No. 163. reports of Col. George P. Este, Fourteenth Ohio Infantry, commanding Third brigade.
Hdqrs. Third Brig., Third Div., 14TH Army Corps, Camp near Atlanta, Ga., August 25, 1864.Major: I have the honor to transmit the following report of the operations of the Third Brigade during the present campaign up to the morning of the 6th day of August: In pursuance of orders from my general commanding division, the troops composing the brigade, except the Eighteenth Kentucky Volunteers, left to garrison Ringgold, in obedience to orders from department headquarters, left Ringgold on the 10th day of May, 1864, and arrived in the evening of Sunday in front of Buzzard Roost, when we rejoined the division. We remained in reserve until the 12th, when the brigade moved, but as guard to the entire trains of the corps, on the road to Villanow; thence through Snake Creek Gap to Sugar Creek Valley, when, leaving the trains on the evening of the 13th, we moved forward to the extreme left of the army, supporting during the night a division of General Cox, Twenty-third Army Corps, in accordance with orders received from Major-General Schofield. Next day, the 14th instant, rejoined our division, and on the 15th, excepting one regiment, Seventy-fourth Indiana Volunteers, detached as train guard, moved to — the right in. front of Resaca, relieving a portion of the troops of the Fifteenth Army Corps. During the day and evening our skirmishers were hotly engaged with those of the enemy, inflicting upon them considerable loss, and losing as follows:
Geo. P. Este, Colonel, Commanding.
Maj. James A. Lowrie, Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division.
Hdqrs. Third Brig., Third Div., 14TH Army Corps, Near Atlanta, September 8, 1864.Major: I have, the honor to submit the following statement of the operations of the brigade from August 6 to September 1: The brigade continued in its position near Utoy Creek, about four and a half miles south of Atlanta, and held the same until the night of the 26th. During this time it was engaged in constant skirmishing along the picket-line, suffering more or less daily, but inflicting still greater upon the enemy. Our lines were so near the main lines of the enemy that our men were constantly annoyed by the fire of sharpshooters, and many killed and wounded from their main works. A list of casualties during this time is attached to this report. We received within our lines during this period a great many deserters, the number of which cannot be accurately reported in consequence of a change of provost-marshal upon my staff, but, as near as can be determined, between 30 and 40. On the night of the 25th of August, 1864, the brigade was withdrawn from the enemy's front without loss and moved to the left of the First Division, which had previously moved around to the right and on the left of the Army of the Ohio. The day following the brigade again moved to the right and participated in the flank movements of the army without engaging the enemy until the 1st of September. Respectfully submitted.
Geo. P. Este, Colonel, Commanding. [Maj. James A. Lowrie, Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division.]
Hdqrs. Third Brig., Third Div., 14TH Army Corps, Near Jonesborough, Ga., September 3, 1864.Major: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Third Brigade, Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, in the action near Jonesborough, September 1: About noon of that day the brigade broke up its encampment, and moving forward at the head of the division continued in motion until about 4 p.m. It then formed in line of battle in rear of the left brigade of General Carlin's division in a field about one mile and a half from Jonesborough, and about three-fourths of a mile from the enemy's works, the left of the brigade resting upon the Atlanta andMacon Railroad. The brigade was formed in two lines, the Tenth Kentucky and Thirty-eighth Ohio constituting the front line, the Seventy-fourth Indiana and Fourteenth Ohio the second line. The Tenth Kentucky was upon the right of the front line, the Seventy-fourth Indiana upon the right of the second line. Upon the advance of the division of General Carlin my brigade moved forward in the rear of the brigade commanded by Colonel Moore, in accordance with orders received direct from Major-General Davis, commanding the corps, the general commanding the division being temporarily absent examining the enemy's lines upon the left of the railroad. Upon entering the woods in front of the field, the command was halted in obedience to the orders of the general commanding the division, but soon after was again put in motion, in accordance with his direction. By the time the brigade emerged from the