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No. 140. report of Lieut. Col. James W. Langley, one hundred and twentyfifth Illinois Infantry, commanding Third brigade.

Hdqrs. Third Brig., Second Div., 14TH Army Corps, Atlanta, Ga., September 9, 1864.
Sir: Pursuant to directions from division headquarters, of date the 6th instant, I have the honor to report. so far as my information [709] extends, the operations of this brigade from the 3d day of May, 1864, when it struck tents and broke up camp at Lee and Gordon's Mills, until its arrival at Atlanta, on the 4th day of the present month. Being the fourth brigade commander since the campaign begun, and having served on the corps staff for some time before and up to the 27th of June last, I am compelled to rely chiefly for data upon the necessarily confused memoranda of the different commanders who preceded me.

On the 3d of May last the brigade, composed of the Twenty-second Indiana Veteran Volunteers, Eighty-fifth, Eighty-sixth, and One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois Volunteers, and the Fiftysecond Ohio Volunteers, commanded by Col. Daniel McCook, left Lee and Gordon's Mills on the same day it broke up camp and marched to Ringgold, Ga., where, toward night, it crossed the Chickamauga River and joined the division, then commanded by Brig. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, and bivouacked until the morning of the 5th of May, when the brigade marched out to near Catoosa Springs and again bivouacked until the morning of the 7th, when it marched beyond Tunnel Hill about two miles, part of the time under heavy fire from the enemy's batteries. On the morning of the 8th of May the brigade marched toward and confronted the enemy's skirmishers guarding the entrance to Buzzard Roost Gap. May 9, supported the First Brigade skirmish line. May 10, the brigade lay under the fire from the enemy's sharpshooters, In the evening of this day it moved to the front and relieved the First Brigade; Fifty-second Ohio deployed as skirmishers. May 11, remained on the line until dark, at which time it was relieved by a brigade of the Fourth Army Corps. We then moved up the valley about two miles and bivouacked for the night. At daybreak May 13 command marched toward Resaca by way of Snake Creek Gap, reaching the mouth of the gap, after a tiresome march, at about 8 p. m.; continued the march until nearly 2 a. m. next day, when the command halted until daylight; here we took breakfast, and then moved beyond the line of intrenchments toward Resaca, and rested until evening; took up position at night in rear of First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps; moved in line next day and confronted the enemy in their works at Resaca; remained thus until the enemy evacuated that place, when this brigade, in connection with the division, was ordered to Rome. The march commenced early, Third Brigade in the rear, with the One hundred and twentyfifth Illinois detached as guard for division train; went into camp late at night on left-hand side of Rome road; resumed march next morning at daylight, following the Second Brigade; arrived within two miles of Rome at 5 p. m.; enemy reported to be in their works in force. Colonel McCook immediately disposed the brigade in order of battle as follows: The Twenty-second Indiana and the Eighty-sixth Illinois in the front line, the Fifty-second Ohio and Eighty-fifth Illinois in the second line, with three companies from the Twenty-second Indiana thrown forward as skirmishers. The front line occupied an elevation of ground known as Howe's Hill, with the left resting near Howe's house. The lines were but just formed when the enemy made a vigorous attack upon the Twentysecond Indiana, throwing it in some confusion and pressing its right back about sixty yards, where it rallied behind a rail fence. A part of the Eighty-sixth Illinois in the mean time was pouring a welldirected fire from its right into the enemy's advancing lines. This [710] had the effect to check them. At the same time the Fifty-second Ohio advanced and relieved the Twenty-second Indiana. By this time it became so dark that but little could be discovered of what was going on; but by cautiously advancing the skirmish line we soon ascertained that the enemy had retreated to their intrenchments. To be prepared for an attack in the morning a light line of works was constructed during the night. During this night the enemy evacuated their works and moved across the Oostenaula River, burning the bridges after them. May 18, early, the Eightyfifth Illinois crossed and occupied the town. May 19, the entire brigade crossed in newly constructed pontoons and encamped in the suburbs of the town, where it remained, doing various military duties, until the morning of the 24th of May, when it marched with the division toward Dallas, reaching that place about noon May 26 and took up position about a half mile to the left of town; remained thus until the next morning, when we moved to the mouth of Gap. Here the brigade was placed in single line, with the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois deployed as skirmishers. At about 10 o'clock of the night of the 27th of May the enemy attacked the skirmish line and captured 1 commissioned officer and 14 enlisted men, when a countercharge was made, which resulted in the capture of 2 commissioned officers and 27 enlisted men from the enemy. The officers and enlisted men of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois on this occasion displayed that coolness and bravery so essential to success. The brigade lay in this position several days, holding works.

