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No. 53. reports of Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Wood, U. S. Army, commanding Third Division.

Hdqrs. Third Division, Fourth Army Corps, Atlanta, Ga., September 10, 1864.
Sir: The opening of the grand campaigns in the spring of 1864 witnessed a new phase in our military combinations. Previously dispersion of our troops, and of course of our efforts, had-been the order of the day; for the campaigns of the spring and summer of [373] 1864 concentration of our troops had been wisely resolved on. In conformity with this principle of concentration large masses of troops were concentrated in and near the northwestern angle of Georgia in the latter part of April for the summer campaign into this State. The division which I have the honor to command, being the Third Division, of the Fourth Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, constituted a part of the troops so assembled, and it is the object of this report to present a faithful history of the part it bore in the grand campaign, which, extending over the long term of four months of continued effort and struggle, finally resulted most gloriously to our arms in the capture of Atlanta.

At 12 m. on the 3d of May ultimo the division broke up its encampment at McDonald's Station, near Cleveland, on the East Tennessee railroad, and marched southward toward Catoosa Springs. On the 4th of May the divisions of the Fourth Corps were concentrated at the Springs. As the troops approached the Springs a light party of hostile cavalry was encountered, but it fled immediately before the onward movement. May the 5th and 6th the division,with the other divisions, remained in camp. May the 7th the onward movement was resumed, the First Division of the corps leading. A few hours' march led to Tunnel Hill. This is a strong position, and it had been supposed the enemy might attempt a serious opposition to our farther progress; but it was found to be occupied only by cavalry, which was quickly driven off by the light troops of the First Division. The hill was soon occupied by the First and Third Divisions, the former on the right, the latter on the left. During the evening of the 7th an order was received directing the First and Third Divisions, of the Fourth Corps, to make a demonstration at 6 o'clock the following morning against Rocky Face Ridge, to cover and facilitate the operations of other troops against Buzzard Roost Pass and the northeastern flank of the ridge. Rocky Face is a bold ridge rising some 500 feet above the general level of the country, and running from a little east of north to west of south. The crest of the ridge is a sheer precipice of solid rock, varying in height from twenty to sixty feet. To carry the crest by a direct movement, when occupied by the enemy, was an impossible undertaking, hence the demonstration was ordered to be made with a skirmish line, supported by solid lines. Buzzard Roost Pass is a gap in Rocky Face Ridge, through which the Western and Atlantic Railway passes. It is a very formidable position from its topographical features, and these had been strengthened by heavy intrenchments. The enemy held the northern entrance to the pass in force, and had the remainder of his troops disposed thence through the pass to Dalton, on the crest of the ridge, and on the roads passing east of the ridge to Dalton. The entire position, with its strong natural advantages, strengthened by defensive works, was impregnable against a direct attack. The demonstration commenced by the division on the 8th was continued throughout the day and almost continuously on the 9th, 10th, 11th, and to noon of the 12th, and although it was intended simply as a diversion, and was made with the skirmish line, a considerable number of casualties attested the vigor with which the demonstration against the rugged height was made. The impregnability of the enemy's position against a direct attack having become thoroughly patent, during the afternoon and night of the 11th a movement was commenced by all the forces in front of the enemy, less the Fourth Corps, to unite with [374] the Army of the Tennessee and pass to the south and rear of the enemy. Having discovered the withdrawal of our forces, the enemy, on the afternoon of the 12th, commenced a counter movement, the object of which was to turn our extreme left, then held by the cavalry, under General Stoneman, and the Second Division, of the Fourth Corps (General Newton). The movement was early discovered by the signal officers on the northeastern point of the crest of Rocky Face Ridge. General Newton reported his position as perilous and asked for assistance. I immediately moyed with the First and Third Biigades of the division to his support; but the reenforcement was not in the end needed, as the enemy, after a bold display of force, and apparently inviting a movement, which if boldly pushed, might have seriously interfered with our plans, drew off without bringing matters to an issue. During the night of the 12th the enemy evacuated Buzzard Roost Pass, the crest of Rocky Face Ridge, his defensive works on the roads east of the ridge, and at Dalton. Early in the morning of the 13th I moved with the First and Third Brigades, following the Second Division, into Dalton, by the roads east of Rocky Face Ridge. The Second Brigade followed the First Division through Buzzard Roost Pass. Thus was the enemy forced from the first of the series of strong defensive positions which he had occupied to resist the progress of our arms into Georgia. Halting a brief time in Dalton to unite all its parts, the Fourth Corps soon continued its march southward, and camped for the night several miles south of that place. The march of the day was made without any serious opposition.

