No. 26. report of Col. John E. Bennett, Seventy-fifth Illinois Infantry.
Hdqrs. Seventy-Fifth Illinois Vol. Infantry, Near Atlanta, Ga., September 13, 1864.Captain: In compliance with orders received from headquarters Third Brigade, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Seventy-fifth Illinois Volunteers in the recent campaign resulting in the capture of the city of Atlanta: On the morning of May 3, 1864, in obedience to the order of Col. William Grose, commanding brigade, this regiment marched from Blue Springs, Tenn., in the direction of Red Clay, Ga., at which place the command went into camp for the night. At 6 a. m. the next day moved toward Dalton, and in the afternoon formed line of battle and bivouacked near Catoosa Springs. Again, on the morning of the 7th, moved to Tunnel Hill, formed line of battle, and advanced upon the enemy, who were behind works, but they soon evacuated them, leaving our troops in possession of the town and works. At an early hour the next morning, May 8, this regiment advanced in front line down the valley, driving in the rebel skirmishers till within range of the enemy, who was strongly intrenched on Rocky Face Ridge. This regiment was only engaged occasionally at skirmishing till the morning of 13th of May, when it was ascertained that the enemy had evacuated. A company of this regiment which was on picket advanced and occupied the enemy's works and joined the column moving through the town of Dalton. A short distance south of the town we came upon the rear guard of the retreating foe, who were shelling our advance. This regiment was thrown forward as skirmishers and captured a rebel captain. At night went into camp about eight miles south of Dalton. At early dawn on the morning of May 14 advanced toward Resaca. At noon came upon the enemy in force. One company was deployed as skirmishers; capture 1 prisoner and drive back the enemy to his works; 1 man was killed and 2 badly wounded. At daylight on the morning of the 15th the Thirtieth Indiana relieves this regiment from front line. At about noon the men sling knapsacks and move on double-quick to support the front line, while all along the line is a heavy engagement. The enemy having evacuated, on the morning of the 16th, we receive orders to move; pass through the works of the enemy to Resaca. Here we halt for dinner, then move on and camp four miles south of the town. The next day we pass through Calhoun. At the town of Adairsville the enemy holds his position till darkness again gives him an opportunity to escape. 18th, pass through Adairsville. On the 19th again came upon the enemy. One company is deployed as skirmishers, who push forward, driving the enemy before them, till near the town of Cassville; 1 sergeant is seriously wounded. At night form line and build works. Here we rest until noon of May 23, when we are moving southward; cross the Etowah River, and encamp about three miles south of it. The next day move on through mud and woods and rain and reach Burnt Hickory Ridge at about 2 a. m. of the 24th. The next morning at 9.30 have orders to move. We push on toward Dallas, while we hear heavy firing. Form line of battle, the Seventy-fifth in second line, and take no active part till the 27th May, the regiment has a sharp skirmish; 1 man is wounded. Soon  after daylight we are relieved to take a new position at the left. Strengthen the works and lay behind them till June 1, when we move one-fourth mile to the left. While getting into position have 1 man wounded. Here again we strengthen works and remain in them, doing only picket duty. One man killed on the 4th of June. On the morning of the 5th the enemy had again evacuated and we follow toward Acworth and go into camp near the town and remain till the morning of June 10. Vv e march in a drenching rain about four miles, come upon the enemy, form line, and build temporary works. At daylight the regiment moves to the front; have I man wounded. Again, on June 15, we find no enemy in our front. In the afternoon, having come upon the enemy, the Seventy-fifth Illinois Volunteers move in second line, joining the Eightieth Illinois on the left and Ninetieth Ohio on the right. At night on the 16th this regiment, under cover of the darkness, make good works on the skirmish line, but the next morning,, the 17th, leave them and move forward to occupy those of the enemy, which he has evacuated. This regiment is in reserve till the 19th June. After moving through the abandoned works of the enemy on that day one company is sent forward as skirmishers, boldly charge across a cleared field, killing, capturing, and driving a heavy line of skirmishers from their works, with the loss of 4 men seriously wounded. On the 21st of June this regiment is relieved by a portion of the Fourteenth Army Corps from the skirmish line and take a new position and, in a drenching rain, are hard at work, when the enemy opens a terrific fire of artillery from three different directions. A number of the shells pass through our uncompleted works; wounding 4 men. On the 22d the works are strengthened and occupied. At this point the lines were so far advanced that the battery of the enemy sent the missiles directly at the left flank of the regiment. We were compelled to lie under this