No. 73. report of Col. George H. Cram, Ninth Kentucky Infantry, of operations June 26-September 8.
headquarters Ninth Kentucky Infantry, Atlanta, Ga., September 14, 1864.Captain: I have the honor to present my report, from the time I rejoined the regiment. I found the regiment in camp with the brigade in front of Kenesaw Mountain, confronting the enemy. On the 25th we lay in camp. On the 26th the regiment moved with the brigade to the right, and formed in the rear and support of General Newton's division, while it made an assault on the enemy'stworks. The assault being unsuccessful we moved back to camp, by Colonel Knefier's order. Nothing unusual occurred until the night of the 2d of July, when I received orders to move, and at dark moved with the brigade about three-quarters of a mile to the left, and relieved part of Johnson's division. Our line was so close to the enemy that no pickets could be put out to cover the left of the regiment. The men were obliged to fire from the works, as also did the enemy. About 3 a. m. the 3d of July I received an ordersfrom Colonel Knefler to move a line of skirmishers cautiously toward the enemy's works, which I did, and found them empty, the enemy having left them during the night. About 7 o'clock I received orders to march, and about 8 o'clock moved out of camp and marched with the brigade to within about one mile of Marietta, when I received orders from Colonel Knefler to halt until the train of our corps (Fourth) should arrive, and escort it, which I did, arriving in camp, about six miles below Marietta, about 9 p. in. On the morning of the 4th of July received orders to march, and about 12 m. I moved with the brigade about a mile, when we came up with the enemy's skirmishers. We formed with the brigade, the regiment in the front line, and put up works under the fire of the enemy's skirmishers, having 2 men wounded. During the night the enemy evacuated his position, leaving formidable works. On the morning of the 5th I received orders to march, and at 6 o'clock we moved with the brigade to within a few hundred yards of Pace's Ferry, on the Chattahoochee River, the enemy retreating across the river. We went into camp and remained inactive until about 2 p. m. the 8th of July, when, by order of Colonel  Knefler, we moved about one mile to the right of the brigade, and went into camp, throwing up a line of works, a few rebels being seen in our front. On the morning of the 9th the regiment went on picket, no. enemy being seen in our front. On the morning of the 10th the regiment was withdrawn from picket, and orders issued to be in readiness to march. About 8 a. m. we moved with the brigade about six miles to our left up the river, and went into calip near the Chattahoochee. On the 11th we remained in camp inactive. On the 12th I received orders to march, and at 12 o'clock moved with the brigade one mile south, and crossed the Chattahoochee on pontoons. Went into camp with the brigade, and put up a line of works, the Seventy-ninth Indiana being on our right and the Fiftyninth Ohio on the left. On the 13th we received orders to march, About 11 o'clock we moved with the brigade about one mile to the right, and put up a line of works, the Seventy-ninth Indiana on the right and Seventeenth Kentucky on our left; advanced about 100 yards. We remained in camp inactive until July 17, when, by order of Colonel Knefler, we moved down the river to within a mile of Pace's Ferry. I was left with the Ninth Kentucky and Seventy-ninth Indiana to guard the left flank of the division, while it moved to Pace's Ferry. I threw out pickets on our front and left, running to the river. The brigade returning about 6 o'clock, we were withdrawn, and returned to the camp we left in the morning. Received orders from brigade headquarters to be ready to march, and on the morning of the 18th, about 7 o'clock, we moved with the brigade about four miles to Buck Head, on the Atlanta road, and went on picket. On the morning of July 19 the regiment was withdrawn from picket and ordered to march, by Colonel Knefler, without tents or knapsacks. About 7 o'clock we moved with the brigade to Peach Tree Creek, the advance regiment of the brigade skirmishing all the way. On arriving within a short distance of Peach Tree Creek I was directed by Colonel Knefler to take the Seventy-ninth Indiana and my regiment and move to the right of the road a few hundred yards and await orders. We moved out to an open field, where we had a full view of the enemy's position. The Atlanta road crosses the creek, where it makes a short bend to the left, and then runs for some distance parallel to the creek about 400 yards; and about 150 yards from it on the right bank is a knoll or piece of high ground, which completely commands the opposite bank. I was ordered to move with the Seventy-ninth Indiana and get possession of this bank, leaving the Ninth Kentucky in the skirt of a woods on the right of the road. On ascending the knoll I discovered two heavy lines of the enemy's skirmishers on the opposite side of the creek advancing toward the position I was ordered to occupy. On perceiving us they fell back. I placed the Seventy-ninth