dense woods through which it had to pass, the First Division was warmly engaged. Passing partly across the field, I halted the brigade near the brow of the hill and in rear of the brigade commanded by Colonel Moore, of the First Division, and ordered the men to lie down. In about ten minutes, in obedience to direct orders from the corps commander, I moved the brigade by the right flank to the rear of the brigade of regulars, commanded by Major Edie, and constituting the right of the First Division. This brigade had been hotly engaged for some time, suffering severely from the enemy's fire, and had unsuccessfully attempted to carry their works. Upon their right it was said the contest had so far been more favorable to the rebel than Union arms. At this juncture of affairs I was ordered to relieve the regular brigade, pass their lines, and assault the rebel works in their and my front. Ordering bayonets fixed, the word “forward” was given, and the command moved slowly and deliberately to the front with as much coolness and regularity as bhey ever had done on battalion drill. Ere reaching the crest of the hill and the edge of the woods, just beyond which the rebel line of works were constructed, I had ordered the lines to lie down whilst the first volley should be received, and then both lines to rush forward to the charge. The order was exactly executed, and the charge magnificently performed, and the first lines of the enemy's works carried as with a whirlwind. Still, their second and more formidable line remained. At this moment I discovered for the first time that I had no support upon my immediate left, and that the ground I had up to this time supposed to be occupied by the brigade of Colonel Moore was unoccupied as far as I could see through the woods. I have since been informed by Colonel Moore that this was owing to the necessity he was under of moving most of his brigade to the left across the railroad, in order to protect his left flank, and push back the enemy in that direction, who, at that time, were pouring  nearly an enfilading fire upon his lines. I dared not push my lines farther forward on my left until additional troops could be placed upon my left, as the enemy were far overlapping my lines, and would, if I had advanced farther, in all probability have flanked the brigade upon the left, and thereby imperiled the success already achieved. I sent, therefore, my aides to General Baird, and to Colonel Walker, commanding First Brigade, lest the general commanding the division might not immediately be found, and as every moment seemed critical and of the utmost importance an aide of General Davis also kindly volunteered to procure for me the needed help. Soon after I saw the Seventeenth New York, Colonel [Grower] commanding, moving across the field to my right. I hastened to the commanding officer, explained hurriedly the emergency of affairs. and he gallantly hastened to my assistance. Under my direction he placed his regiment upon the left of my brigade. I immediately ordered the second charge. Gallantly the whole command responded, and charged impetuously upon and over the enemy's second line, capturing or killing nearly all the rebels behind their works in my front. At the time of the second charge the general commanding the division was upon the field in the immediate rear of the battalions upon the right, inspiring the men by his splendid courage and his almost unauthorized and reckless exposure of himself to the enemy's fire. With the capture of the enemy's second line toward the left, the contest ceased, and our troops remained master of the field. The enemy in front of the Thirty-eighth and Fourteenth Ohio were composed of the Second, Fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Kentucky (rebel) Regiments, known as Lewis' brigade, but during the fight were under command of Colonel Caldwell, of the Ninth Kentucky. The brigade is in the division formerly commanded by General Bate, but on September 1, by General Brown. In front of the Tenth Kentucky and Seventy-fourth Indiana, upon the right, was the Sixth and Seventh Arkansas Regiments, and the consolidated batteries of the Eighth and Nineteenth Arkansas, four guns. They were attached to the brigade commanded by General Govan, of General Cleburne's division, and formed the right of his command. A large proportion of the officers and men comprising these commands in our front, except those of one of the Kentucky regiments upon our left, were either killed or captured. They fought with the greatest desperation, and only yielded to the superior heroism of our men. The bayonet was freely used all along the line upon both sides. The troops met were confessedly among the best of the rebel army, were