galling fire, having I man killed and 1 badly wounded. On June 23 the Fourteenth Army Corps relieves this part of the Fourth Army Corps, the latter taking position about two miles to the right. Sent one company on picket, who drive back the rebel skirmishers. The enemy then charge on this line with a line of battle, compelling our line to retire to its old position, with the loss of 1 first sergeant captured. On the 24th of June this regiment relieves the Thirtieth Indiana from the front line. Send one company on picket. We were so close to the main works of the enemy that no part of a person's body could be exposed above the works only as a mark for the rebel sharpshooters. Second Lieut. Richard L. Mangan, Company D, receives gunshot wound, causing amputation of left leg. The casualties of that day were 3 men wounded and 2 killed. On the morning of June 27 our forces are massed for an assault on the works of the enemy in our immediate front, this division (the First) remaining in position for any emergency. July 3, in obedience of brigade commander, this regiment marched toward Marietta, passing the town at about noon. At night we again came upon the enemy, form line, build temporary works in an exposed position, and had 3 men wounded. On the morning of the 4th of July the two armies are facing each other, ours in readiness for the attack. At about 10 a. m. one company, under command Lieut. James H. Blodgett, Company E, was sent forward as support to the skirmish line, which was to charge in a cleared field. After advancing about one-half mile to a ravine, the whole line halted to dress it. At this time it  was in close proximity to the first line of the enemy, who were behind good works, when the order was given by the brigade commander for the front line of skirmishers to move forward to renew the attack. For some reason, the men did not proceed. At the command given to Lieutenant Blodgett by the brave Captain Hale, Company I, who was on duty as brigade officer of the day, the company from the Seventy-fifth Illinois Volunteers took the advance, and on double-quick charged on the rifle-pits of the enemy, killing and capturing nearly all of the enemy in them. Only one man left the Seventy-fifth skirmish company, and he to conduct to the rear the prisoners. The number of prisoners taken cannot be correctly stated, as little notice was taken of disarmed men or of anything but to obey the orders of the commanding officers. All the ground gained was stubbornly held. The regiment lost 7 wounded, and. Capt. Robert Hale, of Company I, killed. At daylight on July 5 we find the works of the enemy evacuated, and were in readiness to move toward the Chattahoochee River. We go into camp on the right bank at 4 p. m. Here the command rests, only doing picket duty, till the 10th July. One man was wounded on the 7th by a shot from the enemy on the opposite bank. On the 11th of July we move up the river, cross it. On the 12th go into camp, wait orders till 18th of July, when at daylight again ready to march. At 2 a. m. July 19 receive orders from brigade commander to move out as a reconnoitering party on the Decatur road as far as Peach Tree Creek. Two companies were sent in advance of the column. They reached the creek at about 9 a. m., and placed two sentinels on the opposite side. At this point no enemy was discovered. Two mounted men, wearing the uniform of U. S. soldiers, advanced within a few rods of these sentinels and refused to obey their orders. When ordered to halt, wheeled and rode off at a rapid rate. The sentinels discharged their pieces, wounding both of the men. The regiment was entirely without support, the troops of the Second Division, Fourth Army Corps, having marched to the rear on the Atlanta road. Company A, commanded by Captain Parker, was placed on picket on this road, and discovered the enemy in force on the south bank of Peach Tree Creek, making works. A few shots were exchanged, but no attempt to advance was made until the balance of the Third Brigade joined us. The whole command then crossed the creek, formed line, and make good works. On the 20th the Eighth Kansas Volunteers take our place; we move to the left, take position in second line; have 1 man killed. On July 21 change position; 1 man of the picket company is wounded. At 3 a. m. July 22 aroused for move. At daylight pass through the enemy's works. After a short march come within sight of the city of Atlanta. A company of skirmishers, commanded [by] Lieut. P. S. Bannister, Company C, moved forward and drive the enemy into his works. Sergt. Martin L. Johnson, Company I, was killed, and 2 other men wounded. On the 23d of July Capt. William S. Frost, Company E, while ia command of the picket company, was wounded in leg. On the 26th of July the Seventy-fifth Illinois Volunteers moves into position on the front line at the extreme left of the Fourth Army Corps. The regiment does not change position until on August 25 at 11 p. m. it moves with the army on the last grand flank movement of Major-General Sh: rman, by which the city of Atlanta fell into Federal hands. I was detailed as corps officer of the day, and to me was committed  the difficult and important task of drawing in the pickets of the corps and covering the movement, a duty