A few of the enemy's stragglers were picked up and some light parties, covering his retreat, encountered. The forward movement was resumed early the morning of the 14th. A march of a few miles effected a junction between the Fourth Corps and the remainder of our forces. It had been discovered that the enemy occupied a strongly intrenched position in the vicinity of and north and west of Resaca. Dispositions were at once made to attack. The First and Second Brigades of my division were deployed in order of battle in two lines, the former on the right, the latter on the left. The Third Brigade was placed in reserve. Thus arranged, at the order the line grandly advanced. By the contraction of our entire front as it closed on the enemy's position, the First Brigade of my division was forced out of line and took position immediately in rear, but followed up the movement. In the advance the Second Brigade soon encountered the enemy's first line, which was rudely barricaded with logs and rails. This was handsomely carried and the brigade pushed boldly on until it confronted, at not more than 250 yards distance, the enemy's second and far more strongly intrenched line. It was problematical whether this line could be carried by even the most determined assault, such was its natural and artificial strength. The assaulting force would have been compelled to pass for 250 yards over an open field, without the slightest cover, exposed to the most galling and deadly direct and cross fire of artillery and musketry. To hold out the least hope of a successful assault, it was necessary that it should be made simultaneously throughout the line. With a view to making these necessary dispositions the Second Brigade was halted, and to guard it against the dangerous consequences of a counter attack in force (such as fell the same afternoon on a brigade of another division of the corps), its front was at once rudely but strongly barricaded. About 4 p. m. I received an order from Major- [375] General Thomas, commanding the Army of the Cumberland, to relieve the brigade of Colonel Reilly, of General Cox's division, of the Twenty-third Army Corps. This was promptly executed by the First Brigade (General Willich) of my division. This disposition brought the First Brigade into line immediately on the right of the Second Brigade, and in like proximity to the strongly intrenched position of the enemy. The brigade immediately barricaded its front securely. The Third Brigade remained in reserve in an intrenched position, whence it could afford support to the front as well as checkmate any movement of the enemy to swing into our rear by turning our extreme left. This position was maintained during the remainder of the afternoon and the night of the 14th. During the afternoon good roads were cut to the ammunition train in rear and fresh supplies of ammunition brought to the front. Early in the morning of the 15th an order was received for a grand advance of the whole line at 8 a. m. The two brigades in line were at once instructed to be fully prepared for the movement, but the order for it never came. Later in the forenoon an intimation was received from Major-General Howard, commanding the Fourth Army Corps, that an attack was to be made on the extreme right of the enemy's position by the Twentieth Corps, accompanied by an order to observe closely its effect on the enemy's center, nearly opposite to which the First and Second Brigades were posted, and if any weakening or shaking of his lines were observed to attack vigorously. Whatever may have been on the enemy's extreme right no material effect therefrom was perceivable in his center. But, with a view to determining more certainly and satisfactorily the condition of the enemy directly in front of my two brigades in line, about 4 p. m. they were advanced against the enemy's line, but the very first indication of our intention was greeted with such a terrific direct and cross fire of musketry and artillery, sweeping over the open field which divided the hostile lines, as to show most conclusively that, wherever else the enemy might be weak, there certainly he was in full force. Fortunately, the condition and strength of the enemy was discovered before the brigades were deeply or dangerously committed to the assault, which enabled them to be withdrawn without the very heavy loss which at one time seemed so imminent. A short time after this movement Brigadier-General Willich, commanding First Brigade, was seriously wounded by a rebel sharpshooter, and was borne from the field. He has never since rejoined the command. I was thus early in the campaign deprived of the assistance of a gallant and energetic officer.

During the night of the 15th the enemy evacuated the position in and around Resaca and retreated south of the Oostenaula. This was the second strong position from which the enemy had been forced. The many small-arms and other articles of military use abandoned showed that his retreat was precipitate. The casualties of the command from the opening of the campaign to the evacuation of Resaca were: Killed, 81; wounded, 348; total, 429.

Pursuit was made early the morning of the 16th, and during the day the whole of the Fourth Corps passed the Oostenaula (having repaired for this purpose a part of the partially destroyed bridge), and encamped for the night near Calhoun. The pursuit was resumed early the morning of the 17th. My division moved along the railway. Throughout the march a continued skirmish was kept up with the parties covering the enemy's rear, but these were rapidly [376] driven before the steady and solid advance of the skirmish line of the division. At Adairsville, however, the enemy was met in heavy force; indeed it was subsequently learned that his entire army was assembled there. My division had advanced on the western side of Oothkaloga Creek, and in the vicinity of Adairsville met a heavy force of the enemy strongly and advantageously posted, while the remainder of the corps, which had advanced on the other side of the creek, had earlier met a still heavier force and been checked. A stiff skirmish at once occurred along the entire front of the division, which was kept up till night-fall. During its progress, however, I had bridges constructed across the creek with a view to forcing a passage the following morning, but during the night the enemy retreated. The position in the vicinity of Adairsville is not naturally very strong, but it was very well intrenched, and was the third fortified position abandoned by the enemy. Pursuit was made the following morning (the 18th), my division leading. A light opposition was made to our advance by light parties of cavalry, but these were readily scattered. The pursuit was continued on the 19th, the First Division of the corps leading, followed by my division. The line of march lay through Kingston, and immediately south of this village the enemy was overtaken in force, apparently arrayed for battle. The First Division of the corps was at once deployed into order of battle across the road by which we were marching, and my division deployed on its right. Batteries were posted in eligible positions to play on the lines of the enemy displayed in the open fields in our front. The artillery fire was evidently effective, for the enemy very soon began to withdraw. Our advance was immediately resumed. Within a mile and a half of Cassville the enemy was afresh encountered in an intrenched position. Our order of battle was promptly reformed, and the advance resumed with a view to forcing our way into Cassville, but darkness falling suddenly upon us rendered it necessary to desist from a farther advance against an intrenched position over unexplored ground. The Seventeenth Kentucky was deployed as skirmishers to cover the advance of its brigade, and suffered quite severely in the advance late in the afternoon, more than 20 casualties in the skirmish line bearing unmistakable evidence of the sharp fire to which it had been exposed. During the night of the 19th the enemy evacuated his works in the vicinity of Cassville, being the fourth intrenched position abandoned, and retired across the Etowah. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the 20th, 21st, and 22d of May, the troops rested quietly in camp, but it was a busy period for commanding generals and staff officers preparing for the grand flank movement for turning the enemy's position at the railway gap in the Allatoona Hills. Taking twenty days subsistence in wagons, the entire army defiantly cut loose from its line of communication, crossed the Etowah River, and pushed boldly southward through a most abrupt and difficult range of hills. The movement was commenced on Monday, the 23d. On that and the following day my division led the Fourth Corps, but on the 25th it was in rear. Three days marches carried the army through the Allatoona range. Late in the afternoon of the 25th of May the enemy was encountered in force by the Twentieth Corps, when a sharp affair followed; it was not, however, participated in, owing to the lateness of the hour of its arrival in the vicinity of the action, by the troops of the Fourth Corps. [377]

