No. 124. reports of Brig. Gen. James D. Morgan, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division, of operations August 23-September 8.
Hdqrs. Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, White Hall, Ga., September 9, 1864.Captain: In compliance with orders from corps headquarters, I have the honor to herewith transmit report of the part taken by my command from the date (August 23) I assumed command of this division up to the evacuation of Atlanta, September 1: August 23, my division was occupying front line on the right of the Fourteenth Army Corps, well thinned out, having a few days previous relieved General Cox's division, Twenty-third Army Corps, on my right. My division was, therefore, covering the front of two divisions. August 24 and 25, no change of position. August 26, in obedience to orders from corps headquarters, the division ready to move at 5 p. m. Just before daylight on the 27th, following General Baird's division, left the works and moved to the rear and right, in the following order: First Brigade on the right, Second Brigade in the center, Third Brigade on the left. The picket-line of each brigade was ordered to fall back to the main line, respectively, from left to right, and cover the movements of their respective commands. The whole movement was successfully executed without loss. Crossing Utoy Creek, took up position on the left of General Baird. At 10.30 p. m. received orders to move at 4 a. m. August 28, division on the right of the corps, moved promptly at daylight, on the Campbellton road, to Mount Gilead Church; reported in person, by order, to Major-General Thomas. In accordance with orders here received, moved to the rear of Fourth Army Corps to Redwine's, this point being the right flank of the Army. The enemy's pickets held the ridge on the south side of Camp Creek, and were briskly firing on the pickets of the Fourth Corps. Colonel Mitchell was directed to deploy a regiment from his command, and support it with his brigade. The One hundred and twenty-first Ohio, Colonel Banning commanding, very handsomely drove the enemy over the ridge, and after constructing a bridge over Camp Creek, the whole division moved steadily forward on the road to Mim's, to a point on West Point railroad one-half mile east of Red Oak, meeting with little or no resistance. Crossing the railroad, the Second and Third Brigades (the First, Colonel Lum commanding, having been detailed to guard supply train) took up a position facing east, their right about a mile and a half south of the railroad. August 29, First Brigade reported and was placed in position on the right refused, facing south. One regiment from Second Brigade was ordered forward and directed to protect right flank of First Division, destroying railroad. One regiment, the Tenth Michigan Infantry, Major Burnett commanding, was ordered on a reconnaissance toward Shoal Creek Church, and cut out a road in a southeast direction; when within three-fourths of a mile of the church, a strong cavalry force was encountered, which was steadily pushed back to Shoal Creek Church. Here Major Burnett, with his usual promptness, discovered that he was confronted by over a brigade of cavalry, and that they were endeavoring to turn his right flank, and get in his rear. Moving quickly to his left to the — road, he retired to camp without the loss of a man, capturing 17 head of horses and mules, and taking I prisoner. August 30, in accordance with orders from corps headquarters, the division moved promptly at 6  a. m. in the following order: First Brigade, Fifth Wisconsin Battery, Second Brigade, Second Illinois Battery,1 Third Brigade. Ascertaining that the road cut out yesterday was not practicable for artillery, took one farther to the left. The Tenth Michigan Infantry was ordered to deploy, and moved forward on the one cut out yesterday toward Shoal Creek Church. The Fourteenth Michigan Infantry was thrown out as flankers on right and left, when the division moved forward, without resistance to the church, and taking up a line fronting Shoal Creek, massed up by brigades in close column by division. My line of march was too far to the left, and for a short time interrupted that of the Fourth Corps. At 12 m. marched to Couch's, on Fairburn and Jonesborough road, six miles from the latter, and bivouacked for the night. August 31, Second Brigade ordered to report to General Baird at 3.35 p. m., by direct order from Major-General Thomas. The First and Third Brigades moved at 4 p. m., on the road taken by General Baird's division; when the head of column had moved some one and a half miles, countermanding orders were received, when, moving by the left flank, arrived at Renfroe's, on Jonesborough road, and took up a position covering the Jonesborough and Fayetteville road, bivouacking for the night. September 1, in accordance with verbal orders received from corps headquarters, the