No. 69. report of Col. Frederick Knefler, Seventy-ninth Indiana Infantry, commanding Third brigade.
Hdqrs. Third Brig., Third Div., 4TH Army Corps, Before Atlanta, Ga., September 10, 1864.Captain: I have the honor to submit the following report of the movements and operations of the Third Brigade, of the Third Division, Fourth Army Corps, from the time it left camp on the 3d day of May, 1864, until its arrival near Atlanta, Ga., on the 8th day of September, 1864: The brigade was commanded during the campaign by Col. Fred. Knefler, Seventy-ninth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Brig. Gen. Samuel Beatty, its commander, being sick and unable for duty. The brigade was composed of the following troops: Nineteenth Regiment Ohio Veteran Volunteers, Col. Charles F. Manderson; Seventy-ninth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Lieut. Col. Samuel P. Oyler; Ninth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers, Lieut. Col. Chesley D. Bailey; Seventeenth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers, Col. Alexander M. Stout; Thirteenth Regiment Ohio Veteran Volunteers, Col. Dwight Jarvis, jr.; Fifty-ninth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, Lieut. Col. Granville A. Frambes; Eighty-sixth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Col. George F. Dick. The brigade left camp near McDonald's Station, Tenn., at 12 a. m. on the 3d day of May, 1864, marched six miles in the direction of Ringgold, Ga., and bivouacked for the night. On the 4th day of May, while on the march to Catoosa Springs, Ga., and when near Salem Church, the Nineteenth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, Col. Charles F. Manderson, was detached as guard to the supply train of the corps, then parked near Parker's Gap. The brigade remained in bivouac near Catoosa Springs until the 7th day of May, 1864, when it marched by way of Tunnel Hill to its position in front of Rocky Face Ridge. On the 8th day of May a demonstration was ordered to be made to develop the position of the enemy. The brigade was formed in two lines, the front line composed of four regiments in line of battle, the rear line of three regiments in columns doubled on the center in readiness to deploy, should it become necessary. Nothing of importance, however, occurred except some skirmishing along the line, which showed the enemy to be on the crest of the ridge in force. The brigade was then ordered to bivouac near the base of the ridge; remained there for two days, the skirmishers deployed in front keeping up a lively fire. Several men were killed and wounded in their tents by the enemy on the ridge. On the night of the 11th of May the brigade was marched back and occupied the crest of Tunnel Hill. At 1 p. m. of the 12th day of May orders were received to march to the support of the Second Division of this corps, then threatened by a large body of the enemy; arriving there barricades were built and a strong position taken, but beyond demonstrations nothing occurred. The enemy having evacuated Dalton the brigade marched through the town on the 13th day of May, and to a considerable distance toward Tilton. On the 14th day of May the brigade was in rear of the division, the Seventy-ninth Regiment Indiana Volunteers guarding the ammunition train of the corps. During the battle of Resaca the brigade was in reserve of the division and did not become engaged. The Fifty-ninth Regiment Ohio Volunteers  was detached to fill an interval between the First and Second Brigades of the division, who were in the front line. On the 16th day of May the brigade marched through Resaca, crossed the river, and bivouacked near the railroad. On the 17th day of May marched through the town of Calhoun and became engaged with the enemy toward evening; had a skirmish, drove the enemy's artillery from its position, and established a strong line, which was ordered to be fortified. During the night the enemy withdrew from the front. Several men were killed and wounded at this point. On the 18th day of May the brigade marched through Adairsville, reached Kingston on the 19th, marched several miles beyond the town and were ordered to bivouac. At 4 p. m. an order was received to move forward immediately, it being ascertained that the enemy was in force near Cassville. The advance was made rapidly, severe skirmishing ensued, and the enemy driven from his advanced position before night. In this affair Captai-n Lendrum, of the Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteers, a gallant officer, was killed. Captain Hanna, of the Seventyninth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, was severely wounded; many enlisted men were killed and wounded. The brigade bivouacked in the position taken on the 19th day of May during the 20th, 21st, and 22d days of May, 1864. On the 22d day of May the Nineteenth Regiment Ohio Volunteers rejoined the brigade, having been detached since the 4th day of May when near