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No. 34. report of Col. Emerson Opdycke, one hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio Infantry, commanding First brigade, of operations August 6-September 8.

Hdqrs. First Brig., Second Div., 4TH Army Corps, Atlanta, Ga., September 10, 1864.
Captain: I respectfully make the following report of the operations of this brigade from August 6, 1864, when, in obedience to division orders, I assumed command, to the capture of Atlanta:

I found the brigade composed of the Eighty-eighth Illinois, Major Smith; Seventy-fourth Illinois, Captain Bryan; Seventy-third Illinois, Major Motherspaw; Forty-fourth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Russell; Thirty-sixth Illinois, Captain McNeal; Twenty-fourth Wisconsin, Major MacArthur; Fifteenth Missouri, Colonel Conrad, all aggregating an effective force of 1,143 officers and men. It was the extreme left of the infantry forces and but a few rods from the Howard house. The First Brigade of First Division was to my right and Colonel Minty's brigade of cavalry to my left. My pickets occupied the old works, where the Fifteenth Corps fought in the engagement of the 22d of July.

At 5 ). m. August 6 I was ordered to make a demonstration toward Atlanta, with a re-enforced skirmish line. The demonstration was continued till dusk, when the original status was resumed without casualty. August 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11, nothing but the ordinary picket duty was required of this brigade. 12th, at 11 a. m. made a reconnaissance to the front with two of my regiments and two of the First Division. Drove back the rebel pickets and got a good view of their main works on the Decatur road. Lost 1 man killed. Returned by 2 p. m. 13th and 14th, all quiet in my command. [310] 15th, the cavalry left and my lines were extended to the left. 16th, at 8.20 p. m. received orders to move a thousand yards to the left; the movement was effected at once. 17th, ordered ready to move with great secrecy to-morrow at dusk. 18th, had fires built to my left to the extent of another brigade to induce the enemy to believe we were developing our left. Orders to move suspended. 19th, the brigade on my left, Colonel Kirby's, moved to the front to make a demonstration and my command was deployed into a single rank to hold the works in part thus vacated. Resumed old position in evening. 20th, General Grose made a reconnaissance and two of my regiments supported him; back by 10.30 a. m. 21st. 22d, and 23d, were quiet; only continued the fires on my left. 24th, received orders to move at night-fall to-morrow with sixty rounds of ammunition to each man, and the strictest secrecy to be observed. 25th, at 6.45 p. m. my brigade commenced the movement; arrived at division headquarters at 7.45 p. m., and there awaited the passing of the First and Third Divisions. Resumed the march at 12 at night on the Buck Head road for some distance, then turned to the left, and at 4 o'clock night bivouacked near Proctor's Creek. 26th, the rebel skirmishers advanced toward us in early a. m. Took defensive position, my brigade on the left, General Bradley on my right. The enemy shelled my left, but did no harm. We soon moved toward the Sandtown road. Crossed Proctor's Creek rapidly, my brigade leading, and were soon in rear of the Twenty-third Corps. Bridged and crossed Utoy Creek, the banks of which were full from recent rains, and bivouacked in battle order some distance from the other brigades of the division and in a strong position. 27th, moved at about 3 p. m., my brigade in rear of the train. Got into a strong position after dark and put up works, General Wagner's brigade on my left and the Fifteenth Army Corps on my right. 28th, did not get thoroughly on the road till 4 p. m.; moved slowly on, the Fourteenth Army Corps leading; bivouacked after dark in two lines. 29th, took up defensive position in early a. m., General Wagner on my right and General Bradley on my left. Threw up breast-works. Ordered ready to move at 6 a. m. to-morrow. 30th, marched at 6 a. m., my brigade leading. Soon found a few cavalry; took 2 and killed another. Enemy made quite a sharp stand near the Widow Long's and another at Mann's house. The Eighty-eighth Illinois, Major Smith, and the Thirty-sixth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Olson commanding, charged and drove them out of rail barricades in a handsome manner. We put up works at this house and bivouacked for the night, some of Third Brigade on my right and some of it on my left. 31st, the Twenty-third Corps came up in late morning, and at 10.30 a. m. we all advanced toward the Macon railroad. Soon crossed the headwaters of Flint River, and at dusk bivouacked in line of battle and put up defensive works.

September 1, marched at 10.30 a. m., and soon came to the railroad, which we destroyed as we moved toward Jonesborough. When near the town and late in the p. m. I was ordered by General Newton to form in three lines and arrest the enemy, if possible. I was to guide right upon the Second Brigade, the Third Brigade to my left. The Seventy-fourth Illinois, Captain Bryan, was deployed as skirmishers, with orders to connect with General Wagner's left; and the Seventy-third Illinois, Major Motherspaw, was out as flankers. The brigades formed and moved forward successively as each came up from marching by the flank, which put us in echelon, and I had to [311] protect my flank until General Bradley came up. The Forty-fourth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Russell, and the Twenty-fourth Wisconsin, Major MacArthur, formed the first line, the Forty-fourth on the right. The Eighty-eighth Illinois, Major Smith, and the Thirtysixth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Olson, formed the second line, the Eighty-eighth on the right. The Fifteenth Missouri, Colonel Conrad, was opposite the interval between the regiments of the second line. Each line was about 300 yards in rear of the one in front of it, all facing east. I then moved forward by the right of companies and soon came up with the Second Brigade in a dense growth of small pines, and it was very difficult to ride through it; but the troops, to my astonishment and admiration, came out of it and into complete order in a large field, the far side of which was lined by another woods. The enemy occupied this place in too strong a force for the skirmishers to dislodge them. I then ordered the first line to charge and take the woods. They responded gallantly, and soon were sole possessors of the position. This thicket was narrow, and then came another large field and woods beyond, which gave cover to the enemy. It was quite dark, but the men were keen to push on. I ordered the Fifteenth Missouri, Colonel Conrad, to deploy as a heavy skirmish line and rush across this field and drive the enemy from his position. The colonel displayed high qualities as a brave officer, but I had to send forward the first line to charge before the work was accomplished. This was done to my entire satisfaction. and the second line occupied the position just left by the first, and threw up rail barricades. My skirmish line advanced and passed a rebel hospital, in which was a number of their wounded, and it was too dark for further operations. It was so dark that about 13 of my skirmishers got detached from the line and were taken by the enemy. A much larger number of theirs got into my lines and were captured. We threw up works and lay upon our arms, facing south, till morning. I lost a number of men killed and wounded. September 2, the enemy retreated last night and we pursued. About 9 a. m. passed through Jonesborough, my brigade leading, and down the left side of and on the railroad about four miles, where we found the enemy in a strong position, with earth-works, head-logs, and batteries. I formed in three lines, threw forward a heavy skirmish line, and, with my right hugging the railroad, advanced briskly and drove the enemy's skirmish line and came under the fire of his main works. The Fifteenth Corps was on my right, the Third Brigade on my left. My first line advanced until it was flanked by the enemy on the right of the railroad embankment, which he used as a cover to enfilade my line. My skirmishers were 100 yards farther to the front. The assault on our left having failed, we were ordered back after dark to good positions, where we threw up works and rested one night. 3d and 4th, were quiet, except heavy picket-firing. 5th, at 8 p. m. we retired to Jonesborough, my brigade leading, and occupied the same position we left on the morning of the 2d. 6th, we strengthened and rectified our lines. 7th, marched at 7 a. m. for Atlanta, where we arrived at noon of the 8th. Passed through the city and camped in its eastern suburbs and near the Howard house.

I desire to record my admiration of the fearless and intelligent performance of duty to our holy cause by my regimental commanders. Lieutenant Jackson, acting assistant adjutant-general, deserves official mention for devotion, efficiency, and gallantry. Lieutenant Thomson was efficient with the pioneers. [312]

My losses were: Killed, 1 officer and 7 men; wounded, 4 officers and 29 men; missing, 2 men; prisoners, 1 officer and 13 men; aggregate, 57.

We captured 33 prisoners, one of them a surgeon.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Emerson Opdycke, Colonel, Commanding. Capt. George Lee
, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Division, Fourth Army Corps.


Hdqrs. First Brig., Second Div., 4TH Army Corps, hNear Atlanta, Ga., September 9, 1864.
Captain: I have the honor to report the following statement of casualties for the month of August, 1864:


Received during the month 15 rebel deserters.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. C. McMURTRY, Lieutenant and Provost-Marshal.

Hdqrs. First Brig., Second Div., 4TH Army Corps, Near Atlanta, Ga., September 9, 1864.
Captain: I have the honor to report the following statement of casualties for the first six days of September, 1864:


Received during the six days in September of rebel prisoners officers, 1; men, 17.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. C. McMURTRY, Lieutenant and Provost-Marshal.

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