First and Third Brigades moved back on Fayetteville road to the Rough and Ready and Jonesborough road, following the First Division, with orders to take up position on the right of General Baird, halting in rear of his line. While preparing to take up position received orders to move forward with my whole division toward Jonesborough, following General Carlin's division. On arriving with head of column at Toland's house, three and a half miles north of Jonesborough, halted to enable General Carlin to take up a position. As I had been ordered to form on his left, soon after, by order from Major-General Thomas, Colonel Dilworth was directed to send forward a regiment from his command, deployed as skirmishers, and clear the front on General Carlin's left. By subsequent orders from corps commander, this regiment was withdrawn and a new position assigned to my command upon the right of General Carlin. My orders were to cross Flint River and gain a ridge to the left of that stream and form a line of battle facing near south, the Second and Third Brigades deployed in two lines and the First in reserve, my right to the left of General Howard's command, and that General Carlin would form on my left, not to feel uneasy about any gap that might occur on my right, as it would be supported by a division of the Seventeenth Corps. Measures were immediately taken to place my command in position, moving to Flint River and crossing it. The enemy was soon discovered in a strong position on a ridge running nearly east and west, and two batteries commenced shelling my lines severely. Gardner's battery and a battery from the Seventeenth Corps were soon placed in position, and a brisk artillery fire continued during the afternoon, Barnett's battery subsequently taking part. After crossing Flint River a bad swamp was encountered, across which bridges had to be constructed. Officers and men worked with a will, notwithstanding they were under a heavy fire. Crossing the swamp, soon took up a position at about 200 yards in front of the enemy's lines in the following order: The Third Brigade (Colonel Dilworth)  on the right, column of regiments in echelon; the Second Brigade (Colonel Mitchell) on the left, in two lines. General Carlin having moved his command to his left, opened a large gap between his right and my left. The First Brigade (Colonel Lum) was ordered to move immediately from its reserved position to the left and front. This brigade was formed upon the left of Colonel Mitchell in two lines. Having very bad ground to move over was hardly in position before the advance of the whole line was ordered forward. Silently and steadily the line moved up the ridge, and disappeared in the woods, under cover of which the rebels had constructed their works, and in a few moments a shout was heard that told of victory and success, which was soon made certain by hundreds of rebels coming from the woods and seeking safety by retreating to the rear. The charge was gallantly and successfully made, and the results commensurate-2 4-gun batteries taken (1 by the First and 1 by the Second Brigade), 394 prisoners (1 brigadier-general and 24 commissioned officers), over 1,000 stand small-arms, and 6 battle-flags. Never was a command. better entitled to the thanks of its officers and the nation. Men who can steadily move upon strong works, covered with acknowledged fighting men (infantry and artillery), and carry them are truly soldiers. I am under obligations to brigade commanders for the manner their commands were moved upon the enemy's lines and the tenacity with which they were held and pursuit made until darkness ended the conflict. My right was heavily pressed for two or three hours, but finally succeeded in clearing its front. My picket-line was soon established, and by daylight had advanced to Jonesborough. My loss was heavy in officers and men; over 500 killed and wounded. Colonel Grower, Seventeenth New York Veteran Volunteer Infantry, fell at the head of his regiment mortally wounded (since died), a brave and accomplished officer. Major Burnett, commanding Tenth Michigan Infantry, was killed in leading that gallant regiment over the main works. This officer has greatly distinguished himself during the campaign. Always prompt, active, and energetic, his loss will be severely felt and his place difficult to fill. Colonel Dilworth, commanding Third Brigade, was severely wounded at the head of his brigade. This is a gallant and energetic officer. Many other brave and worthy officers fell, to which I refer to casualty reports of regiments. Thus has this remarkable campaign been successfully closed. For four long months, marching, fighting, and intrenching, the enemy has been driven, mile by mile, back over 140 miles. A large part of the time the men have been under fire night and day, eating, drinking, or sleeping. Shot, shell, and rifle-ball have been plunging through camp and bivouac, but