Catoosa SDrings. The brigade marched from the position near Cassville on the 23d day of May. Nothing occurred on the 24th and 25th of May. On the 26th the brigade was placed in support of the First and Second Brigades of this division, who had taken their position near Pumpkin Vine Creek. There was slight skirmishing and some shelling by the enemy during the day, but no casualties happened. On the 27th day of May at 10 a. m. the brigade was moved from its bivouac, formed in two lines of battle, preceded by a strong line of skirmishers, and ordered to move forward, with the center of the line resting on the Dallas and Acworth road, until the flank of the enemy should be found, in which case the order was given to attack him promptly. Having marched but a short distance, we came upon the brigade of General McLean, of the Twenty-third Army Corps. Orders were then received to move by the left flank and then to march in an easterly direction parallel with the road, and to maintain connection with McLean's brigade on the west side of the road. The connection with that brigade, however, was soon broken, it having remained behind, and was not again met with the remainder of the day. Upon reporting this fact, I was ordered by General Wood to march in rear of the left, and at supporting distance of the First Brigade, of this division, and to be governed by its movements. Having crossed the stream near Pickett's Mills at 4 p. m., the division took position to attack the enemy. The brigade was formed in two lines of battle, the front line consisting of the Seventeenth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers, Thirteenth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, and Fifty-ninth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, the whole line under the command of Col. Alexander M. Stout, of the Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteers. The rear line, at supporting distance, was composed of the Nineteenth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, Seventyninth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, and the Ninth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers, the line commanded by Col. Charles F. Manderson, of the Nineteenth Ohio Volunteers. The Eighty-sixth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Col. George F. Dick commanding, was  detached by order of General Wood to cover a road on the line of advance, and remained there till the attack was over. Having received orders to that effect, the brigade marched in support of the First Brigade, Colonel Gibson commanding, which brigade was soon engaged with the enemy. The attack made was so strongly resisted that it speedily necessitated the bringing of this brigade into action. In the advance the first line was completely enfiladed by the enemy's artillery, suffering severely. The advance was made rapidly and in good order. After sustaining a murderous fire, I regret to say it was thrown into disorder. The second line, commanded by Colonel Manderson, was then ordered forward. The advance was made in splendid style through a terrific fire; the crest of a deep ravine was reached in advance of the former line, which was stubbornly held against what appeared largely superior numbers of the enemy. A barricade was built of rails, which in a measure protected the line from the overwhelming fire of the enemy in front, but both flanks were exposed to a continual fire of musketry and artillery, the supports on both flanks having disappeared. The line was re-enforced by the Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteers, of the first line, and such dispositions as circumstances and the available strength of the line permitted were made to guard against a movement of the enemy on the flanks. The left of the line was further strengthened by the Seventy-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, of the Third Brigade, First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, the brigade to which it belonged having been ordered to protect the left flank of this division during the attack, but fell back at the beginning of the action, and was not seen again until late in the evening; but that regiment returned and rendered valuable assistance. A very heavy fire was kept up till dark, when ammunition began to fail and the men were compelled to have recourse to the cartridges of the dead and wounded, as it was iir ssible to obtain a supply from any other source. The position was ordered to be held until orders for withdrawal should be given. Skirmishers were ordered to the front to guard against surprise. At 10 o'clock the order to withdraw was received; every effort was made to bring off the wounded previous to the movement. All of a sudden, the enemy sallied from his works and made an assault upon the line, which was promptly and vigorously repulsed. The brigade then withdrew in good order, undisturbed by the enemy, and fell back to the intrenched position of