superior in point of numbers, and had the advantage of works and artillery. I can give no accurate account of the number of prisoners captured, as by far the greatest number were sent to the rear without guards, as I had only men enough to fight the armed rebels in front. Among my prisoners, however, were Colonel Smith, commanding Sixth and Seventh Arkansas; Lieut. Col. Philip Lee, commanding Second Kentucky; Major Maxson, commanding Sixth Kentucky, besides a large number of commissioned officers. Captain Newman, of my staff, delivered 26 commissioned officers and 196 enlisted men over to corps headquarters, and Captain Mills, of the Eighteenth Regulars, informed me he had in addition secured some 350 rebels running to the rear, who were captured by my brigade. Lieutenant Kuder, Seventyfourth Indiana, with his own hand, captured the colors and color  bearer of the Eighth and Nineteenth Arkansas Battery, and Companies A, F, and D of that regiment unquestionably captured their guns and most of the men belonging to the battery some time before the arrival of any support upon the right, as is evidenced by accompanying statements of Captains North and Harter and Lieutenants Kuder and King, of the Seventy-fourth Indiana, and their men. I desire to direct the especial attention of the general commanding to these statements in order that he may claim for and assert for the gallant officers and men deserved and hard-won credit, without, however, desiring in the least degree to detract from the merits of the troops of any other command, least of all of the gallant soldiers of the Second Division, who, from the battle of Shiloh down to the present time, have again and again given the highest proofs of courage and heroism. But on September 1 it was the terrible yet happy fortune of the Third Brigade to meet the enemy in his strongest position and break his lines under the heaviest fire, as the list of casualties abundantly proves. It is, therefore, but simple justice to the living as well as dead heroes of the Third Brigade that the chiefest honors of the sanguinary contest of that day should be awarded them. Certainly the Second Division won glory enough even on that day not to deprive their brothers in arms of any which properly belongs to them. The battle, so far as the Third Brigade was concerned, lasted but little over thirty minutes. It went into action with 1,075 muskets and 64 field and commissioned officers. It lost during the fight 3 officers and 72 enlisted men killed, and 18 officers and 237 enlisted men wounded. Total killed, 75; wounded, 255. Total loss, 330, or a little more than 30 per cent. of our force engaged. These figures of themselves, more eloquently than words, proclaim the heroism of the men and the terrible character of the contest. A full and complete list of the casualties1 accompaies this report, and I will only add that a very considerable portion of the wounds are reported by the surgeons as mortal and a very large proportion as very severe, whilst very many who were slightly hurt, I am informed by the regimental commandants, have not been reported at all. With few exceptions all the command behaved so gallantly that it almost seems invidious to mention especially the bearing of any one by name, and yet I feel that it is but an act of justice to make particular mention of the splendid courage of Colonel Choate, commanding Thirty-eighth Ohio, who was severely wounded while in the act of raising the colors of his regiment from the ground, where they had fallen in consequence of the wounding of his color bearer. With so gallant a leader it is not strange his regiment should have done so nobly. Major Wilson, commanding Fourteenth Ohio, was severely wounded at almost the beginning of the engagement whilst gallantly urging his brave men forward by both voice and example. His place was fortunately filled by Capt. George W. Kirk and Adjutant Newton, than whom no better or braver men live. Major Morgan, commanding Seventy-fourth Indiana, was everywhere encouraging his men and sharing equally with them the dangers of the battle. Colonel Hays, commanding Tenth Kentucky, gallantly assisted by Lieutenant-Colonel Wharton and Major Davidson, showed himself to be among the bravest of the brave, and, with his command, was among the first to reach the enemy's works. The amputated  arms and limbs and torn bodies of the wounded officers — a list of whom is hereto attached-speak more eloquently than any poor words of mine can do their noble conduct. It is the highest praise that can be spoken of them to say they proved themselves worthy of the rank they bore and of the men under them. Lieut. Walter B. Kirk, of the Fourteenth Ohio, was instantly killed whilst under my eye, successfully