The morning of the 26th still found the enemy in our front. My division was early deployed into order of battle on the left of the Second Division, of the Fourth Corps. The day was spent by my division in very brilliant and successful maneuvering to determine the exact position of the enemy's intrenched line. To accomplish this it was necessary to drive in his light troops, who formed a screen to his position. The ground was in some parts difficult to maneuver on, and a deep stream had to be bridged, but the work was satisfactorily accomplished. The operations of the 26th having satisfactorily defined the position of the enemy's intrenched line, it was determined on Friday morning, the 27th, that it should be assaulted, and my division was selected for this arduous and dangerous task. A minute and critical examination of the enemy's intrenchments rendered it evident that a direct front attack would be of most doubtful success, and would certainly cost a great sacrifice of life. Hence, it was determined to attempt to find the extreme right of the enemy's position, turn it, and attack him in flank. In conformity with this determination my division was moved entirely to the left of our line and formed, by order of Major-General Howard, commanding the corps, in six parallel lines, each brigade being formed in two lines. The order of the brigades in this grand column of attack was, first, the Second Brigade, Brigadier-General Hazen commanding; second, the First Brigade, Colonel Gibson, Forty-ninth Ohio, commanding; third, the Third Brigade, Colonel Knefler, Seventy-ninth Indiana, commanding. When all the dispositions were completed (and these required but a short space of time), the magnificent array moved forward. For a mile the march was nearly due southward, through dense forests and the thickest jungle, a country whose surface was scarred by deep ravines and intersected by difficult ridges. But the movement of the column through all these difficulties was steadily onward. Having moved a mile southward and not having discovered any indication of the enemy, it was supposed we had passed entirely to the east of his extreme right. On this hypothesis the column was wheeled to the right and advanced in nearly a westerly course for nearly a mile and a half. The nature of the country passed over in this movement was similar in all respects to that already described. After the westerly movement had progressed nearly a mile and a half the flankers discovered that the column in wheeling to the right swung inside of the enemy's line. It was necessary, to gain the goal, to face to the left, file left, and by a flank movement conduct the column eastward and southward around the enemy's right flank. When all these movements, so well calculated to try the physical strength of the men, were concluded, and the point gained, from which it was believed that the column could move directly on the enemy's flank, the day was well spent. It was nearly 4 p. m. The men had been on their feet since early daylight, and of course were much worn. The column was halted a few moments to readjust the lines, to give the men a brief breathing space, and to give the division which was to protect and cover the left flank of the column time to come up and take position. At 4.30 p. m. precisely the order was given to attack, and the column with its front well covered moved forward. And never have troops marched to a deadly assault, under the most adverse circumstances, with more firmness, with more truly soldierly bearing, and with more distinguished gallantry. On, on, through the thickest jungle, over exceedingly rough and broken ground, and [378] exposed to the sharpest direct and cross fire of musketry and artillery on both flanks, the leading brigade, the Second, moved (followed in close supporting distance by the other brigades) right up to the enemy's main line of works. Under the unwavering steadiness of the advance the fire from the enemy's line of works began to slacken and the troops behind those works first began perceptibly to waver and then to give way, and I have no hesitation in saying that so far as any opposition directly in front was concerned, though that was terrible enough, the enemy's strongly fortified position would have been forced. But the fire, particularly on the left flank of the column, which was at first only en echarpe, became, as the column advanced, enfilading, and finally took the first line of the column partially in reverse. It was from this fire that the supporting and covering division should have protected the assaulting column, but it failed to do so. Under such a fire no troops could maaitain the vantage ground which had been gained, and the leading brigade, which had driven everything in its front, was compelled to fall back a short distance to secure its flanks, which were crumbling away under the severe fire by the irregularities of the ground. (It is proper to observe here that the brigade of the Twenty-third Corps which was ordered to take post so as to cover the right flank of the assaulting column by some mistake failed to get into a position to accomplish this purpose.) From the position taken by Hazen's brigade when it retired a short distance from the enemy's works it kept up a deadly fire, which was evidently very galling to the foe. The brigade was engaged about fifty minutes. It had expended the sixty rounds of ammunition taken into action on the men's persons; it had suffered terribly in killed and wounded, and the men were much exhausted by the furiousness of the assault. Consequently I ordered this brigade to be relieved by the First Brigade, Col. William H. Gibson, Forty-ninth Ohio, commanding. So soon as the First Brigade had relieved the Second Brigade I ordered Colonel Gibson to renew the assault. I hoped that with the shorter distance the brigade would have to move after beginning the assault to reach the enemy's works, and with the assistance of the knowledge of the ground which had been gained, a second effort might be more successful than the first had been. I also trusted some cover had been provided to protect the left flank of the column. This had been partially, but by no means effectually done.