King's brigade, of the First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps. The brigade lost during the engagement heavily in officers and enlisted men. A list of the casualties accompanies this report. Officers and soldiers acted most gallantly, the regiments of the second line particularly, who advanced in admirable order over very difficult ground, and determinedly maintained their ground against vastly superior forces. Conspicuous for gallantry and deserving of special mention are Col. Charles F. Manderson, of the Nineteenth Ohio Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Bailey, of the Ninth Kentucky Volunteers; Maj. George W. Parker, of the Seventy-ninth Indiana Volunteers; Maj. D. M. Claggett, of the Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteers, who by their conduct and example vastly contributed to the successful holding of the line. Many officers were killed and severely wounded. I have the honor to refer you for further details, and the action of the respective regiments composing the brigade, to the accompanying regimental reports. The best possible disposition was made of the wounded who were in condition to be brought  off the field. Many of the severely wounded, however, were left behind, owing to the impossibility of bringing ambulances to the scene of action, it being an almost impenetrable jungle, cut up by ravines, creeks, and swamps, without roads, or even paths, for vehicles of any description. Having retired from the field and reached the position assigned to the brigade, slight works were immediately thrown up. From this position the brigade was moved on the 28th to the right, so as to establish connection with the Fourteenth Corps. The position was strongly fortified along its entire length, and a heavy skirmish line thrown to the front. In the night of the 30th of May orders were received to move to the right and front, which, owing to the intense darkness, was accomplished with much difficulty. On the morning of the 31st of May orders were given to intrench the position. While engaged in this the enemy attempted to charge the line. He was met by Major Claggett, of the Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteers, commanding the skirmish line, and successfully repulsed. The brigade remained in the above position till the morning of the 4th of June, when orders were received to move to the right, to relieve McCook's brigade, of Davis' division, Fourteenth Army Corps. The enemy having abandoned his position on the 5th, on the 6th day of June the brigade marched in the direction of Acworth, and remained in bivouac until the 10th of June. The time of the non-veterans of the Thirteenth Regiment Ohio Volunteers having nearly expired, they were sent to the rear to be mustered out. The veterans and those who had to serve an unexpired term were consolidated into four companies, and the battalion placed under command of Major Snider. On the 10th day of June the brigade marched from the above position and bivouacked near the Twentieth Army Corps, from which place the brigade was, on the 11th day of June, placed in reserve of the other division of the corps. This position was kept until the 17th, when, the enemy having abandoned his position near Pine Mountain, the division marched in pursuit; the brigade was in advance, covered by a strong line of skirmishers. At 1 p. m. the skirmish line was relieved by two regiments, which were ordered to develop the position of the enemy. Upon advancing the enemy was found to be posted on the crest of a ridge, with a strong skirmish line at its base. Continual skirmishing was kept up until evening, when the skirmish line, commanded by Major Claggett, of the Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteers-, and Captain Agard, of the Nineteenth Ohio Volunteers, were ordered to drive the, skirmishers of the enemy from their position. This was successfully accomplished, and an advance made to the crest of the ridge, from which the enemy was driven. The line thus gained was speedily fortified. The enemy attempted several times to retake it during the night, but was repulsed. Captain Sturgis, of the Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteers, was here severely wounded. On the 18th of June, in pursuance to orders, the line was advanced until within range of the enemy's works. Severe skirmishing ensued, lasting all day, occasioning the loss of many men in the Seventy-ninth Indiana and Ninth Kentucky Regiments on the skirmish line. On the 19th day of June the brigade remained in rear of the division. On the evening of the 20th it relieved a brigade of General Geary's division, of the Twentieth Army Corps, in position near Kenesaw Mountain. On the 21st of June, at 3 p. m., the artillery having previously cannonaded the  enemy's advanced works, the brigade was ordered forward to drive the enemy from his position. The Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteers, Col. Alexander