rallying a few men who momentarily faltered under the terrific fire to which they were subjected. Of enlisted men my especial attention has been directed by the regimental commanders to the gallant conduct of Corpl. Orville B. Young, Tenth Kentucky, color bearer, who, when the regiment was for a moment checked within twenty yards of the enemy's works by the murderous fire, rushed forward with the flag, and planting it on the works, called on his comrades to rally around it; of Private Joseph E. Warner, color bearer of the Fourteenth Ohio, who was among the first of his regiment to reach the enemy's second line of works, and was shot down while planting the colors on the top of them; of Corpl. John Beely, of the color guard, who immediately lifted the colors and was severely wounded whilst doing so, and of Corpl. John S. Snook, who then took them and raised them upon the works, and there held them till the contest was over. To the conduct likewise of the color bearer and guard of the Seventy-fourth Indiana, including Sergt. Joseph H. Benner, who was killed in advance of the lines whilst urging his comrades forward, and whose last words were, “Boys, follow me.” The colors were then taken by Sergeant Gould, who is reported as having manifested the most dauntless courage. The color guard of the Thirty-eighth Ohio also behaved with great heroism, Sergt. Oscar R. Randall and Corpl. Darius W. Baird being killed, and Corpl. George W. Strawser severely wounded. I cannot close this hurried and imperfect report without a brief allusion to the gallant bearing of my staff officers. Capt. Wilbur F. Spofford, Fourteenth Ohio, and acting assistant adjutant-general, was killed with sword in hand, pressing forward with his regiment upon the enemy's lines in the second and last charge. The life of no more generous and whole-souled man or more gallant soldier was ever sacrificed for our country's safety. He died as a brave man loves to die, with his face to the foe, and just as victory was crowning our efforts. To Capt. Andrew Newman, brigade inspector; Lieuts. Benjamin R. Smith (wounded twice) and Henry G. Newbert, acting aides, was I under the greatest obligations for efficient and valuable assistance. Sergt. Alonzo Wood, of my escort, was severely wounded, but would not go to the rear until ordered. All my orderlies behaved in the most meritorious manner, especially Private Frank Bartholomew, who proved himself, as ab Chickamauga, a perfect hero. In conclusion, I cannot forbear giving expression to my feelings of pride and gratification at the manner in which the brigade upheld the honor of the diyision and corps upon that day, and to my belief that not an officer or private of my command went to the rear from the moment we formed for the assault without a good and sufficient reason. I am, major, yours, very respectfully,
Geo. P. Este, Colonel, Commanding.
Maj. James A. Lowrie, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Division, 14th Army Corps.
Inclosure no. 1.
Hdqrs. Seventy-Fourth Indiana Volunteers, September 3, 1864.Commanding Third Brigade: Understanding there is some dispute relative to who captured the Eighth and Nineteenth Arkansas Battery in the fight of September 1, I desire to submit the following statement: I was, when the line was formed for the charge, on the right of my company, which was on the right of the second line, the Tenth Kentucky being in our front. Our regiment being considerably the largest, overlapped the Tenth on the right. About the time the charge was ordered, just on the edge of the woods, we rushed forward, obliquing a little to the right, and Companies A, F, and D went on the front line, on the right of the Tenth Kentucky. During our advance we received two discharges from the battery. We, however, pushed forward, there then being no troops on our right, reached the battery and the rebel line of works by its side, capturing most of the men behind both the battery and the rifle-pits. After we reached the battery there were no rebels left to fire its guns. In from five to ten minutes thereafter other-troops came up on our right and rear, considerably overlapping us, but not belonging to our brigade. Some of them were the Fourteenth Michigan. I saw Lieutenant Kuder capture the rebel who bore the battery battle-flag myself; he was just behind one of the guns and endeavoring to escape. I know we, for a considerable time, had virtual possession of the Eighth and Nineteenth Arkansas Battery before troops from any other brigade came to our support, and that after we reached them no guns were fired from that battery.
Col. George P. Este
Col. George P. Este
George W. Harter, Captain, Comdg. Company A, Seventy-fourth Indiana Vols.
Inclosure no. 2.