steady persevering valor and determination will ever win, and the day is ours. When all do well it is difficult to discriminate; many individual cases of personal gallantry have no doubt occurred that will be mentioned in regimental and brigade reports. Since I have been in command of the division I have been ably assisted by Colonel Mitchell and Colonel Dilworth, commanding Second and Third Brigades; they are both able, prompt, and energetic officers, and have earned promotion; I cheerfully recommend it. Colonel Anderson, Sixtieth Illinois Infantry, has been constantly on duty with his regiment, a most faithful and competent officer; he could fill with credit to himself and country a higher position; I recommend him. To my own personal staff I am under obligations for promptness and constant attention to duty. Captain Wiseman, my assistant  adjutant-general, merits promotion; I ask it for him. Lieutenant Coe, my acting assistant quartermaster, and Lieutenant Pyatt, my brigade acting commissary of subsistence, for long and faithful discharge of their respective duties, also deserve promotion. I have had occasion in previous reports to mention these officers; they are honest, vigilant, and every way qualified. Captain Stinson, provost-marshal, Captain Race, acting assistant inspector-general, Lieutenant Waterman, aide-de-camp, and Surgeon Watson, of my old brigade staff, are all good officers and have faithfully discharged their respective duties. I have found Captain Orr, commissary of subsistence, and Lieutenant Scroggs, ordnance officer, both officers of merit and thoroughly acquainted with their respective duties. Major Petri, topographical engineer, a valuable and scientific officer in his staff department, has also been very attentive and vigilant in the performance of his duties. I forward herewith brigade and regimental reports, to which I call attention; also inclosed casualty report, marked A, and report of prisoners taken, marked B. All of which is respectfully submitted.
James D. Morgan, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers. Capt. A. C. Mcclurg
, Asst. Adjt. Gen. and Chief of Staff, 14th Army Corps.
, Asst. Adjt. Gen. and Chief of Staff, 14th Army Corps.
Hdqrs. Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps,Camp at White Hall, Ga., September 21, 1864. Captain : In my official report of the part taken by my command in the battle of Jonesborough, fought on the 1st instant, forwarded to headquarters on the 11th instant, I stated that the First Brigade of my division captured a 4-gun battery that was in the angle of the works in the front of that brigade; not at once thinking at this time any one would from another command claim the honor, I did not think it necessary to go into unnecessary details. Having since learned that such a claim has been made, and officially reported by a division commander, knowing my report to be true, and having no earthly desire to take an iota from other commands that rightfully belongs to them, I am as equally determined that no one shall deprive my command of an iota that justly belongs to them. I believe that official reports should deal in facts out of which our future military history can be made, and not in brag and bombast. I leave that to newspaper reporters and overly ambitious officers who desire to shine on paper. I now proceed to detail more fully where my command was, and what it did at the battle of Jonesborough. After several changes of orders, I was finally ordered by my corps commander to cross Flint River, and, with two brigades deployed, and one in reserve, take up a position that he then pointed out to me; not to be anxious about my right, and that General Carlin would form on my left. My command was promptly placed in position, as directed. Owing to some change of orders, a direction unknown to me, General Carlin did not form, or at least close up, on my left, but there was a large gap between the left of my command and the right of what I supposed to be the right of General Carlin's command, but have since heard that Este's brigade, of the Third Division, had formed on the right of General Carlin. Seeing the importance of filling this gap, Captain Wiseman, assistant adjutantgeneral, of my staff, was directed to order up the First Brigade immediately, and Captain Race, my assistant inspector-general, wa.-subsequently sent to hurry up the movement. Having bad, swampy ground, cut up by deep ditches, some little delay occurred in this brigade getting into position, and the movement commenced before the second line was fully formed. I wish now to speak of the formation: Colonel Este's brigade was formed on good ground in three lines, and directly parallel with the enemy's works; my First Brigade was formed in two lines to the right of Este's, on lower and more broken ground, and on a different angle, to correspond with the angle on the enemy's work directly in their front, the Fourteenth Michigan and Sixtieth Illinois in first line, the Fourteenth on the right; the Sixteenth Illinois and Tenth Michigan in the second line, the Sixteenth on the right. The Seventeenth New York had been directed to form on the left of the first line, but owing to the difficulty of crossing the swamp did not succeed in getting into position, but its right had commenced forming on the left of the Tenth Michigan at the commencement of the movement. The second line was now parallel with the first line, the angle being sharpened upon the commencement of the movement of the troops on my left. Having no staff officers with me, and not seeing Colonel Lum, commanding brigade, or any of his staff, I ordered forward the First Brigade in person. The order was promptly obeyed; the Fourteenth Michigan and Sixtieth Illinois, at  right shoulder shift, moved steadily and directly forward for the angle of the works and carried them, capturing the battery, and one rebel gunner was bayoneted by a member of the Fourteenth Michigan while in the act of ramming a charge home. The man is now lying in the Second Division hospital. The second line, following the first, bent away to the angle, swerving to the left, and two regiments, the Seventeenth New York and Tenth Michigan, uncovered the first line and covered that of Colonel Este's brigade. Upon entering the woods, under cover of which the enemy had intrenched, they were subjected to a merciless fire, under which they were staggered for a moment, but Major Burnett at once ordered the left wing of the Tenth Michigan overthe works. This was gallantly done, the right wing following. Major Burnett was killed. Thus was lost to the service and his country a brave and noble officer and man. The Seventeenth New York, under the heavy fire they were subjected to, fell back for a short distance, but reformed under fire and again marched upon and carried the works — no better test of brave and good soldiers than this reforming under fire. The Seventeenth New York are entitled to all praise. Its brave colonel (Grower) fell mortally wounded at the head of his regiment. In the short time he had been with the command he had endeared himself to all by his soldierly bearing. The Tenth Michigan and Seventeenth New York lost heavily, as the casualty report will show. I have been thus particular about the positions of my First Brigade and the successful charge made by them for the reason stated in the commencement of this communication. In my official report I stated that the First Brigade captured a battery of four guns, believing it to be a brigade and not a regimental matter, no military man being foolish enough to suppose that a single regiment could have carried the enemy's works. It took brigades, divisions, and corps to accomplish it. My First and Second Brigades took the guns because they were in their front, and bravely carried them. Far be it from me to say that troops on my left would not have done the same thing; far be it from me to say that because my command was first in the angle of the enemy's works troops on my left were enabled to follow and occupy works already taken. No! All did nobly and are entitled to praise. I envy not those officers who claim credit for others' work. I am sorry that I have [been] compelled to make this long statement. For myself I care nothing but the credit of making truthful reports. For my command I ask and expect to have awarded the praise they are entitled to. A word or two more and I close this report. How three companies should swing to the right across the front of these regiments and take a battery, and then swing back again that distance to the left and the rebels to retake it before my front line reached the works, is difficult to understand. The flag claimed to have been taken is a misstatement. This flag was taken by an officer from the parapet long after the works had been carried and when my command was actually turning the works with pick and spade by my order. This can be proven by Major McDonald and many others of the Sixtieth Illinois. In my report I said nothing about the formal surrender of Major Lee and officers and men of the Sixth Kentucky to Captain Dunphy, of the Tenth Michigan Infantry, and turned over by him to a provost-marshal of the Third Division, being desirous that all should participate in the credit of this most successful charge; neither did I think it necessary to report that all  of Colonel Este's command, that had carried the enemy's works previous to my second line coming to their relief, were held as prisoners, as will appear from brigade and regimental reports, to which I respectfully call attention. All of which is respectfully submitted. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
James D. Morgan, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers. Capt. A. C. Mcclurg
, Assistant Adjutant-General.
, Assistant Adjutant-General.