At the signal to advance the First Brigade dashed handsomely and gallantly forward up to the enemy's works. Men were shot down at the very base of the parapet. But again the terrible fire on the flanks, and especially the enfilading fire from the left, was fatal to success. In addition, the enemy had brought up fresh troops and greatly strengthened the force behind his intrenchments. This fact had been observed plainly by our troops, and was subsequently fully corroborated by prisoners. The First Brigade, after getting so near to the enemy's works and after almost succeeding, was compelled, like the Second Brigade, to fall back a short distance, some seventy to eighty yards, to seek shelter under cover of the irregularities of the surface. Thence it maintained a sturdy contest with the enemy, confining him to his works, till its ammunition was expended. (I must observe that owing to the circuitous route through the woods, with no road, pursued by the division, it was impossible to take any ammunition wagons with the command. After the point of attack had been selected a road was opened and ammunition brought up, [379] but it did not come ap until after night-fall.) The First Brigade had suffered very severely in the assault. This fact, connected with the expenditure of its ammunition, induced me to order this brigade to be relieved by the Third Brigade, Colonel Knefler, Seventy-ninth Indiana, commanding. Colonel Knefler was simply ordered to relieve the First Brigade, and hold the ground, without renewing the assault. The purpose of holding the ground was to cover bringing off the dead and wounded. Colonel Knefler's brigade at once engaged the enemy sharply and confined him to his works. Meanwhile every effort was being made to bring off the dead and wounded. This was a work of much difficulty. The ground was unfavorable for the use of the stretchers, darkness was coming on apace, and the whole had to be done under the fire of the enemy. Of course, under such circumstances, the work could not be done with that completeness so desirable, and the subsequent evacuation of the enemy showed, from the numerous, extensive places of sepulture outside of his lines, that many who were at first reported missing were killed in the terrific assaults. (It is proper to remark that when the Second Brigade was relieved by the First Brigade, a portion of the former retained their position near the enemy's works. So also when the First Brigade was relieved by the Third Brigade a portion of the former held on near to the enemy's works.) These gallant officers and soldiers remained on the field, bravely keeping up the conflict, till the Third Brigade was drawn off at 10 p. n. About 10 p. m. the enemy, rushing over his works, pressed forward rapidly with demoniac yells and shouts on Colonel Knefler's brigade. In the long conflict which the brigade had kept up it had expended its ammunition to within the last two or three rounds. Reserving its fire till the advancing foe was only some fifteen paces distant, the brigade poured in a terrible and destructive volley, and was then handsomely and skillfully withdrawn, with the portions of the other brigades that had remained on the field, by its gallant and most sensible commander. The enemy was brought to a dead halt by the last volley. Not the slightest pursuit was attempted. Thus ended this bloody conflict. It was opened precisely at 4.30 p. m. and raged in the light of its fury till 7 p. m. From this hour till 10 p. m. the conflict was still kept up, but not with the unabated fury and severity of the first two and a half hours of its duration. Fourteen hundred and fiftyseven officers and men were placed hors de combat in the action. It may be truly said of it that it was the best sustained and altogether the fiercest and most vigorous assault that was made on the enemy's intrenched positions during the entire campaign. The attack was made under circumstances well calculated to task the courage and prove the manhood of the troops. . They had made a long and fatiguing march of several hours' duration on that day immediately preceding the attack. The assault was made without any assistance or cover whatever from our artillery, as not a single piece could be carried with us, on a strongly intrenched position, held by veteran troops, and defended by a heavy fira of musketry and artillery. Yet, at the command, the troops, under all these adverse circumstances, moved to the assault with a cheerful manliness and steadiness; more, warming up with the advance, moved with a gallantry and dash that nearly made the effort a complete success. After the troops had all been drawn off, and between 10 o'clock in the evening and 2 o'clock of the following morning the entire division was comfortably encamped, and by daylight securely intrenched. This precaution [380] was the more necessary to protect the division against a sudden attack of overwhelming numbers, as it was in some measure isolated from the greater part of the army. The division remained in this position from the 28th of May to the 6th of June, varying it slightly by changes in the lines. Constant skirmishing was kept up the whole time.

On the 31st of May the rebel division of General Loring made a decided movement against the front of my division, but it was readily repulsed by the intrenched skirmish line. From prisoners captured it was learned that the rebel division had suffered severely in this demonstration.