Statement of Capt. S. J. North.In the charge on the 1st of September, 1864, by the Third Brigade, I was commanding Company F, Seventy-fourth Indiana Volunteers, which was on the right of the second line when the brigade line of battle was formed. In advancing, Companies A, F, and D of our regiment overlapped and extended to the right of the first line of battle, and there being no troops connecting with us on the right, we, upon entering the woods in front of the enemy's works, obliqued to the right and charged the works of the enemy, so that Company A of our regiment ran upon and over a rebel battery of four guns, a portion of which were firing upon us while we were advancing. WVe carried the works, capturing nearly all the troops occupying them, and sent the prisoners to the rear, Company A capturing those immediately at the battery. Second Lieut. Jerry Kuder, of Company A, captured a color said to belong to the battery and marked Eighth and Nineteenth Arkansas. Lieut. Kuder took the color from the hands of a rebel and sent him to our rear. After we had held the works some minutes a line of troops, claiming to belong to the Tenth and Fourteenth Michigan and Sixtieth Illinois Regiments, came up on our right and rear, overlapping us. This was the first support we had on the right of our brigade. The guns of said battery  were not fired after we reached the rebel works, as before stated. Soon after the line of troops came up on our right and rear we received orders from Maj. Thomas Morgan, commanding Seventy-fourth Indiana Volunteers, to move to the left and close up on our regiment, which we did, leaving the works and guns in the hands of these troops. No troops had arrived at any portion of the works on our immediate right when we captured the guns and works. When the line of troops before mentioned arrived on our right and in our rear they halted with us behind the rebel works, and the commanding officer of the Sixtieth Illinois sent out vedettes in our front to give notice if the enemy should advance a new line for the purpose of retaking the works. Mean time we were changing the works so we could hold them and make them serve as a protection to our troops, until we were, as before stated, ordered to move to the left.
S. J. North, Captain, Comdg. Company F, Seventy-fourth Indiana Vols.
Inclosure no. 3.
Statement of Second Lieut. Jerry Kuder.
headquarters Seventy-Fourth Indiana,I belong to Company A, and was on the right of the regiment, which was on the right second line, when the brigade line of battle was formed, I in the advance. Three right companies of our regiment, upon entering the woods in front of the enemy's works overlapping the front line, obliqued to the right, and upon charging over and entering the rebel works were upon the right of the Tenth Kentucky, of our brigade, which was on the front line in the formation of the line of battle. In so advancing we ran over and upon a rebel battery of four guns, a portion of which fired grape and canister upon us. The cannoneers were mostly captured, few perhaps getting away, and were sent to the rear. I captured the flag of the battery, or which was so stated to be, from one of the battery men. The battery was called by the prisoners “The consolidated batteries of the Eighth and Nineteenth Arkansas.” The flag I delivered over to Colonel Este, commanding brigade. There was no gun of this battery fired after I reached them, as stated. A few minutes after we had taken the works, troops to the right and rear came up and considerably overlapped us on their left. They seemed to be in considerable irregularity, and there were men among them who claimed to belong to the Tenth and Fourteenth Michigan, and, I think, some to the Sixtieth Illinois. Soon after they came, we were moved to the left and joined the rest of the regiment, and the guns were left in the possession of these troops.
September 3, 1864.
September 3, 1864.
Jerry Kuder, Second Lieutenant, Company A.
Inclosure no. 4.Statement of Second Lieut. S. L. King.
headquarters Seventy-Fourth Indiana, September--, 1864.I belong to and command Company D. The left of my company joined on the immediate right of the Tenth Kentucky and front line.  In gaining the works of the enemy my company sent back the prisoners, and then fell back on the outside of the works, where I reformed my company under cover of the embankment, as we anticipated a charge from the enemy from out of the woods in the rear of their works. I was in plain sight of Lieutenant Kuder, of Company A, and saw him take the rebel flag, said to belong to the rebel battery of four guns on my immediate right, and marked Eighth and Nineteenth Arkansas Battery. After reforming, some of the Sixteenth [Sixtieth?] Illinois, and Tenth and Fourteenth Michigan came up in our rear and reformed in rear of our line. We received orders to move to the left, and thereby left the guns of this battery in the hands of the troops above mentioned in our rear.
S. L. King, Second Lieut., Comdg. Co. D, Seventy-fourth Indiana.