which I accomplished without the loss of a single man. The regiment, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Kilgour, was put on picket on the morning of the 26th and covered the movement of troops south from the suburbs of the city on that morning. Shortly after daylight the regiment while on picket was opened on by heavy artillery from a fort on the southwest side of the city, and soon after the enemy appeared in sight, moving out to the attack in line of battle, with skirmishers in advance, driving before them the Eighty-first Indiana Volunteers, who were also on picket deployed on our right. The Seventy-fifth Illinois Volunteers was immediately moved to the support of the Eighty-first Indiana Volunteers and held the rebels in check until a regiment of the First Brigade (the Thirty-eighth Illinois) came to our assistance, when the enemy was driven from the field toward the city in confusion. In this skirmish we captured 1 prisoner, killed 2, and wounded 2 of the enemy. Maj. James A. Watson, Seventy-fifth Illinois Volunteers, rendered efficient services in this affair. This regiment continued with the brigade until the 28th, when we formed line of battle and took position on the Atlanta and Montgomery Railroad, which, on the morning of the 29th, we proceeded to destroy. Three regiments were placed under my command, to wit, Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers and Thirty-first Regiment Indiana Volunteers, for the execution of the work, and the Seventy-fifth Illinois Volunteers, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Kilgour, performing their portion of the work to the satisfaction of their division commander. On the 30th moved with the brigade, the Seventy-fifth Illinois in the advance of the whole division, to the junction of the dirt road to East Point, where the regiment was placed on picket and to act as rear guard to the division after it had passed that point. On August 31 moved with the column till 10 a. m., when the enemy were discovered in front, when we formed line, and after a sharp skirmish the enemy were driven from their works, and the column moved on in the direction of the Macon and Atlanta Railroad. September 1, at 1 a. m. the regiment moved to the left of the corps under orders from the brigade commander. I was also ordered to take charge of the pioneers of the division, and proceed to tear up and destroy the Macon and Atlanta Railroad, which was accomplished in the most thorough manner. Continued to move south on the railroad, destroying it as we moved, till 4 p. m., when we formed line on the left of the Fourteenth Army Corps, at Jonesborough. We advanced under a sharp fire of artillery and musketry, driving the enemy till dark, losing 1 wounded, shot through the lung. During the night the enemy evacuated Jonesborough. On the morning of the 2d moved south and found the enemy in position in force at Lovejoy's Station; formed line and moved into action at 3 p. m. We steadily advanced in line of battle, driving the enemy three-quarters of a mile, till within reach of their works. I was then ordered to form my regiment to move across an open field and take a hill or eminence from the enemy, which was the key to their position and which commanded the enemy's main line of works. This movement was executed under the eyes of both brigade (General Grose) and division (General Kimball) commanders, and was performed under a most terrific fire of artillery and musketry, the regiment moving with precision and alacritv leaving none behind,  except the dead and wounded. The hill was gallantly carried and firmly held, as well as the first line of the enemy's works, capturing nearly the whole force of their skirmishers in front of the regiment. The skirmishers under Lieutenant Blodgett, Company E, performed well their part. Two men of this force, Draper S. Angell, Company H, and John Nass, Company E, capturing and taking to the rear 8 prisoners. We held this position till 7 a. m. on the morning of the 3d, when we were relieved by the Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers. On the 4th moved to Jonesborough, on the 6th to Cedar Bluffs, and on the 7th to our present camp on the Decatur railroad east of the city of Atlanta. During this long, wearisome campaign the officers and men were ever eager to obey all orders of their superior officers, doing their full duty at all times as patriot soldiers. Not an exception can be mentioned. In the death of Capt. Robert Hale, Company I, the regiment has lost one of its best officers, the country a valiant and patriotic soldier. He was respected and beloved by all who knew him, brave and fearless. He was wounded at Fort Donelson, again twice at Stone's River, and received his mortal wound on the 4th of July. He died as he had lived, a Christian soldier and a gentleman. Herewith I inclose a list of the casualties during the campaign, which is as follows: Commissioned officers-killed, I; wounded, 4. Enlisted men-killed, 11; wounded, 59 ; total, 75. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
John E. Bennett, Colonel, Commanding Seventy-fifth Illinois Vols. Capt. H. W. Lawton
, Actg. Asst. Insp. Gen., 3d Brig., 1st Div., 4th Army Corps.
, Actg. Asst. Insp. Gen., 3d Brig., 1st Div., 4th Army Corps.