No. 46. report of Brig. Gen. Luther P. Bradley, U. S. Army, commanding Third brigade.
Hdqrs. Third Brig., Second DIv., 4TH Army Corps, Near Atlanta, Ga., September 12, 1864.Captain: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Third Brigade during the recent campaign from the 3d of May to the 8th of September, 1864, inclusive. The report is incomplete in many respects, as I have not kept the run of the operations of the entire brigade for the whole campaign, having been in command since the 27th of June: The brigade-composed of the Twenty-second, Twenty-seventh, Fifty-first, and Seventy-ninth Illinois Infantry, and the Sixty-fourth and One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio Infantry, and the Third Kentucky Infantry, numbering about 2,000 muskets, under the command of Brig. Gen. C. G. Harker-left Cleveland, Tenn., with the division at 1 p. m. May 3, 1864, marched to Red Clay, ten miles, and camped. We broke camp at 6 a. in. of the 4th, marched about twelve miles, halted at 3 p. m., and went into camp about dark near Catoosa Springs. On the morning of the 5th instant we adjusted our lines and built a strong line of earth-works. The Forty-second Illinois Infantry and Sixty-fifth Ohio Infantry joined the brigade on return from veteran furlough on the 6th instant, and we remained in the same position until the morning of the 7th instant, when we marched for Tunnel Hill, reaching camp near that place about 3 p. m. The brigade numbered to-day 2,325 muskets. On the morning of the 8th we marched at 6 a. m., and halted about one and a half miles out, near the mountain named as Rocky Face. General Harker directed Colonel Opdycke, One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio Infantry, to scale the side of the mountain and try and effect a lodgment on the ridge, supposed to be in possession of the enemy. Colonel Opdycke carried the ridge very handsomely, after an hour or two of severe skirmishing, and drove the enemy half a mile along the ridge into his defenses, which were too strong to be carried. The Sixty-fifth Ohio ascended the mountain with the One hundred  and twenty-fifth Ohio as a support, and the Fifteenth Wisconsin, of General Willich's brigade, was sent up after we had carried the ridge and were put into position by Colonel Opdycke to protect his flank. At noon the brigade moved on the mountain and relieved the regiments occupying it. On the 9th the brigade was under arms at 4 a. m. and skirmishing briskly. We brought up two 3-inch rifle guns, the men dragging them up the mountain, and opened upon the enemy's fort, but their sharpshooters prevented their being worked with any effect. Heavy skirmishing continued all day. At 5 p. m. an assault was ordered, the regiments engaged being the Third Kentucky Infantry, Sixty-fourth and One hundred and Twentyfifth Ohio Infantry, and Twenty-seventh and Seventy-ninth Illinois Infantry. After a severe struggle they were repulsed with heavy loss. At dark the brigade was relieved by General Wagner's brigade, and retired about half a mile, where it bivouacked. We lay in the same position during the 10th and 11th. The Twenty-second Illinois, which was detailed at Cleveland as train guard, rejoined the brigade to-day. On the morning of the 12th moved off the ridge with division and marched to the left to occupy a pass from which the Twenty-third Corps had retired, formed, and went into camp. About noon threw up works, expecting an attack; lay under arms all day, and camped at dark. Marched for Dalton early on the morning of the 13th, the enemy having evacuated in the night. Halted at Dalton an hour at noon, and marched about eight miles in afternoon and camped. May 14, marched at 5.30 a. m.; halted at 9 and formed in line of battle; brigade in reserve; moved to the front and left, and about 5 p. m. were ordered to relieve a portion of the Twenty-third Corps, then engaged in front. Advanced in two lines, coming under fire of the enemy's guns several hundred yards before going into action, and suffered severely. We relieved a brigade of Cox's division, and immediately became hotly engaged. General Harker was severely wounded soon after going in, and turned over the brigade to me. I directed Colonel Opdycke to take charge of the front line, and he put his own regiment into action, very gallantly going over the breast-works to a rise of ground nearer the enemy, and getting severely wounded, obliging him to retire from the field. We held the position until 5 p. m., our ammunition being exhausted, even that in the boxes of the dead and wounded, when we were relieved by Sherman's brigade, and went to the rear to replenish ammunition. At dark we took up position on the ridge, in rear of the battle-ground, and camped. On the morning of the 15th instant we changed our lines to connect with General Wood's line, and fortified. May 16, advanced at 6 a. m. and took possession of the enemy's works, and at 8 a. m. marched for Resaca. Reached there at 10 a. m., and halted three hours to repair the bridge over the Oostenaula, partially burned by the enemy. Continued the march in afternoon with heavy skirmishing, having the Twentyseventh and Forty-second Illinois in the skirmish line, supported by Third Kentucky and Sixty-fourth Ohio. Reached Calhoun at 6 p. m. and camped. Marched at 6 a. m. of the 17th and reached neighborhood of Adairsville at 4 p. m., formed line of battle on left of division, and bivouacked in same order at dark. Left camp at 6 a. m. of the 18th instant in advance, the Twenty-second Illinois as skirmishers. Reached Adairsville at 10 a. m., and halted until noon. Marched down the railroad about six miles and camped. May 19,  marched at 7 a. m. and reached Kingston at noon. Halted two hours, when we marched out and formed line of battle on a range of hills looking south. Moved from here about 4 p. m. and formed about two miles from town, where we camped. On the 20th we moved back to the mill on Movine Creek and camped, remaining here until 1 p. m. of the 23d, when we marched south, crossing the Etowah at dark, and camping about six miles south of the river late in the night. May 24, marched seven miles and camped on Raccoon Creek. Left camp at 8 a. m. on the 25th and reached the crossing at Pumpkin Vine Creek at 4 p. m. Advanced to the support of the Twentieth Corps, which was engaged with the enemy. Formed line of battle and advanced half a mile, then moved in column to position on left of Twentieth Corps, near New Hope Church, and bivouacked. At daybreak of the 26th we adjusted our lines, and after driving back the enemy's skirmishers, advanced the lines and built two lines of strong breast-works. From this date to the 5th of June we occupied this position, with some immaterial changes, being constantly engaged in heavy skirmishing and sham attacks. The enemy having evacuated the position at New Hope, we moved on the 6th to within two miles of Acworth and camped, remaining until the morning of the 10th, when the brigade moved with the division in the direction of Lost Mountain, and after halting through the afternoon, formed on the right of the Fourteenth Corps and fortified. The Twenty-second Illinois Infantry left for the rear to-day to be mustered out of service. On the 11th instant we moved two miles to the left and formed on the right of Baird's division, Fourteenth Corps, and fortified, and the 12th, 13th, and 14th were passed in skirmishing. On the 15th we marched at 8 a. m., and halted some hours near Pine Mountain. At 2 p. m. formed with the division in column of attack, expecting to assault the enemy's works, some distance in front. I was ordered by General Newton to form a strong skirmish line, advance, and develop the enemy's line. The Forty-second Illinois Infantry and Fifty-first Illinois Infantry were put on the skirmish line, with the Third Kentucky in support. This work was done very successfully, capturing 2 very strong lines of rifle-pits, and driving the enemy inside the main works. The brigade camped within half a mile of the enemy's works, and fortified. On the 16th that part of the brigade on the front line was relieved by regiments of the First Brigade, and moved a short distance to the left, where it rested for the day. June 17, advanced and occupied the enemy's works at 8 a. m.; camped, and afterward moved forward a mile with sharp skirmishing; formed line of battle and bivouacked. On the morning of the 18th moved out in line of battle and crossed Mud Creek in a very severe storm; heavy skirmishing in front by Second Brigade. Relieved Second Brigade, occupied a line of rebel works, and had heavy skirmishing all'day. June 19, advanced at 8 a. m., the enemy having left his works; formed line of battle about one mile out, and changed position from one to another until 3 p. m., when we formed in front of Little Kenesaw. On the 20th we adjusted our lines and fortified; had heavy skirmishing all day, and suffered from the fire of the enemy's batteries; at dark were relieved by Carlin's brigade, Fourteenth Corps, and retired about a mile to the rear, where we bivouacked. June 21, marched at 5 a. m. one and a half miles to the right and relieved a brigade of the Twentieth Corps; advanced the lines at 2 p. m., Third Kentucky skirmishing,. and took up new  lines near the enemy and fortified. From the 21st to the 27th we occupied this position, having constant skirmishing and losing heavily. On the morning of the 27th the brigade moved out at 6 a. m. and formed in column of attack in front of Stanley's division; between 9 and 10 were ordered forward to assault and carry the enemy's works in our front. The brigade advanced steadily and attacked with spirit, but found the works too strong for them. After a short and sharp fight, and the loss of a large number of officers and men, the brigade was retired by me, bringing off most of our wounded. General Harker, the very gallant commander of the brigade, was shot in the endeavor to carry the men up to a second charge. The brigade retired to its position behind the works, where it remained without material change until July 2, when we moved 500 yards to the left and occupied the ground vacated by one of General Wood's brigades. On the morning of July 3 advanced the skirmish line at daybreak, and took possession of the enemy's works, which we found deserted. At 7 a. m. marched for Marietta, and after a short halt, then continued the march about six miles, camping in front of a new line occupied by the enemy. July 4, we moved out about 9 a. m., and took possession, after considerable skirmishing, and commenced fortifying. Discovered signs of the enemy withdrawing in the night; we advanced the picket at daylight in the morning, and found the works deserted. Marched at 8 a. m. of the 5th and took the line of railroad, following Vood's division. The enemy crossed the Chattahoochee, and we camped near Vining's Station, where we lay until the morning of the 7th, when we moved two miles to the left and camped. On the 9th marched at 6 a. m.. in advance of the division, fourteen miles to Roswell : after a short halt forded the Chattahoochee River and relieved Minty's brigade of cavalry. Next day, 10th, formed connection with the First Brigade and fortified. Were relieved this p. in. by a brigade of the Sixteenth Corps, and on the 11th crossed the Chattahoochee and camped. July 12, returned to old camp near Powers' Ferry, and on the morning of 13th crossed the river at Powers' Ferry and camped about three miles out, putting brigade in position in two lines and constructing works. From this time to the 18th remained in this position, sending regiments to the river every day for fatigue duty. On the morning of the 18th marched at 6 a. m. on the Atlanta road, having the advance of the corps; met a brigade of rebel cavalry with four pieces of artillery, on the road, and skirmished all day. Colonel Opdycke, with the Sixty-fifth and One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio and Third Kentucky, drove them all day, crossing Nancy's Creek under fire, and pressing them back to Buck Head, where we went into camp. July 19, sent out Sixty-fourth Ohio and Seventyninth Illinois to picket roads, and marched about dark, and camped on Peach Tree Creek. On the morning of the 20th we moved at 6 a. m. and crossed two regiments over the creek, relieving a part of Hazen's brigade, and occupying their works. About noon crossed over the balance of the brigade, and at 2 p. m. advanced, following the First and Second Brigades on the Atlanta road, where they formed across the road about half a mile from the creek. My brigade was massed in column of regiments in rear of Kimball'sbrigade, the men resting. About 3 p. m. the enemy made a furious attack on the front and left flank of the division. I formed immediately and sent three regiments to re-enforce the front line, one to General Kimball and two to Colonel Blake, directing Colonel Opdycke, with the  remaining four regiments of the brigade, to move into the timber on the east side of the road and protect the left flank. Returning from the front line soon after I found the enemy working around to our left, and immediately withdrew Colonel Opdycke and formed on the Atlanta road, facing east. We had a sharp fight here of half an hour's duration, and successfully repulsed the attack on our part of the line. The Twenty-seventh Illinois, which had been sent to the First Brigade, and the Forty-second and Fifty-first Illinois sent to the Second Brigade, remained with those brigades until next day and did good service. We remained in position until the morning of the 22d, when we advanced toward Atlanta, and came on to the enemy's works on the north side of the city, formed line of battle, and made breast-works of rails. In the p. m. I was ordered by the general commanding to occupy a high ridge on the right of the road and fortify. We took position connecting with the Twentieth Corps on the right, and commenced building a strong line of works; we were under a heavy fire of artillery from the enemy's forts all day. From this time to the 25th of August we were confronting the enemy in his works, strengthening our own defenses, and having frequent demonstrations on the lines. At midnight of August 25 the brigade marched out with sixty rounds of cartridges and three days rations, moving to the rear and right, being on the left of the corps. The Twenty-seventh Illinois went to the rear to-day to be mustered out of service. After a tedious night's march, we halted about daybreak for breakfast. Formed line of battle at 8 a. m. and commenced fortifying. Moved to the right soon after; marched eight miles and camped on Utoy Creek. August 27, marched at 2 p. m. as rear guard, made about five miles and crossed Camp Creek, going into position on right of General Wood's division; occupied two hills in advance of the line and fortified. Marched at 4 p. m. of 28th about four miles, and camped near Montgomery railroad. On the 29th advanced our lines about half a mile and fortified. August 30, marched at 6 a. m. and crossed the Montgomery railroad near Red Oak. Moved east about six miles and formed line of battle on left of Kimball's division. On the 31st advanced several miles toward Macon railroad, formed line, and fortified three times. About dark [took] position on right of Grose's brigade, and camped. September 1, marched at 7 a. m. and struck Macon railroad near Battle Station; commenced tearing up track and burning rails. Continued at this until afternoon. At 4 p. m. moved on toward Jonesborough, and at 6 p. m. took position on the left of the division, forming in three lines; in accordance with instructions from the general commanding, advanced, and made connection with First Brigade. Just before dark I was ordered to move forward to attack, keeping connection with Colonel Opdycke. Advanced about onequarter mile my front line, capturing a rebel hospital, with 2 surgeons, and about 150 wounded. It being now dark, I was ordered to halt and fortify. Moved up the rear line to supporting distance, and fortified. On the morning of the 2d went into Jonesborough and halted until 10 a. m., when we marched south, striking the railroad a few miles out, and following until afternoon, when we came on the enemy strongly fortified near Lovejoy's; formed line of battle on left of First Brigade, and advanced half a mile. At 5 p. m. the general commanding ordered me to advance to the attack, in connection with the First, Brigade, and to go forward till I could go no farther. I advanced,  with General Wagner on my left, passed General Wood's line, but, ,as the First Brigade did not come up on the right, and as General Wood did not advance, I did not think it prudent to go farther. September 3, changed position to connect with First Brigade, and fortified. Third Kentucky left for the rear to-day to be mustered out of service. Remained in same position until the night of the 5th, when we withdrew at 8 p. m., and retired to Jonesborough, camping soon after midnight. Left position near Jonesborough on the morning of the 7th and marched ten miles, camping near Rough and Ready. September 8, marched to Atlanta, and camped two miles east of the town. The total loss of the brigade during the campaign is 1,040, as per the accompanying report. I regret that I cannot give the losses by date, but I have no record of those details. The brigade has captured and turned over 148 prisoners during the campaign. I cannot close this report without paying a word of tribute to the memory of the late gallant General Harker, who commanded the brigade for the first half of the campaign, and who fell in trying to retrieve one of its disasters. No more gallant soldier has fallen in the war. Conspicuous for gentleness and generosity as well as courage, he won the confidence and respect of all who knew him, and was everywhere recognized as a true gentleman and soldier. I desire to return my thanks to the officers of the brigade for their ready and cheerful performance of duty during the late arduous campaign, and especially to Colonel Opdycke, of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio, for the very gallant and skillful manner in which he has performed the various duties devolving upon him since the opening of the campaign. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. P. Bradley, Brigadier-General, Commanding. Capt. George Lee
, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Div., Fourth Army Corps.
, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Div., Fourth Army Corps.
Hdqrs. Third Brig., Second Div., 4TH Army Corps, Near Atlanta, Ga., September 13, 1864.