Indiana in position facing the creek, and threw up a barricade of rails. The enemy occupied a skirt of woods on the left bank, apparently in some force. In several places their works could be seen distinctly. I reported to Colonel Knefler and was ordered to hold the position. Our skirmishers were briskly engaged with those of the enemy for several hours, when I received orders to cross the creek at the point where the Seventy-ninth Indiana lay, with the Seventy-ninth Indiana and Ninth Kentucky. I accordingly directed Lieutenant-Colonel Bailey, of the Ninth Kentucky, to move into position on the left of the Seventyninth Indiana. Fifty skirmishers were thrown out from each regiment,  under command of Major Parker, Seventy-ninth Indiana. The brigade corps of pioneers, under command of Major Gemmer, succeeded in throwing a bridge across the creek at two points, about 100 yards apart. The crossing of the creek was effected under fire of the enemy's skirmishers, with but little loss. The space between the creek and the enemy was a corn-field, about 300 yards across. I had just made the disposition to advance when Major Parker, Seventy-ninth Indiana, commanding the skirmishers,was, unfortunately, wounded by a sharpshooter, thus delaying the advance some minutes. I placed Captain Dunbar, Seventy-ninth Indiana, in command of the skirmishers, and ordered him forward, I following with the regiments some 150 yards to the rear. The enemy was surprised. We drove him from his position with some loss, capturing Lieutenant-Colonel Hale, Second (rebel) Tennessee, and 40 of his men and officers, with but slight loss to ourselves. We advanced to the road, fired a few volleys at the enemy, who retreated, leaving his position in our possession. I placed the Seventy-ninth Indiana in position, its left on the road and its right extended toward the river; the Ninth Kentucky along the road. Colonel Manderson, with the Nineteenth Ohio Infantry, reported to me and was placed in reserve, ready to act on either flank, three companies of his regiment being thrown to the right and front of the Seventy-ninth Indiana, where the enemy threatened. The enemy got a battery of artillery in position bearing on us, without, however, doing much injury, it soon being silenced by a section of Bradley's battery, which enfiladed it from the opposite side of the river. The enemy, recovering from his surprise, got into position in front of the Seventy-ninth Indiana, and we hastily threw up works. The skirmishers attacked furiously, and I became apprehensive that he would attack in force, when the balance of the brigade arrived and formed on the right of the Seventy-ninth Indiana, making our position secure. We remained here until about 7 o'clock, when we were relieved by Hazen's brigade and ordered back to our camp at Buck Head where we arrived at 10 p. m. On the morning of the 20th I received marching orders, and moved with the brigade to the left, taking the Decatur road about three miles, turned to the right toward and went into position facing Atlanta, on the right of Stanley's division. On the morning of the 21st received orders to march, and moved to the right and into line, when we threw up a line of works on a ridge completely commanded by the enemy's skirmishers, the Seventeenth Kentucky on our left and Seventy-ninth Indiana on our right. In putting up the works the regiment had I man killed and 6 wounded. About 6 o'clock I received orders from Colonel Knefler to take the Seventyninth Indiana and my own regiment and move to the right, in rear of the First Brigade of this division, covering a gap. Received orders next morning (July 22) to rejoin the brigade, which I found in line .ready to march. We marched toward Atlanta about one mile and a half on the main road; found the enemy in position behind heavy works, and was placed in position on a ridge about one mile from Atlanta, where we threw up heavy works, the Seventyninth Indiana on the right and Seventeenth Kentucky on the left. On the-morning of July 23 the enemy opened on us furiously with artillery, and finding that our position was almost enfiladed by the fire from the enemy's batteries, we were compelled to throw up heavy traverses at the right of each company. We remained inactive  until the 28th of July, nothing of interest occurring with the exception of the furious cannonading of the enemy, which was continued daily. About 4 p. m. of July 28 I was ordered by Colonel Knefler to take my regiment and the Seventy-ninth Indiana and advance and support the skirmish line. We advanced, capturing the enemy's rifle-pits without loss, and after turning them for the use of our own men, returned to camp. July 29, the enemy threw 64-pounder shells into our camp without doing us hurt. We remained inactive until August 16, when I was ordered by Colonel Knefler to take my own regiment and the Seventy-ninth Indiana, and go foraging. We went about ten miles to the left of our army, meeting no enemy, and returned that night. We remained in camp inactive until August 25, when we received orders to march. We marched at 10 p. m. with the balance of the brigade, moving to the right. and bivouacked