M. Stout commanding, was ordered forward, drove the enemy in handsome style, and occupied the position, which, during the night, was strongly fortified. A demonstration to develop the enemy's strength and position was ordered to be made on the 22d day of June at 4 p. m. The skirmish line was composed of a detail from four companies of the Nineteenth Ohio Volunteers, and was re-enforced by the reserve. The enemy's skirmishers were driven from their rifle-pits and occupied by our line, but owing to the proximity of the enemy's main works the position became untenable, and the skirmishers, after suffering severe loss, were compelled to withdraw to their original position. On the 23d of June a similar demonstration was ordered. The Seventy-ninth Indiana Volunteers was ordered to advance. The advance was preceded by a heavy cannonade of half hour's duration. When it ceased, a strong skirmish line, commanded by Maj. George W. Parker, of the Seventy-ninth Indiana Volunteers, supported by the balance of that regiment, was thrown forward. The rifle-pits were taken and held for some time, but the enemy sallied from his works and compelled the line to withdraw. The loss of the regiment was very severe and singularly out of proportion to the number engaged. Capt. Daniel W. Howe, of the Seventy-ninth Indiana Volunteers, was severely wounded. The brigade remained unemployed, with the exception of heavy skirmishing on the line, until the 27th of June, when it marched to the left in support of the Second Division; engaged in an assault upon the enemy's works, upon the termination of which it returned to its original position. Here Col. George H. Cram assumed command of his regiment, the Ninth Kentucky Volunteers, up to this time commanded by Lieut. Col. Chesley D. Bailey. Lieut. Col. Samuel P. Oyler, of the Seventyninth Indiana Volunteers, relinquished command of that regiment on account of sickness. Command was assumed by Maj. George W. Parker. The brigade remained in the above-described position until the 2d of July, when it was moved to the right to occupy a position vacated by the Fourteenth Army Corps. The enemy having abandoned his works in the night, the brigade marched in pursuit, passing through Marietta, and bivouacked five miles beyond. On the 4th day of July the brigade was moved to the left of the Second Division, and the position fortified. While working the men were much harassed by the enemy, only a short distance off. The enemy abandoning his position during the night, the brigade marched in rear of the Second Brigade to the Chattahoochee River, near Pace's Ferry, and was there assigned its position. On the succeeding day the brigade moved to the right, so as to connect with the Fourteenth Army Corps, and there occupied a strongly fortified position until the 10th of July, when, the enemy having crossed the Chattahoochee and abandoned the north side of the river, the division moved eastward to Powers' Ferry, and crossed the river on pontoons on the 12th of July, 1864, where the brigade remained in camp until the 17th day of July, when it marched down the bank of the Chattahoochee River to Pace's Ferry to clear it of the enemy and assist the Fourteenth Army Corps in crossing. Having accomplished this, the brigade returned to its position near Powers' Ferry. Orders to march were received next morning; the brigade moved to Buck  Head and there bivouacked. On the morning of the 19th an order was received to make a reconnaissance toward Peach Tree Creek. The Fifty-ninth Ohio Volunteers was deployed as skirmishers to cover the advance. Having reached the creek without meeting with serious resistance, the enemy was found on the opposite bank strongly intrenched and apparently in force. Cavalry appeared on the left of the skirmish line and was driven off. At 1 p. m. an order was received to force a crossing of Peach Tree Creek, and, if possible, to drive the enemy from his position. The creek was too deep to be forded. A spot concealed by a heavy growth of timber was found and a bridge constructed by the pioneers of the brigade, and the troops crossed the stream unobserved by the enemy. One hundred picked men were selected from the Seventy-ninth Indiana Volunteers and the Ninth Kentucky to cover the advance as skirmishers, under command of Maj. George W. Parker, of the Seventy-ninth Indiana Volunteers. The line of skirmishers was supported by six regiments of the brigade in line of battle at supporting distances from each other. The first line was commanded by Col. George H. Cram, of the Ninth Kentucky Volunteers; the second by Col. Charles F. Manderson, Nineteenth Ohio Volunteers; the third line by Major Claggett, of Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteers. The Fifty-ninth Ohio Volunteers was disposed along the banks of the stream as skirmishers to aid the advancing column by diverting the enemy's fire. Colonel Dick, Eighty-sixth Indiana Volunteers, with strong detachments