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[25]

The number of the Confederate slain left in our front exceeded our entire loss-642. We captured five battle flags, 1,500 muskets, and many prisoners. After the battle of Ezra Church, Hood confined himself to the defensive as long as we were in the neighborhood of Atlanta.

That evening my ambition stimulated me to put in fresh troops in order to sweep the field and make a bold and strong effort to capture Atlanta; but Logan's men were much fatigued. Blair's and Dodge's had been on the qui vive all day within reach of the enemy's cannonade, constantly kept up, and Morgan's division had not succeeded in joining us; the Atlanta works were complete and strong, therefore my cooler judgment said, Let well enough alone.

After I had gone along the front lines and said what I could in appreciation of the wonderful defense made by our gallant soldiers, I simply ordered Logan to double his skirmish lines and press them beyond us as far out as practicable, and then give to the commands rest and quiet for the night. I soon learned positively that this terrible assault was made by my old friend and classmate, Lieutenant General Stephen D. Lee, commanding three divisions, while General Stewart's two divisions supported him.

Under cover of the darkness General Lee withdrew from my front, after giving us a slight show of life through the firing of his artillery and infantry rear guard. Then he hastened within the protection of the strong forts of Atlanta.

1 General Stephen D. Lee at this writing, 1907, is the Commander of the Society of Confederate Veterans, with his home at Jackson, Miss. He is much esteemed by all who know him. General Lee and I are the last surviving commanders of independent armies in the field during the Civil War.

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