June 1, it moved to the left and relieved a brigade of the Twentythird Corps, remaining in this new position, under a constant fire from the enemy, until June 4, when it moved about three miles farther to the left and, with the division, rejoined the corps. The brigade performed the various duties imposed upon it (sometimes skirmishing with the enemy, building fortifications, changing positions, and holding works built by others), but all without taking an active part in any general engagement until the morning of the 27th of June, when it was disposed in order of battle as follows: Eightyfifth Illinois, commanded by Colonel Dilworth, deployed as skirmishers, with lines of battle composed of-first, the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois; second, the Eighty-sixth Illinois; third, Twenty-second Indiana; fourth, Fifty-second Ohio. These dispositions were made in an open field little more than one-half mile from the works to be stormed. The Second Brigade was formed on the right, and General Harker's brigade, Fourth Corps, on the left. At a few minutes before 9 the command, “Forward!” was given, and responded to by the brave men of the brigade with the will and determination to succeed where success is possible. The movement began at quick time, and continued in this for nearly one-third the distance, when it was changed to double-quick. The lines moved with marked precision until they reached the foot of an abrupt hill, where they encountered a marshy creek lined on either side with shrubs and thickly matted vines. The command relieved itself as rapidly and orderly as possible from this confusion, and, turning its face to the enemy, rushed forward across an open field extending to within fifteen rods of the point of attack; here it entered a skirt of light timber, and from this point also commenced an ascent of the ground. On and up the brave men rushed, with their gallant leader at their head, until some of them reached the base of the enemy's [711] parapet. Nothing daunted, they struggled to scale the works. In their efforts to do this some were knocked down with stones and clubs hurled at them by the enemy. Here the gallant Colonel Mc-Cook fell, mortally wounded, while present with and cheering his men on. Shot and stoned down, completely exhausted by the length and impetuosity of the charge, the brave men reformed their lines a few steps in the rear and partially under the crest of the hill. While this was being done Col. O. F. Harmon, of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois, left the command of the regiment to Major Lee and placed himself at the head of the brigade; but hardly did he enjoy this command five minutes, when a musket-shot from the enemy pierced his heart, and in a few moments his remains were borne from the field. Col. C. J. Dilworth then assumed command, leaving the command of the Eighty-fifth Illinois to Major Rider. After adjusting his lines to his satisfaction, he ordered works to be constructed, which was hastily done, and the front line of which did not exceed sixty yards from the enemy's strong line of works. The loss to the brigade in this bloody contest was 410 killed and wounded, nearly all of which occurred within the short space of twenty minutes. These casualties fell heaviest upon the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois and Fifty-second Ohio. By 3 p. m. of this day the men were well sheltered behind their new lines of works and were confronting the enemy as sharpshooters. At 4 o'clock of the same day, upon my request to be relieved from duty at corps headquarters, I returned to my regiment and took command of it. From this point forward in my report I am chiefly reliant for information on the notes and memoranda of Colonel Dilworth, commanding brigade. After the confusion of the battle was over, the brigade was disposed thus: The Eighty-fifth Illinois on the right, connecting with the Second Brigade; the Twenty-second Indiana on the left, connecting with General Harker's brigade; the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois in the center, and the Eighty-sixth Illinois and Fifty-second Ohio in reserve, the lines remaining the same until the morning of the 28th, when the One hundred and twenty-fifth was relieved by the Eighty-sixth Illinois; that in turn was relieved on the morning of the 29th by the Fifty-second Ohio. On this day a cessation of hostilities was effected and arrangements made under flag of truce by which the dead between the lines were removed or buried. On the 30th a new line of works was constructed within from five to seven rods of the enemy's line. From this position our sharpshooters did excellent service, many of them using an invention called the refracting sight. The testimony in favor of the use of this sight at short range was abundant. The brigade did duty here until morning of the 3d of July, the enemy having again abandoned their works. We marched through Marietta; thence in a southwest course about five miles toward Atlanta. We halted and encamped here for two nights. On the morning of the 5th of July we advanced again about five miles toward the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee River. Upon our arrival within about three miles of the bridge we came up with the enemy's skirmishers. The Third Brigade was put in position in a heavy wood, connecting on the left with the Second Brigade. As soon as lines were formed I was ordered forward, with the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois as skirmishers. The line was at once established and waited for support on the right, which was late in arriving. About 5 o'clock, all things being ready, the line advanced at the double-quick [712] across open fields and charged the enemy's skirmishers intrenched in the edge of the wood on the opposite side; routing them from these, they drove them in confusion to their main line of works, our line approaching within less than 300 yards. The enemy made three unsuccessful attempts to drive our line back. As soon as it was dark the Eighty-sixth Illinois relieved the skirmish line and by morning were well intrenched. The other regiments of the brigade moved forward to the road and threw up works. The command remained in this position, regiments in their turn doing picket duty, until the morning of the 10th of July, when, a little before daybreak, the bridge over the Chattahoochee River was discovered to be on fire, and, no enemy in our front, Colonel Dilworth was ordered to send out one regiment. He ordered out the Eighty-sixth Illinois, and went with it as far as the river, meeting with no opposition; left two companies at the river as pickets and ordered the remainder to camp. On the afternoon of this day the brigade moved on the Atlanta road and went into camp on the right and within one mile of the railroad bridge, where it remained, doing picket and guard duty, until the morning of the 18th of July, on which day we crossed the Chattahoochee on pontoon bridge at Pace's Ferry, five miles above railroad bridge. On the same day we crossed Nancy's Creek and advanced skirmishers from Twenty-second Indiana as far as Peach Tree Creek, near Howell's Mill. The brigade bivouacked for the night on the Atlanta and Pace's Ferry road. As the 19th of July was an eventful day in the history of this brigade, I choose to incorporate in this report the minutes made by Colonel Dilworth at the time:

This morning I was ordered to form my lines in< rear of skirmish line and push across the Peach Tree Creek. This was done by placing the Fifty-second Ohio in advance, crossing the creek on a log and moving out across the field and on the hill. Here we found an entire brigade of rebels and a portion of another. The balance of our brigade crossed, first, Eighty-fifth Illinois, and went to the assistance of the Fifty-second Ohio on the left, and found a heavy force; next came the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois, and moved forward to the crest of the hill; next the Eighty-sixth Illinois, and formed on the left. The Twenty-second Indiana at the same time commenced crossing on our right and connected with the Fifty-second Ohio skirmishers on the right. Word was sent to General Davis for assistance. At the same time information was received that the enemy was drifting to the right. Colonel Langley, One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois, was ordered to form on the right, which he did at a double-quick, and just reached the top of the hill as the enemy was ready to attack, and, after a fire from the One hundred and twentyfifth Illinois, the rebels were driven back from the right. That night intrenchments were thrown up and the men remained on the ground getting in the wounded.

The brigade lost in this day's operations 245 killed, wounded, and missing. These losses fell most heavily upon the Fifty-second Ohio, Twenty-second Indiana, and Eighty-fifth Illinois. July 20, found the brigade well fortified, and about noon two sections of Captain Gardner's battery were put into position, and, with the aid of sharpshooters from this and the Second Brigade, they succeeded in — driving the enemy from his works. To-day the One hundred and tenth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Topping commanding, reported to the brigade for duty, and was put in the right in line. July 21, Colonel Dilworth was ordered to make a reconnaissance with one regiment to the front. He ordered out the One hundred and twentyfifth Illinois, and, connected with Colonel Mitchell's brigade on the left and General Morgan's on the right, moved too far to right; found rebels near Moore's house, on the Marietta and Atlanta road, [713] and came back to camp. July 22, no enemy in our immediate front; moved toward Atlanta to within two and a half miles of the city; heavy firing to our front and left; went into camp at night in reserve. July 23, position unchanged. July 24, relieved a regiment of Baird's division with the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois; remained in this position with a slight change of camp until the morning of the 28th of July; one regiment on outpost duty daily. July 28, in connection with the division, made a reconnaissance to Turner's Ferry; returned late at night to near our old position and went into camp. After this date our duties were various. We built several lines of works, did picket duty, and changed position toward the right frequently until August 4, when we moved to the right and front about three miles and went into position in the evening, connecting with General Baird on the left; One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois in left front line; Twenty-second Indiana in right front line; Eighty-fifth Illinois on picket. On the following morning the picket-line moved nearly three-quarters of a mile to the front and took 15 prisoners, with no loss to us. Main line moved forward, still keeping up the connection with General Baird on the left and also connecting with Colonel Mitchell on the right; took a position near the Sandtown road, One hundred and tenth Illinois on the left and One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois on the right front line. At night four companies of the Fifty-second Ohio relieved the Eighty-fifth Illinois pickets. August 6, brigade in same place and same position; enemy almost constantly shelling our lines. At night seventy-five men from One hundred and tenth Illinois relieved the Fifty-second Ohio on picket. I quote below substantially Colonel Dilworth's minutes of the operations of the brigade on the 7th of August:

Received orders about 10 o'clock that the division was to swing to the left, and that the movement would commence on the left. About noon went to the lines; saw General Baird, who said he could not advance until evening. As soon as he had gone I received orders that General Morgan had commenced the movement on the right, and for me to conform my movements to Mitchell's. I then went to the right and found Colonel Mitchell had advanced. The skirmish line was advanced, and the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois was ordered forward. The Fiftysecond Ohio was ordered up, also the Twenty-second Indiana; advanced and connected with Colonel Mitchell on the left and facing northeast. At night Eightysixth Illinois relieved One hundred and tenth Illinois on picket.

In gaining this new and important position the brigade was exposed to a galling fire of musketry and artillery from the enemy's lines and with but little chance to us to successfully return the fire. The brigade took possession of and extended its lines across the Sandtown road and, as speedily as possible, erected strong fortifications. The loss to the brigade in this day's operations was 42 officers and men killed and wounded. Nothing of further importance than frequent changes of positions, picket duty, &c., occurred until August 20, upon which day the brigade started at daybreak and marched to the rear lines of the works of the Twenty-third Corps; lay in close column for two or three hours, when orders came to move out. The whole division moved toward the right of our line with this brigade in advance; marched rapidly to the line of the Montgomery railroad at Red Oak; tore up the railroad track and cut the telegraph wire in sight of the rebel cavalry; returned to camp at night after making a march of twenty-two miles, most of the time in a heavy rain. From this time forth the brigade performed its usual share of duties until August 26, when we broke up camp and [714] launched forth to contribute our remaining efforts to turn the enemy's left and destroy the Macon railroad, the last and only line of transit for his subsistence. By the last day of August it was pretty generally conceded that the enemy would tender us battle as usual on their choice of ground and within their strong fortifications. On this last-named day we marched to and encamped for the night near Turtle Swamp, on the left of the Atlanta and Jonesborough road. On the following morning, early, we left this place, marched across to and down the Rough and Ready and Jonesborough road, toward the latter-named place, to a point about one-half mile south of Flint River. Here the brigade moved to the left in an open field and formed in order of battle as follows: First line, Twenty-second Indiana on the right, seven companies of the Fifty-second Ohio on the left, One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois in the center, with three companies of the Fifty-second Ohio deployed as skirmishers; second line, Eighty-fifth, Eighty-sixth, and One hundred and tenth Illinois. About 2 p. iM. the brigade moved by the right flank across a difficult slough and reformed its lines on the crest of the hill on the other side and under a heavy fire from the enemy's artillery. From this point we discovered that the enemry were in strong force and well intrenched along the line of the Macon railroad. At about 3 p. m. the line advanced through a thick skirt of woods to an open cornfield, swinging gradually to the right as it advanced down the slope beyond, until our course was nearly south. We passed to within one-fourth mile of the enemy's line of works and engaged with skirmishers while the main line was struggling to cross a swamp at the foot of the slope. As soon as a crossing was effected the enemy's skirmishers were vigorously attacked and driven to their main works. In this valley the first line built temporary works, which it held but a few minutes, when it again moved forward. A part of the Fifty-second Ohio, charging with the Second Brigade, aided in taking a rebel battery in our front. The Twenty-second Indiana and One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois advanced in quick time to the crest of the hill, where they encountered a line of rebel infantry concealed among the growing corn. These two regiments became at once hotly engaged. The contest appeared doubtful for a few minutes and might have turned finally in favor of the enemy but for the success of the Second Brigade on our left. Not one moment was lost in charging the line before these two regiments. The enemy in confusion hastily retreated to their intrenchments, but just in time to find themselves prisoners. After driving the enemy back some 600 or 800 yards to their works on the railroad and in the woods to the west of the railroad, our lines were about being reformed, when Colonel Dilworth, commanding the brigade, received a wound and was carried off the field. As soon as notified of the fact I assumed command and, as rapidly as possible, reformed the line. Going a few rods to the left and rear I met Captain Swift, brigade inspector, coming up with the Eighty-fifth Illinois from second line. This I put to work to turn the rebel works and make them available to us in the event of a counter-assault. Meeting with other members of the brigade staff I directed them to bring up the Eighty-sixth and One hundred and tenth Illinois as rapidly as possible and hold them in readiness for further orders. In the mean time I drew from their former positions the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois and Twentysecond Indiana, to give them some rest. At this juncture Colonel Mitchell represented to me that the enemy were massing in his front [715] with a view to an attack, and asked me to send him some assistance. Knowing the importance of holding the hill we occupied, I immediately sent him five companies from the Eighty-sixth Illinois and seven from the Fifty-second Ohio. In a few minutes the other battalion of the Eighty-sixth Illinois also went to his assistance. This force remained with him about three-fourths of an hour and I depend upon Colonel Mitchell to do them justice in his report.

Between the right of the Second Brigade and the left of the Fifteenth Corps was a gap in the lines about one-half mile long. The threatening demonstrations of the enemy in front of this gap showed the importance they attached to it, and I determined to throw all my available force into and as far as possible close it up. I accordingly moved the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois to the right and front as far as the crest of the hill, putting it nearly in the same position it occupied while fighting half an hour before. I then moved the Eighty-fifth Illinois to the right and the One hundred and tenth Illinois to the left of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois, and directed them to put out as many sharpshooters as could be made available to annoy and keep back the enemy's skirmishers, while the main line was ordered to construct works. The firing was kept up until dark. Several times the enemy attempted to advance, but were driven back to their works by the unerring aim of our guns. At dark, the Eighty-sixth Illinois and Fifty-second Ohio having returned from the assistance of the Second Brigade, I put the first in position on the right and directed it to fortify. The Twenty-second Indiana and Fifty-second Ohio were placed in reserve. Each regiment furnished pickets for its front, the entire picket-line being under the especial charge of Captain Burkhalter. These dispositions, in my opinion, rendered our position perfectly secure. At night the enemy abandoned their works, leaving their dead unburied and wounded uncared for. Our loss in this day's fight was 135 killed and wounded. The loss fell heaviest on the Twenty-second Indiana and One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois. The morning of the 2d showed naught but the wreck of a defeated enemy. We advanced about 10 o'clock to Jonesborough; went into position on the left of the railroad and town, where we remained until late in the day, September 3, when I received orders from Major-General Davis to move the brigade to Atlanta on the following day to. guard prisoners and as escort to hospital train of the corps, &c. Arrived at this place the afternoon of September 4 with prisoners and train; reported, pursuant to orders, to Major-General Slocum, and went into camp on the west side, where the troops have remained doing no duty since.

In this review of the history of the Third Brigade during the late campaign, I have confined myself thus far, as nearly as possible, to a recitation of facts and circumstances. Having been absent from the brigade a part of the time and afterward only with one of its regiments until the late fight at Jonesborough, it perhaps ill becomes me to make special mention of the conduct of regimental commanders and other officers. As far as I can learn, in every engagement they all did their entire duty, and the casualty lists show the sanguinary character of the many conflicts in which their commands have been engaged. The losses of the brigade foot up, since the 3d of May last, the enormous sum of 1,081 killed, wounded, and missing, being but little less than the number now present in the [716] ranks for duty. The brigade met its heaviest loss in the assault on the enemy's works at Kenesaw Mountain. The number has been stated previously. Here every regiment was engaged, and when the contest was hottest the front line could be claimed by no particular regiment, but was made up by the bravest men from all. At Peach Tree Creek the Fifty-second Ohio, commanded by Colonel Clancy, with skirmishers, under command of Major Holmes, did nobly in clearing the heights beyond the creek and enabling the balance of the brigade to cross and form lines free from the enemy's fire. In the same engagement the Eighty-fifth Illinois, commanded by Major Rider, advanced to within a few yards of the enemy's main line, but could not hold their position. The loss to the regiment was heavy, but it behaved manfully. The Twenty-second Indiana, commanded in the early part of this engagement by Major Shea, stood, unsupported, the brunt of a heavy assault, and yielded only as it was overpowered by superior numbers. Major Shea was wounded and the command fell to Captain Snodgrass, under whose charge it has been most of the time since. The conduct of this officer and his command was all that could be asked in the late battle of Jonesborough, and as truly may I say the-same of the Fiftysecond Ohio, commanded by Major Holmes, in the same engagement, until a wound disabled him, and the command devolved upon Captain Rothacker; also the Eighty-fifth Illinois, commanded by Major Rider until disabled, when the charge of the regiment fell to Captain Griffith; the Eighty-sixth Illinois, commanded part of the time by Lieutenant-Colonel Fahnestock and part of the time by Major Thomas; the One hundred and tenth Illinois, commanded through the entire engagement by Lieutenant-Colonel Topping, and also the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois, commanded through the latter part of the engagement by Capt. George W. Cook. I wish to bear testimony to the general good conduct and bravery of the several officers above named and their respective commands. I observed several striking instances of noble courage and true bravery among subordinate officers and enlisted men, but space forbids that I should specially mention them here; the reports from commanders of regiments must suffice.

Captains Anderson, Swift, and Burkhalter, and Lieutenant Tanner, of the brigade staff, are all known to the brigade and appreciated for their coolness and bravery in action. My heartfelt thanks are due to the three last mentioned for the eminent assistance they so cheerfully rendered me during the engagement at Jonesborough on the 1st instant. Captain Anderson, acting assistant adjutant-general of the brigade, while in the discharge of his duties, received a wound just before the command fell to me, thus depriving me of his valuable services.

Our honored dead, of whom from this brigade there are many, have all received a soldier's burial, and their scattered graves mark the meandering course of our march all the way from Resaca to Atlanta. I submit and call your attention to the appended list of casualties; also to the inclosed reports of regimental commanders.

I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

James W. Langley, Lieut. Col. 125th Illinois, Commanding Brigade. Capt. T. Wiseman
, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[717] List of casualties in the Third Brigade, Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, during the campaign in North Georgia, from the 3d of May to the 6th of September, 1864.


Addenda: list of casualties in the Third brigade, Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, during the campaign, from May 3, 1864, to September 6, 1864.


Note.-Discrepancies between the above recapitulation and previous report result from errors discovered in regimental reports.

Respectfully submitted.

James W. Langley, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Brigade. Capt. T. Wiseman
, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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