covered the flanks of the column. General Geary's division, of the Twentieth Corps, was to co-operate in the crossing, but, after considerable delay, that division failing to move and our preparations being completed, General Wood ordered the advance to be made without further loss of time. The skirmishers advanced rapidly upon the enemy's position, followed closely by the first line of battle. The enemy opened with musketry and artillery, inflicting considerable loss, but he was driven from his position and the works taken, with a number of prisoners. Orders were given to build works to enable the brigade to repel any attack which might be made upon it in this isolated position. A firm lodgment was thus secured, and the position held under a heavy fire until evening, when other troops relieved the brigade, which returned to its bivouac near Buck Head. Great credit is due Col. George H. Cram, of the Ninth Kentucky Volunteers, and Major Parker, of the Seventy-ninth Indiana Volunteers, for the gallant manner in which the advance was made, and the success of the crossing. I regret that Major Parker was severely wounded. On the 20th of July the brigade marched in support of the First Division of this corps; in the evening took position on the right of that division and intrenched in prolongation of its works. Toward morning it was found that the enemy had abandoned his position during the night. An advance was made directly to the front, where the enemy was found in position. Intrenchments were built in face of the enemy, who harassed the men during the work, killing and wounding a number of officers and men. During the night the enemy again withdrew. On the 22d the brigade moved forward, took up a position on the line of the division, which was strongly fortified, and there remained until the 25th day of August. During that period nothing of serious importance occurred. Frequent demonstrations and several attacks were made upon the enemy's riflepits, the first line of which was captured with many prisoners and  slight loss on our part, and was converted into an advance skirmish line of the brigade. Another attempt was subsequently made to capture their other line of pits, which succeeded, but, owing to the close proximity of the main lines of the enemy, who covered them with a heavy fire of-musketry and artillery, they were abandoned. Foraging parties were here frequently sent out. The men were occasionally supplied with green corn, which considerably improved the sanitary condition of the men, among whom scorbutic symptoms were very prevalent. Considerable forage was thus procured for the animals of the brigade, which materially added to the scanty rations of forage issued. On the 25th .day of August, 1864, orders were received to prepare the command and to be in readiness to withdraw from the position in the night. All preparations being completed, the brigade marched at 9 p. m. from its camp. The skirmish line was left undisturbed to cover the movement and to conceal it from the observation of the enemy. Orders were given to withdraw the skirmish line at midnight, under direction of Major Dawson, the picket officer of the division. The command marched several miles, and at 3 a. m. bivouacked in rear of the abandoned position of the Twentieth Army Corps. The following morning at 10 o'clock left the position and marched in rear of the army to the right. On the 27th of August the brigade marched to near Camp Creek, and there fortified its position and remained until night of the 28th, when it was detailed to guard the supply train of the corps, and joined the division in its position in the vicinity of the Montgomery railroad. On the 29th the brigade was marched to the railroad to destroy the track. This being successfully and thoroughly accomplished for a considerable distance, the command marched back and bivouacked for the night in rear of the Twentythird Army Corps. On the 30th the command marched in the direction of the Macon railroad, which was reached on the following day. Here a position was assigned to the brigade, which was strongly fortified. On the following morning, September 1, 1864, the brigade marched parallel to the railroad, which was again struck during the afternoon, and a considerable distance of the track torn up and destroyed. From there the brigade moved toward Jonesborough. Did not participate in that engagement, and was ordered to take up position and to mass in rear of the Second Division of this corps. On the 2d day of September the brigade marched along the railroad, passing through Jonesborough in the direction of Lovejoy's Station, where the enemy had taken position. Arriving in front of the enemy, the brigade was marched to the left on a line with the other brigades of the division, and connected on its left with the First Division of this corps. The order was given here to attack the enemy. Dispositions were made accordingly. The brigade was formed in two lines of