Saturday night, the 4th of June, the enemy abandoned his position in the vicinity of New Hope Church and moved eastward. This was the fifth strongly intrenched position evacuated. Monday, the 6th of June, my division, with the rest of the corps, moved eastward to the neighborhood of Mount Morris Church. June 7, 8, and 9, the division remained in camp. June 10, the division moved with the corps southward and took position in front of Pine Top Knob. June 11, 12, 13, and 14, remained in this position, constantly skirmishing, with a few casualties daily. Tuesday night, June 14, the enemy evacuated Pine. Top Knob, retiring to his intrenched lines half a mile south of it. Wednesday, June 15, the Second Division of the corps was ordered to assault the enemy's works, and my division was ordered to support it. However, the assault was not made, and the corps remained in the position of Wednesday afternoon throughout Thursday, June 16, carrying on the usual skirmishing with the enemy. Thursday night the enemy evacuated his lines, crossed Muddy Creek, and swung back toward Kenesaw Mountain. Thus was he forced from his sixth strongly intrenched position. Early Friday morning the Fourth Corps followed up the enemy, my division leading. The day was spent in driving the enemy's skirmishers and outposts across Muddy Creek. Saturday, June 18, was spent in heavy skirmishing. Saturday night the enemy evacuated his seventh intrenched position and retired to his works around Kenesaw Mountain. Sunday morning the pursuit was renewed and the enemy pressed in on his works. Here the division remained from Sunday, June 19, to Sunday, July 3. Sharp skirmishing was kept up during the whole of this time, and the period was also enlivened with some brilliant affairs and other more serious operations. Some of these affairs are worthy of special mention. Late Monday afternoon, June 20, a portion of the First Brigade, of the First Division, lost an important position which it had gained earlier in the day. At noon on the following day the corps commander arranged an attack, embracing a part of the First Brigade, of the First Division, and a part of the First Brigade (the Fifteenth and Forty-ninth Ohio) of my division. The Fifteenth Ohio dashed gallantly forward, carried the hill which had been lost, and intrenched itself on it under a heavy fire of the enemy; while the Forty-ninth Ohio, moving forward to the right, carried and intrenched another important position still farther in advance. This brilliant success cost the two regiments quite heavily; but it was useful in enabling us to swing up our lines to the right and circumscribing the enemy to a narrower limit of action. The remainder of this week was passed in pressing the enemy's outposts on his main lines; affairs which, estimated by their casualties, rose to the dignity of battles. On the 27th of June the Second Division, of the Fourth Corps, was ordered to assault [381] the enemy's intrenchments, and two brigades of my division were ordered to be in readiness to support the assaulting column and follow up any success that might be gained. Unfortunately, the attack was not successful, and as a consequence no part of my division was engaged. Constant skirmishing wore away the second week in front of Kenesaw Mountain, and brought us to Saturday night, July 2. On that night the enemy evacuated his position around Kenesaw Mountain, being the eighth strong line of works abandoned, and retreated south of Marietta. Sunday morning, July 3, saw a renewal of the pursuit. Passing through Marietta, the enemy was found again strongly intrenched some five miles south of the town. July 4 was passed in the usual skirmishing with the enemy and driving his pickets with our skirmishers. During the night of 4th the enemy abandoned his ninth line of works and retreated toward the Chattahoochee River. Pursuit was made early in the morning of the 5th, my division leading the Fourth Corps, and such was the vigor of the pursuit on the road we followed that the portion of the enemy retreating by this road was driven across the river and so closely followed that he was unable to take up or destroy his pontoon bridge. He had cut it loose from its moorings on the north side, but was unable to cut it loose on the southern side. Being under the guns of our skirmishers, the enemy was not able subsequently to get possession of the bridge.

Although the enemy had been driven across the river in front of the Fourth Corps on the 5th of July, he remained strongly intrenched lower down the river on the north side in front of other portions of our troops till Saturday night, July 9. Yielding that night his tenth intrenched position, the remainder of his force passed to the south side of the river. Tuesday, July 12, my division crossed the river at Powers' Ferry. Having reached the south side of the river it remained quietly in camp and enjoyed a much needed rest until Sunday, July 17. On that day it performed a critical and dangerous movement in moving down the river three miles from its supports (with a heavy force of the enemy in two and a half .miles of it, having good roads to move on) to cover the laying down of a bridge and the passage of the Fourteenth Corps. Happily the whole operation was a success. Late in the afternoon the division returned to its camp, three miles up the river. Monday, July 18, the advance was resumed, and my division encamped for the night with the corps at Buck Head. Tuesday, July 19, I was ordered to make a reconnaissance with two brigades of my division to Peach Tree Creek. Taking the First and Third Brigades I pushed rapidly to the creek, driving in the light parties of the enemy. The opposition was inconsiderable, and on approaching the stream it was found the enemy had previously burned the bridge, which must have been a considerable structure. The enemy was found intrenched on the opposite bank of the creek. About noon I received an order to force a passage of the stream and secure a lodgment on the southern side. I detailed the Third Brigade (Colonel Knefler) for this service. The average width of the creek is about thirty feet and the average depth about five feet. The crossing was effected in the following manner: 100 picked men (50 from the Seventy-ninth Indiana and 50 from the Ninth Kentucky) were selected to go over first and deploy rapidly as skirmishers to drive back the enemy's skirmishers seen to be deployed on the opposite bank. The brigade was moved down the stream some — distance, to [382] a point below the enemy's intrenchments on the opposite bank. At this point a ravine leads down to the creek in such a way as to hide troops moving down it from the view of the opposite shore. The pioneers of the brigade were each provided with a long pole, about thirty feet long, to be used as sleepers for the construction of the bridge, and the 100 picked men each took a rail. Thus provided these parties moved quietly down the ravine to the water's edge and quickly threw the bridge over. The 100 men passed rapidly over, deployed, and drove back the enemy's skirmishers. The brigade followed quickly, deployed, moved to the left, flanked the enemy's intrenchments, forced him out, and captured some prisoners. As soon as the Third Brigade had got across, the First Brigade, higher up the stream, threw over a bridge, crossed, and joined the Third Brigade. The two brigades immediately intrenched themselves strongly, and the lodgment was secured. The enemy resisted the crossing with artillery as well as musketry, but our artillery was so disposed on the north bank as to dominate the enemy's. Owing to the manner in which the stream was crossed, as well as the rapidity with which the whole was accomplished, the casualties were small. Considering that half of the rebel army might have been precipitated on the troops which effected the crossing, and that the passage was really made in the presence of a considerable force, it may be truly asserted that no handsomer nor more artistic operation was made during the campaign. The Second Brigade (General Hazen) was ordered up from Buck Head during the afternoon, and so soon as the lodgment was made on the south bank the brigade was put to work to construct a permanent bridge. The work was nearly finished by night-fall, and the remainder, by order of Major-General Howard, was turned over to General Newton's division for completion. Leaving General Hazen's brigade to hold for the night the intrenchments constructed by the First and Third Brigades on the south side of Peach Tree Creek, I returned to the camp at Buck Head with these two brigades to get their camp equipage, which had been left there when they moved out in the morning to make the reconnaissance. Wednesday, July 20, my division was ordered to follow the First Division by a road crossing the branches of Peach Tree Creek above the junction which forms the principal stream. During the day the brigades were deployed (two on the northern side of the main stream, the third on the southern side) for the purpose of closing up the gaps in our general line. Thursday, July 21, was passed in constructing intrenchments and in forcing the enemy back into his line of works intermediate between Peach Tree Creek and Atlanta. The day was marked by some very sharp skirmishing, which fell particularly heavy on the Third Brigade. Thursday night the enemy abandoned his eleventh line of intrenchments and retired within his defensive works around Atlanta. Early Friday morning my division was pressing closely on the heels of the retiring enemy. Pressing closely up to the enemy's main line of works my division took a strong position in the forenoon of July 22, and intrenched it securely. This position, varied slightly by changes growing out of pressing the enemy more thoroughly into his defensive works, was maintained till the night of the 25th of August. During the whole period sharp skirmishing was kept up on the picket-line, and throughout the whole time the division was exposed to a constant fire of shot, shell, and musketry, which bore its fruit in numerous casualties. During the period, also, many important demonstrations were made [383] by the division, with the double purpose of determining the strength and position of the enemy's works and of making a diversion in favor of the movement of other troops. In some of these demonstrations the casualties, for the number of troops engaged, were quite severe. Several of them were graced with brilliant captures of the enemy's picket intrenchments.

On the 27th July Major-General Howard relinquished command of the Fourth Corps to assume command of the Army of the Tennessee, made vacant by the death of the lamented McPherson. Replete with professional knowledge, patriotic zeal, and soldierly ambition, General Howard's administration of the Fourth Corps was a happy combination of energy, zeal, and prudence, of enterprise find sound military views. He came among us personally a stranger, known only to us by his professional reputation. He left us regretted by all, respected as a commander, esteemed as a friend, and loved as a comrade in arms. The casualties in my division during that part of the campaign in which General Howard commanded the Fourth Corps amounted to 2,603 officers and men. Brigadier-General Hazen was transferred on the 17th of August to the Army of the Tennessee. By this transfer I lost the services and assistance of a most excellent brigade commander. Though General Hazen no longer belongs to my command, I deem it my duty, as it certainly is a pleasure, to bear testimony to the intelligent, efficient, and zealous manner, in which he performed his duties while in my division. During the late campaign his brigade was always ably handled, and rendered valuable service. In the battle of the 27th May, leading the assault, it particularly distinguished itself.

At 9 p. m. on Thursday, the 25th of August, my division, with the other divisions of the Fourth Corps, withdrew from its lines in front of Atlanta to participate in the bold but dangerous flank movement which terminated most brilliantly in compelling the enemy to evacuate Atlanta. Silently and quietly the troops drew out from the immediate presence of the enemy undiscovered. No suspicion of our designs or the nature of our movements seems to have reached him. The movement was continued nearly all night, when the troops were allowed to rest till daylight and to get their breakfast. About 7 a. m. Friday, the 26th, our pickets reported some movement among the enemy, which was supposed might indicate an intention to attack, but it resulted in nothing important. At 8 a. m. our movement was continued and kept up throughout the day. Saturday, the 27th, the movement was resumed, and the troops moved steadily around the enemy's left toward his rear. Sunday, the 28th, the West Point railway was reached. Monday, the 29th, my division was engaged in destroying the West Point road. Tuesday, the 30th, the movement was resumed to reach the Macon railway. It was considered certain that the destruction of this last line of his rail communications must inevitably compel the enemy to evacuate Atlanta. Wednesday, the 31st, my division, leading the Fourth Corps, and in conjunction with a division of the Twenty-third Corps, made a strong lodgment on the Macon railroad. Early Thursday morning, September 1, the work of destroying the road was commenced, but it was soon discontinued, by an order to move by the Griffin road in the direction of Jonesborough. It was understood that two corps (Hardee's and Lee's) of the rebel army were concentrated there. My division being in reserve for the day and in charge of the trains of the corps, did not reach Jonesborough till [384] nearly night-fall, and of course had no opportunity to take part in the engagement which occurred there late in the afternoon. Arriving near the field a little before night-fall, I was ordered to mass my division in rear of the First and Second Divisions of the corps, which deployed in order of battle, and just then becoming slightly engaged. During the night orders were received to be prepared to attack the enemy at daylight the following morning, but when the morning came it was found the enemy had retreated. Friday, September 2, the pursuit was continued. The enemy was again intrenched across the railway, about two miles north of Lovejoy's Station. I was ordered to deploy my division into order of battle, and to advance with a view of attacking the enemy's position. The deployment was made as quickly as possible, and at the order the division moved forward. The ground over which the advance was made was the most unfavorable that can possibly be conceived. Abrupt ascents, deep ravines, treacherous morasses, and the densest jungle, were encountered in the advance. Having arrived near the enemy's works, and while the troops were halted to readjust the lines, I became satisfied that the most favorable point for attack in front of my division was in front of my left (or Third) brigade. I hence ordered the brigade commanders to prepare to attack. Thinking we arrived at or near the right flank of the enemy's line, I went toward the left to concert with the two brigade commanders next on my left for a simultaneous attack. To reach them I had to pass over an open space which was swept by a sharp fire of musketry from the enemy's works. I crossed this space safely in going over, saw the two brigade commanders, and made the necessary arrangements. As I was returning across the dangerous space I was struck down by a rifle-shot. I immediately dispatched a staff officer to the brigade commander to proceed with the attack. This was gallantly made under a sharp fire of musketry and grape and canister, and the first position of the enemy carried, and about 20 prisoners captured ; but the failure of the troops on the left to come up, whereby the brigade was exposed to a flank as well as a direct fire, rendered a farther advance impossible, though the effort to do so was made. The front line of the brigade intrenched itself in advance of the captured line of the enemy's works, and held this position till the final withdrawal of the army. The brigade suffered quite severely in the assault, especially in the loss of some valuable officers. Captain Miller, assistant adjutant-general of the brigade, was killed instantly. He was a most gallant, intelligent, and useful officer. His untimely death is mourned by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. Colonel Manderson, Nineteenth Ohio; Lieutenant-Colonel Bailey, Ninth Kentucky; Captain Colclazer, Seventy-ninth Indiana, and other valuable officers, were wounded in the assault. I remained on the field till I had seen my division securely posted, and finally reached my headquarters about 8 p. m. The following morning the commanding general of the grand Military Division of the Mississippi announced the campaign terminated. But my division maintained its position in close proximity to the enemy, daily losing some men in the picket encounters, till Monday night, the 5th, when it was quietly and successfully withdrawn. By easy stages and unembarrassed by the enemy the division continued its march to this city, reaching here on the 8th instant. And here the division rests after the termination of the labors of the campaign.

If the length of the campaign, commencing on the 3d of May and terminating on the 2d of September. with its ceaseless toil and [385] labor, be considered; if the number and extent of its actual battles: and separate conflicts and the great number of days the troops were in the immediate presence of, and under a close fire from, the enemy be remembered; if the vast amount of labor expended in the construction of intrenchments and other necessary works be estimated; if the bold, brilliant, and successful flank movements made in close proximity to a powerful enemy be critically examined, and if the long line of communication over which vast and abundant supplies of every kind for the use of this great army were uninterruptedly transported during the entire campaign be regarded, it must be admitted that the late campaign stands without a parallel in military history. The campaign was long and laborious, replete with dangerous service, but it was brilliant and successful. No adequate conception can be formed of the vast extent of labor performed by the troops except by having participated in it. Whether by day or by night this labor was cheerfully performed, and it affords me high satisfaction to bear official testimony to the universal good conduct of the officers and men of the division.

For the numerous instances of good conduct of officers and men deserving special commendation, 1 must refer to the reports of brigade and regimental commanders. To the various brigade commanders who served in the division during the campaign, my thanks are specially due for zealous and intelligent performance of duty and hearty co-operation throughout. I have already noted that Brigadier-General Willich, commanding First Brigade, was severely wounded at Resaca. The command of the brigade devolved on Col. William H. Gibson, Forty-ninth Ohio, who performed the duties with zeal and ability till the expiration of his term of service on the 24th of August. Colonel Hotchkiss, Eighty-ninth Illinois, succeeded Colonel Gibson in command of the brigade and performed the duties well to the termination of the campaign. Col. P. Sidney Post succeeded Brigadier-General Hazen in the command of Second Brigade on the 17th of August, and thence to the end of the campaign performed all the duties of the position most zealously, intelligently, usefully, and gallantly. Since my injury Colonel Post has attended to all the field duties of the division commander and performed them well. Early in the campaign Brigadier-General Beatty, commanding Third Brigade, was disabled by sickness from exercising command of his brigade, and it devolved on Colonel Knefler, Seventy-ninth Indiana, and well and ably has he performed all the duties of the position. Cheerful and prompt when labor was to be performed, ready with expedients when the necessities of the service demanded them, gallant and sensible on the field of conflict, he has so borne himself throughout the campaign as to command my highest approbation.

It is due to the members of my staff that I should commend their good conduct and confide them to the kindly consideration of my seniors in rank. To them, by name, I return my sincere thanks. Capt. M. P. Bestow, assistant adjutant-general; First Lieut. George Shaffer, Ninety-third Ohio Volunteers, aide-de-camp; Maj. A. R. Z. Dawson, Fifteenth Ohio Volunteers, chief of outposts and pickets; Capt. J. R. Bartlett, Forty-ninth Ohio V olunteers, inspector-general; Capt. C. R. Taft. Fifteenth Ohio Volunteers, provost-marshal; Second Lieut. H. H. Townsend, Ninth Kentucky Volunteers, topographical engineer; Capt. L. D. Myers, assistant quartermaster; Capt. H. C. Hodgdon, commissary of subsistence, and First Lieut. P. [386] Haldeman, Third Kentucky Volunteers, ordnance officer, all performed their duties well. Capt. Cullen Bradley, Sixth Ohio Light Battery, was chief of artillery till the consolidation of the artillery into a corps organization. For the intelligent manner in which he performed his duties, I offer to him my thanks. Would that I could include in the foregoing list of my staff the name of one other, who commenced the campaign with us, but whom the inscrutable ways of Divine Providence early called away from us — the name of Maj. James B. Hampson, One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio Volunteers. Preparatory to the attack which was to be made on the 27th of May, it had been ordered that all the guns should be placed in position during the night of the 26th, and open on the enemy's works the next morning. One of my batteries was slow in opening, and I ordered Major Hampson to go to the battery and hasten the work of preparation. While so employed the fatal shot of the sharpshooter was sped on its murderous errand, and Major Hampson fell mortally wounded. He expired at 4 p. m. of that afternoon, happy in the consciousness of dying in his country's service. Young, ardent, intelligent, graceful, gentle, and gallant, he fell in the early bloom of his manhood a victim to an atrocious rebellion, a martyr to his devotion to his country.

During the campaign my division in the various conflicts captured 16 commissioned officers and 666 enlisted men, for whom receipts were obtained. Two million four hundred and twenty-eight thousand rounds of small-arms ammunition were expended during the campaign. Taking the mean strength of the division during the campaign, this number would give an average of 421 rounds per man.

A report of casualties, amounting to 2,792 officers and men killed, wounded, and missing, is herewith appended.

Including so long a period of active operations, which were spread over so broad a field, this report is necessarily quite protracted; but it could not be compressed into narrower limits without doing injustice to the division whose services it is designed to commemorate.

The reports of brigade and regimental commanders are herewith transmitted.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

th. J. Wood, Brigadier-General of Volunteers. Lieut. Col. J. S. Fullerton
, Assistant Adjutant-General, Fourth Army Corps.

Statement of casualties showing losses in Third Division, Fourth Army Corps, during the months of May, June, July, August, and September, 1864.



In addition to the above, the following casualties occurred in the artillery battalion of my command: One commissioned officer killed, 4 enlisted men killed, 17 wounded, and 4 missing, making an aggregate of 2,792 killed, wounded, and missing in the entire command during the campaign.

I visited the battle-field of Pickett's Mills, or New Hope Church, twice after the evacuation of the enemy, and examined it closely. The numerous single graves and several lines of trenches (capable of containing from twenty-five to forty bodies) on the battle-field outside of the enemy's intrenchments explain where most of the 255 missing of that day went to. It is known that many of the wounded and killed, owing to the close proximity of the places they fell to the enemy's works, could not be brought away. It is also certain from other facts that only a small number of uninjured men and officers-perhaps 20-became separated, in the darkness of the night and the denseness of the woods, from their commands when the field was abandoned at 10 p. m. The rebels in their accounts, while admitting the severity of the attack, have never pretended they made any material capture of prisoners.

Hdqrs. Third Division, Fourth Army Corps, Battle-field near Dallas, Ga., May 30, 1864.
Colonel: I have the honor to submit report of casualties in this command in action of 27th instant:


Some of those reported missing may yet return, but it is probable that by far the larger part were either killed or wounded and fell into [the] hands of the enemy when the position gained by the attack was abandoned in the night.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

th. J. Wood, Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding. Lieut. Col. J. S. Fullerton
, Assistant Adjutant-General, Fourth Army Corps.

Hdqrs. Third Division, Fourth Army Corps, Near Atlanta, Ga., August 14, 1864.
Colonel: I have the honor to forward for the information of the corps and department commanders the reports of my brigade commanders of the advance of yesterday afternoon:

Proper preparations having been made by strengthening the picket-line and ordering out a regiment from the main line of each [388] brigade as a support, at the proper moment the whole moved forward handsomely together. The skirmishers of the Second and Third Brigades quickly carried the enemy's skirmish pits, and held them for nearly an hour, but in front of the First Brigade (where the enemy's skirmish pits are much nearer to his main line, more perfectly commanded by it, and where the pits themselves are much stronger and more nearly continuous) much heavier opposition was met. The advance of this brigade encountered a heavy fire of artillery and musketry, and, although the skirmishers succeeded in getting to the enemy's first line, they were compelled to fall back. Even if they had succeeded in carrying the first line they could not have held it, as it is perfectly commanded by a second and stronger line immediately in rear of it. The skirmishers of the Second and Third Brigades were finally compelled to abandon the pits they had carried by a combined front and flank attack, but not a single foot of ground held before the advance yesterday afternoon was lost. The advance of last week (on Thursday, the 28th ultimo), in which we carried the enemy's entire line of skirmish pits in our front, and captured a good many prisoners, compelled him to establish his line of skirmish pits so near his main line as to make it nearly as difficult in some places to carry the former as the latter, and when carried renders it nearly impossible to hold them. Shortly after our advance yesterday afternoon the enemy was seen to re-enforce his main line by troops brought from the rear. The troops engaged behaved in the handsomest manner, and although all the success hoped for was not achieved, we succeeded in developing fully the enemy's means of defense in our front. Intake pleasure in communicating the intelligence and zeal exhibited by my brigade commanders, General Hazen and Colonels Gibson and Knefler.

I append a summary of casualties:


Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

th. J. Wood, Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.

Colonel Fullerton, Assistant Adjutant-General.


General orders, no. 38.

Hdqrs. 3D Div., 4TH Army Corps, In the Field, near Dallas, Ga., June 2, 1864.
The general commanding desires to express to the division his high appreciation of their good conduct in the battles of the 27th ultimo, and to thank the officers and soldiers for their heroism displayed on that occasion. Ordered to assault a strongly intrenched position, the troops advanced to the attack with a vigorous, decided [389] earnestness and heroic determination which covered all engaged with the highest honor, and would have insured success if their flanks could have been properly supported.

Advanced to within fifteen paces of the enemy's intrenchments, the troops were compelled to desist from the attack by the flank fire of artillery and musketry, not by the direct ones.

For the heroism displayed, the commanding general expresses the warmest thanks.

By command of Brigadier-General Wood:

M. P. Bestow, Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

General orders, no. 42.

Hdqrs. 3D Div., 4TH Army Corps, Near Buck Head, Ga., July 19, 1864.
The commanding general congratulates the division on the very brilliant success it achieved to-day. The forced passage of a stream in the presence of an intrenched enemy is justly regarded among military men as one of the most difficult feats of arms. This the division did to-day, effecting a permanent lodgment, with comparatively small loss. Though the Third Brigade enjoyed the good fortune of being the most prominent in the day's operations, the First and Second Brigades are entitled to the credit of a prompt and hearty co-operation.

The commanding general is happy to believe there will never be any other feeling among the brigades of the division than a noble rivalry and a generous appreciation of each others good deeds. He tenders his thanks to the division for its good conduct, and expresses his sympathy for the officers and men who have on this occasion sealed their devotion to their country with their blood.

By command of Brigadier-General Wood:

M. P. bestow, Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

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