirteenth Ohio in the front, the Thirty-fourth Illinois and One hundred and twenty-first Ohio in the rear line. About 2 p. m. the line began to move; the ground was an open corn-field and hilly; we moved as steadily as men ever moved directly upon the enemy's works, under a galling fire from the batteries and the strongly intrenched infantry lines. When within twenty yards of their works the last section of their artillery was discharged, sweeping away a platoon of the Seventyeighth Illinois Regiment; the line closed more firmly to the left, and in one instant more was over the works, capturing an entire battery of 12-pounder Napoleon guns, the commanding officer, and  almost his entire company, together with a large number of men in the works supporting the battery. It being impossible to determine who was the captor of the Confederate general commanding, he is credited to the division at large. The rear lines and other portions of the captured line made repeated attempts to regain their position, but were in each instance repulsed. A volunteer artillery company was improvised from my ranks, and under the charge of Sergt. John Woods, One hundred and twenty-first Ohio, the captured guns were turned upon the enemy with great effect. The sergeant and his squad deserve special mention. This success compelled the abandonment of the line, and on the 2d instant our skirmishers entered Jonesborough. At 11 o'clock the same day our forces occupied Atlanta. The campaign has lasted four months. Fully three-fourths of that time this command has been under constant fire. We participated in the engagements at Tunnel Hill, Mill Creek Gap, Resaca, Rome, Kenesaw Mountain, Marietta, Dallas, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, and Jonesborough. The list of our losses, herewith forwarded, will tell more plainly than words can the price our success has cost. Each regiment in my command has lost one or more of its field officers. Colonel Van Vleck, Lieutenant-Colonel Shane, Major Yager, Major Lloyd, Captains Williams, Patrick, Clason, Hostetter, Lieutenant Platt, and hundreds of other pure patriots and devoted soldiers who began the campaign with us fill soldier's graves. The loss of such men is a national calamity; their fellow soldiers crown their graves with cypress and their memories with laurel. Your attention will be called and your aid asked in securing such public and substantial recognition of their services as is due some of the most meritorious officers and soldiers of my command. I should be doing myself injustice in failing to speak of the gallant conduct and untiring devotion to duty of the following-named officers: Col. H. B. Banning and Maj. A. B. Robinson, One hundred and twenty-first Ohio; Col. John S. Pearce, Ninety-eighth Ohio; Lieutenant-Colonel Van Tassell, Thirty-fourth Illinois; Lieutenant-Colonel Vernon, Seventy-eighth Illinois, who succeeded Colonel Van Vleck, killed; Maj. G. Green, Seventy-eighth Illinois; Lieut. Col. D. B. Warner, One hundred and thirteenth Ohio; Major Sullivant and Capt. Toland Jones, One hundred and thirteenth Ohio, successively commanding regiment. Capt. John A. Norris and Capt. David E. Roatch, Ninety-eighth Ohio, successively commanding regiment; these officers deserve the highest confidence of their superiors. My warmest thanks are due the officers of my staff for their uniform bravery on the field and zeal in the discharge of their respective duties: Maj. T. B. Williams, surgeon in chief; Capt. J. S. Wilson, assistant adjutant-general; Capt. J. Van Brimer, acting commissary of subsistence; Capt. J. Swisher, acting assistant quartermaster; Capt. G. H. Reynolds, provost-marshal; Lieut. Wesley J. Williams, ordnance officer; Lieut. W. C. Robinson, aide-de-camp; Capt. Hiram J. Craft, acting assistant inspectorgeneral. The following is a tabular statement of the losses of my command during the campaign. Accompanying, and marked A,1 please  find the corresponding lists showing names, rank, &c., of those men referred to in this statement:
John G. Mitchell, Colonel, Commanding. Capt. T. Wiseman
, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Div., 14th Army Corps.
, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Div., 14th Army Corps.