in rear of the position occupied by the Twentieth Army Corps, which had been evacuated the same night. The morning of August 26 continued our march to the right, and went into camp about 4 p. m. in rear of the Twenty-third Corps. August 27, we continued our march to the right about four miles, moving beyond the flank of the army, and went into camp again at 12 m., and threw up a line of works facing the Montgomery railroad and about three miles from it. About 5 p. m. I received orders to take the Ninth Kentucky and Seventy-ninth Indiana and cross Creek, and make a reconnaissance of the ground to be occupied by General Newton's division. Moved out the road about a mile and a half and found no enemy. I was relieved about 8 p. m. by a regiment from Newton's division, .and received orders to return to camp, and did so by 9 o'clock that night. We were under marching orders on the morning of August 28, and about 5 p. m. I was ordered to escort a part of the train of the corps. We moved forward toward the Montgomery railroad, and within about half a mile of it, and went into camp for the rest of the night. The morning of August 29 we moved out on the Montgomery road with orders to tear up the track; we tore up a portion of it, destroying it with fire, and returned to camp for the night. The morning of August 30 we moved the brigade about six miles, crossing the Montgomery road, and went into camp, the Seventy-ninth Indiana on the right and the Seventeenth Kentucky on the left. August 30, we received marching orders, and moved with the brigade in the direction of the Macon railroad, south of Rough and Ready Station, and went into line about one mile and a half from the railroad and put up a barricade. August 31, we moved in the — direction of the railroad and struck it about 4 p. m., and threw up a line of works within 300 yards of and facing the railroad. September 1, received orders to march, and about 8 a. m. moved down the road in the direction of Jonesborough, halting an hour to tear up the railroad, and continued our march toward Jonesborough. We halted in an open field, where the division massed, my regiment being on the right of the second line of the brigade. At night we received orders and moved with the brigade to the left of the line at Jonesborough, where the brigade was massed on the left flank of the army. On the morning of the 2d of September we found the enemy had evacuated, and received orders to march immediately. We marched south on the railroad to within two miles of Lovejoy's Station, where we found the enemy again in position. The brigade was moved about one mile, and placed in position facing southwest,  my regiment on the front line, the Seventy-ninth Indiana on the right of me. The Seventy-ninth Indiana was placed under my command, and I was ordered to move forward carefully, with skirmishers deployed to the front. We moved forward about three-quarters of a mile, and, on ascending a high ridge, I discovered the enemy in position in front of us on a ridge about 400 yards distant. I received orders to wait until General Grose's brigade, of Stanley's division, could be placed in position on our left, and then move forward as it moved, and assault the enemy's works. We waited about a half hour, and when General Grose's line advanced I gave the order to both regiments to move forward. The regiments were obliged to pass through a dense thicket of wild plums for about seventy-five yards, and after passing through the thicket I was obliged to halt and reform the Ninth Kentucky under fire, when the line again moved forward at a charge. When within about 250 yards of the enemy's works we were obliged to pass through a woods, in which the timber and undergrowth was cut down, which formed such a dense tangle I found it difficult to get through. The enemy's riflepits were on the edge of a field, about 250 yards from their main works; these we captured with some prisoners, and being under fire from the enemy, and supposing the brigade on my left had moved forward, I gave the order to move forward, and we assaulted the works. The ground in front of their works to their rifle-pits was open and a regular slope, and a terrible fire of musketry and artillery opened upon us, and the brigade on our left not moving forward, we were unable to reach the works, and were compelled to fall back in some confusion. Both regiments were rallied at the rifle-pits, and works thrown up, which we held. The assault was gallantly made, and for a time promised to be successful, and had we been supported on our left, the result might have been different. After remaining in this camp three days, constantly under fire from the enemy's skirmishers, it was announced that the campaign was ended, and we were ordered back to this point, where we arrived September 11, 1864, the loss of the whole campaign being 15 killed and 51 wounded. I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Geo. H. Cram, Colonel, Commanding Ninth Kentucky Infantry. Capt. W. S. S. Erb
, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig., 3d Div., 4th Army Corps.
, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig., 3d Div., 4th Army Corps.