battle, covered by a strong line of skirmishers. The first line was composed of the Nineteenth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, Seventy-ninth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, and Ninth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers. The other regiments formed the rear line and marched at supporting distance. When the line advanced the skirmishers discovered the enemy strongly intrenched, protected by a heavy abatis. The skirmish line being too weak to accomplish anything, a charge was ordered to be made. The line advanced in gallant style with fixed bayonets, and without firing a shot, through the abatis and took the first line of intrenchments, with many prisoners, but upon advancing to attack the other line, they were met  by a murderous fire of musketry and artillery, and not being supported on either flank and perfectly isolated, the brigade fell back in good order to the first line taken and fortified it. The brigade suffered much, particularly in officers. The general commanding the division, who put himself at the head of the troops, was here severely wounded. Captain Miller, the assistant adjutant-general of the brigade, who accompanied me to the skirmish line, while reconnoitering the position of the enemy, was killed, and Lieutenant Colclazer, of the Seventy-ninth Indiana, quartermaster of that regiment, who acted as aide-de-camp, was severely wounded. Col. Charles F. Manderson, of the Nineteenth Ohio Volunteers, and Lieut. Col. Chesley D. Bailey, of the Ninth Kentucky Volunteers, who were leading the charge most gallantly, were severely wounded. Lieut. Thompson Dunn, adjutant of the Seventy-ninth Indiana Volunteers, was killed. Captain Agard, of the Nineteenth Ohio Volunteers, was severely wounded. The loss among the men was severe, particularly when the shortness of the engagement is considered. All the officers did their duty well. Col. George H. Cram, of the Ninth Kentucky Volunteers, commanded his own and the Seventyninth Regiment Indiana Volunteers in this charge and almost through the entire campaign, and fully displayed his usual bravery and tact. I cannot say too much of him or of Colonel Manderson, of the Nineteenth Ohio Volunteers, and Lieutenant-Colonel Bailey, of the Ninth Kentucky Volunteers, who were severely wounded, who are always conspicuous for gallantry and skill. The temporary loss of their valuable services will be deplorably felt in the brigade and their respective regiments. The brigade remained in its fortified position until the night of the 5th of September, when it withdrew and marched along the railroad to its former position at Jonesborough, and from there marched by way of Rough and Ready to Atlanta, where it arrived on the 8th of September, 1864, and is now in camp. I deem it my duty to return my thanks to the officers and soldiers of the brigade for their conduct during the entire campaign, which was so successfully terminated. Every duty was performed with alacrity and fidelity; hardships and fatigue were endured without murmuring, and on no occasion did they fail to display their soldierly qualities. Before closing this report I desire to make my acknowledgments to the officers of the brigade staff, from whom on all occasions I have received valuable assistance. Capt. Oscar O. Miller, the assistant adjutant-general, who was killed on September 2, was possessed of qualities as an officer and gentleman which make his death a deep regret to the officers and soldiers of the brigade. Conscientious in the performance of his duties, untiring inl his zeal, brave to a fault, and of universal usefulness. In his deportment he was gentlemanly and kind, and his life was untainted by vice. His death is an irreparable loss to the brigade. Capt. William S. S. Erb, of the Nineteenth Ohio Volunteers, inspector of the brigade, has proven himself in this long and arduous campaign a most faithful and efficient officer, and in action his services were invaluable to me. The vigilance and thoroughness with which he performed the peculiar duties of his office cannot be praised too much. First Lieut. Jacob H. Colclazer, quartermaster of the Seventy-ninth Indiana Volunteers, who voluntarily acted as aide-de-camp during the campaign, has shown himself a useful and very gallant officer. Accompanying me to the skirmish line during the attack on the 2d of September,  he was severely wounded. First Lieut. Frank White, quartermaster of the Ninth Kentucky Volunteers, acting aide-de-camp, rendered most valuable services as ordnance officer of the brigade. Second Lieut. Emory H. Read, Ninth Kentucky Volunteers, aide-de-camp, has on all occasions shown himself a gallant officer. The commissary, quartermaster, and medical officers of the brigade have performed their duties through the entire campaign to the satisfaction of all. The following table shows the losses sustained by the respective regiments of the brigade during the campaign: