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No. 54. report of Col. Charles T. Hotchkiss, Eighty-ninth illinois Infantry, commanding First brigade.

Hdqrs. First Brig., Third Div., Fourth Corps, Near Atlanta, Ga., September 10, 1864.
In obedience to orders, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this brigade in the late campaign, commencing at McDonald's Station, near Chattanooga, Tenn.,on the 3d day of May, and ending at Lovejoy's Station, twenty-eight miles south of Atlanta, Ga., on the evening of the 4th instant, embracing a period of 123 days, and resulting in the constant defeat and pressing back of the rebel army-first under General J. E. Johnston, then General Hood--from Tunnel Hill, a distance of 150 miles, and the occupation of Atlanta, with the intervening country, by the U. S. forces:

This brigade at 12 m. on the 3d day of May moved with the division, on a road leading through Catoosa Springs, to Tunnel Hill, which point was reached about 12 m. of May 6, where the enemy was [390] met in force, occupying a strong position on and about Rocky Face Ridge. On the morning of May 7 the brigade was put in position about 300 yards to the left of the railroad and formed in two lines, with the Fifteenth Wisconsin Infantry deployed as skirmishers. The brigade was then moved forward down the hill across an open field and into the woods close to the foot of the ridge, the skirmishers meeting with stubborn resistance, but steadily pressing forward close up to the palisades of granite on our right (from twenty to fifty feet in height), which formation is peculiar to and forms the crown of this ridge, the left of the line carrying and overlapping the crest of the ridge, which position was held under a heavy fire from the enemy until relieved an hour later by troops from Harker's brigade, of General Newton's division. Our line having been established along the northern slope of the ridge, the left rested on the crest of the same and connected with General Hazen's (Second) brigade on the right. It being impossible on account of the peculiar formation of the ridge, as before stated, to carry the same by assault, this position was maintained, we simply engaging the enemy on the crest of the ridge with our skirmishers, with no particular movements of the troops from their first position, until the evening of the 11th, when, leaving the Forty-ninth Ohio on the skirmish line, the brigade was moved with the division to the left about one mile and a half, and put into position on the left of General Newton's (Second) division, to meet a reported movement of the enemy in force in that direction, where we remained until the morning of the 12th, when it was found the enemy had the night before evacuated his position in and about Rocky Face Ridge and Dalton. The casualties at this point were: Killed, 5; wounded, 33; total, 38.

On the morning of the 13th the brigade, with the division, followed the enemy, passing through Dalton and moving on a road to the left and parallel to the railroad. On the 14th, the enemy having been found in force and intrenched at Resaca, covering the railroad crossing of the Oostenaula River, this brigade, about 11 a. m., was put into position on the left of General Newton's division, being formed with the Forty-ninth Ohio on the right and the Fifteenth Ohio on the left of the front line, the Thirty-second Indiana and. Eighty-ninth Illinois, in line of battle, forming the second line, and the Thirty-fifth Illinois and Fifteenth Wisconsin, in double column closed in mass, in the third line, with two companies from each of the two leading regiments deployed as skirmishers, connecting on the right with Colonel Sherman's brigade, of General Newton's division, and on the left with General Hazen's brigade. The brigade moved forward over very broken country, covered with a dense and almost impenetrable undergrowth. After advancing about 600 yards, the enemy's skirmishers were encountered, driven in a gallant manner, and pressed back with such vigor that they were unable to offer serious resistance or rally until within their main line of works, our skirmishers (about 1 p. m.) gaining and holding a commanding position on the crest of a ridge between their rifle-pits (or first line) and main line of works β€” about 200 yards from the latter. The Forty-ninth Ohio was at once thrown forward to this ridge, and with their musketry fire silenced a battery of the enemy in their immediate front, holding the same until dark, when a strong parapet was built. The original front of the brigade having been reduced by the converging of the different columns moving into position, the Fifteenth Wisconsin and Fifteenth Ohio were successively sent [391] to the right to relieve a portion of Colonel Sherman's brigade, which was occupying a part of the enemy's first line of works, which had been previously carried by the Twenty-third Corps. About 4 p. m. the Eighty-ninth Illinois was thrown forward to relieve a portion of this line, which position it held until dark, when the left of the regiment was thrown forward into closer connection with the right of the Thirty-fifth Illinois Infantry (which had been put in position on the right of the Forty-ninth Ohio) and strongly intrenched themselves on the line thus established. We engaged the enemy with a brisk musketry fire and succeeded not only in silencing his battery, but in completely commanding his works in our front. About 11 p. m. of the 15th the enemy made a vigorous but ineffectual charge upon our position, which we repulsed with great loss to him and but trifling damage to us. The same night the entire rebel army evacuated its position, crossing the Oostenaula River and retreating toward Kingston. On the afternoon of the 15th Brig. Gen. A. Willich, commanding this brigade, while observing the enemy from the parapet of the Thirty-fifth Illinois, was severely wounded in the arm and side by a rebel sharpshooter, and the command of the brigade was assumed by Col. William H. Gibson, Forty-ninth Ohio Veteran Volunteers. Our casualties at this point were: Killed, 15; wounded, 72; total, 87.

On the 16th about 9 a. m. this brigade, leading the division, followed the enemy, passing through his abandoned works, crossing the Oostenaula River on the wagon bridge at Resaca Station, moving south along and on the line of the railroad, passing through Calhoun toward Adairsville, where, on the evening of the 17th, the enemy was met in considerable force, this brigade being put in position on the right of the railroad, its right resting on the same and connecting on the left with General Hazen's brigade, to meet a threatened flank movement of the enemy, but did not become engaged, the enemy having fallen back during the night. The brigade continued its march with the division along the line of the railroad, passing through Adairsville on the 18th and Kingston on the 19th, to a point about one mile from Cassville, when the enemy was met in force. This brigade, being reserve for the division, was moved to different points that were threatened, but did not become engaged. The enemy having fallen back from this position on the night of the 19th, the troops remained in camp, taking rest and receiving necessary supplies, until the afternoon of the 23d, when, with twenty days rations in the supply train, it moved with the division and the entire army to the right, with a view to turning the enemy's position in the Allatoona Mountain, where he was strongly fortified. Moving nearly due west about seven miles, and crossing the Etowah River at Gillem's Bridge, thence moving on blind roads and over a broken country in a southerly direction toward. Dallas, Ga., crossing Euharlee Creek on the 23d and Pumpkin Vine Creek on the 25th, where heavy firing at the front was heard, caused by the enemy having hastily abandoned his position at Allatoona Pass and by a hurried march thrown himself near Dallas upon the advance of General Hooker's corps (the Twentieth), which was the leading column on this road, our troops were pressed forward as rapidly as possible, the road being partially obstructed by the troops of the Twentieth Corps, until 9 p. m., when this brigade bivouacked on either side of the road, being within less than a mile of the enemy's works, the men suffering from a drenching rain, which commenced falling about night-fall. May [392] 26, the brigade moved at 4 a. m. to the front, and was put into position on the left of General Newton's division and formed two lines, connected on the right with Harker's brigade, our left refused, and covered to a considerable distance with skirmishers, the front being nearly due east. In this position hasty but sufficient barricades were thrown up. The Thirty-second Indiana being deployed as skirmishers, about 9 a. m. became smartly engaged, and, in obedience to orders, advanced their left, making a wheel to the right of their entire line, routing in a handsome manner the enemy's skirmishers and supports, and pressing them with great vigor back close to their main line of works, the left of the line crossing and overlapping Creek, ultimately halting on the crest of a ridge at the edge of an open field and within 300 yards of the enemy's works. The brigade at the same time moved in its first formation in close supporting distance on the line thus established, fronting a little east of south, and under a heavy fire strong barricades were thrown up, the creek bridged for the passage of artillery, and possession was taken of the commanding crests secured by this advance. The fire of the thus advanced artillery relieved the front of General Hazen, and his brigade moved into position, connecting with our left at the creek. This movement secured also for two batteries the commanding position in which our first line had been formed. This division having been selected to develop the enemy to the left of the Twenty-third Corps, which was in position to the left and joining General Hazen, this brigade was relieved about 9 a. m. from our works, which we had constructed the day and night previous, by General Cruft's brigade, of General Stanley's division, of the Fourth Corps, and moved about one mile to the left, where it was formed in two lines in rear and support of General Hazen, with Knefler's brigade in rear of this, our formation being in two lines, with the Eighty-ninth Illinois on the right, Thirty-second Indiana on the left, and Fifteenth Wisconsin in the center of the first line; the Fifteenth Ohio on the right, the Forty-ninth Ohio on the left, and Thirty-fifth Illinois in the center of the second line. About 1 p. m. the brigade was put in motion, closely following Hazen's brigade. Moving to the left and front successively for a distance of about two and a half miles to a point near Pickett's Mills, we arrived there about 2.30 p. m., finding the enemy in considerable force, protected by barricades hastily but strongly built with logs on the crest of a considerable ridge and supported by artillery, planted so as to enfilade the approaches and ravines in his immediate front, over and through which a force attempting to dislodge him would have to pass. About 4 p. m. Hazen's brigade gallantly charged close up to the enemy's works, but being unable to carry them, in obedience to orders, the first line of this brigade, closely followed by the second line, moved forward in fine style and with its accustomed dash to his support, and we in turn by a portion of Knefler's brigade, but the enemy being unexpectedly found in force, comprising, according to his own statement, the veteran troops of both Cleburne's and Bate's divisions, it was impossible to dislodge him. Our troops, however, stubbornly maintained their position close up to his works, in some places we occupying one side of his barricade and he the other, giving a heavy and effective fire and receiving in return a heavy, direct, and enfilading musketry and artillery fire until dark, when our troops, under orders, fell back. This brigade being withdrawn, about 8 p. m. moved about 400 yards to the right, taking and strongly intrenching a position about 250 yards from the enemy's Nworks, connecting on the [393] right with Knefler's brigade and on the left with Hazen's brigade, our front being a little west of south. On account of the constant heavy and effective firing of the enemy we were unable to bury our dead or bring off all of our wounded, consequently the dead and part of our wounded fell into his hands, together with a considerable number of prisoners, who were endeavoring during the darkness of the night to remove our wounded. This position was substantially maintained, we engaging the enemy only with our skirmish line and artillery until the morning of June 5, when, the enemy having evacuated his position the night previous, we, at daybreak, occupied his works. Our casualties at this point, particularly on the 27th, were very large, being: Killed, 105; wounded, 484; missing, 114; total, 703.

On the morning of the 6th the brigade moved with the division in an easterly direction a distance of about nine miles to near New Hope Church, where we went into camp (the Twenty-fifth Illinois, Colonel Nodine, rejoining us that day), remaining there with no particular movement of the troops until the morning of the 10th. At an early hour that morning the brigade marched with the division, moving south toward Marietta, near which place the enemy had taken a strong position, with his right resting on Kenesaw Mountain, his center on Pine Mountain, and his left on Lost Mountain, his line thus formed running nearly due east and west, fronting north. This brigade, being in support of other troops, did not become engaged until near Pine Mountain, on the 14th, where, having taken position the night previous (being formed in two lines, the right connecting with General Wagner's brigade, of General Newton's division, of the Fourth Corps, and on the left with Colonel Este's brigade, of General Baird's division, of the Fourteenth Corps), with the Thirty-second Indiana Infantry covering our front as skirmishers, the brigade moved forward about 9 a. m., gradually obliquing to the left to keep our connection with Colonel Este's brigade. The enemy stubbornly resisted our advance, but we steadily pressed him back about three-fourths of a mile, where, striking his first line of works on Pine Mountain, we halted within 300 yards of the same and strongly intrenched the position thus obtained, our line facing south. The enemy having abandoned his line of works on Pine Mountain during the night of the 14th, we took possession of the same at daylight on the 15th. At 12 m. of the same day our front was relieved by the divisions of Generals Stanley and Newton, they taking the advance. They established their line that night in front of the enemy's second line of works, about one mile and a half due south from Pine Mountain. This brigade being formed with the division in rear of and supporting these divisions, we did not become engaged. The enemy having abandoned his second line of works during the night of the 16th, at an early hour on the morning of the 17th our division relieved the division of General Stanley, then in the advance. This brigade being formed in two lines, our right connected with Knefler's brigade, and our left with Wagner's brigade, of General Newton's division, with the Eighty-ninth Illinois covering our front asskirmishers, we moved slowly forward, the skirmishers immediately engaging those of the enemy, but steadily driving them back for about one mile, where their infantry was found in considerable force on the opposite side of an open field and protected by rifle-pits. Our artillery having vigorously shelled their position for about half an hour, the Eighty-ninth Illinois gallantly charged across the open field which was here about 200 yards wide, capturing their pits, with [394] some prisoners, and pressed them back to their main line of works. It now being dark, the troops were moved forward and our lines established within about 400 yards of the enemy's third line of works, when, during the night, our first line built strong barricades, this position being about one mile and a half from the enemy's second line of works. The picket-firing on both sides during the night was very sharp, but inflicted no serious damage to us. At 4 a. m. on the 18th, the Thirty-second Indiana Infantry being on the skirmish line, that regiment was advanced to within 200 yards of the enemy's works, which position was held, and during the day barricades were built for our skirmishers under a heavy fire from both his skirmishers and troops in his main line of works. The enemy again falling back during the night of the 18th, at daybreak of the 19th we occupied his works. Advancing our skirmishers some distance, we captured 80 prisoners, including 2 commissioned officers-one man (Private Peter Cnpp, H Company, of the Fifteenth Ohio) capturing alone and bringing in with their arms 17 men and 2 commissioned officers. At an early hour we were relieved by Generals Stanley's and Newton's divisions, the former taking the advance and establishing their lines that night in front of the enemy's fourth and last line of works, at the base of Kenesaw Mountain, the line thus established being a little south of west of Kenesaw, the general front being east and about two and a half miles from the enemy's third line of works at the point where we passed through in the morning. Our division being in reserve, the brigade did not become engaged during the day. At an early hour on the 20th this brigade relieved a brigade of the Twentieth Corps in the front line,. connecting our right with General Harker's brigade, of Stanley's [Newton's?] division. The enemy here occupied, protected by riflepits, the crest of a bald knob in our immediate front, about 250 yards from our main line of works, from which his fire did us considerable damage. About 2 p. m. the Fifteenth Ohio, at that time on the skirmish line, in obedience to orders, charged and gallantly carried the position, capturing some prisoners and losing 58 men killed and wounded. The Forty-ninth Ohio being immediately sent to their assistance, promptly formed on their right, and the two regiments advancing in concert drove the enemy into his main line of works, we at once establishing and strongly fortifying a line about 150 yards in advance of the bald knob, On the slope of a very considerable contiguous ridge, on the crest of which, and about 300 yards distant, was the enemy's main line of works. The capture of this knob by this brigade as a consequence relieved the front of the other divisions of the corps, enabling them to advance and establish their lines about 250 yards from the position assumed the night previous.

In this position the brigade (re-enforced on the 28th by the Eighth Kansas Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Col. John A. Martin) remained engaging the enemy only with skirmishers until the evening of July 2, when we moved with the division to the left to take the position of and relieve the Fifteenth Corps, this brigade relieving General Woods' brigade, of Osterhaus' division. The same night, the enemy having abandoned his position on and about Kenesaw Mountain and Marietta, at daylight on the 3d, our skirmishers occupied his works in our immediate front, and advancing as far as Marietta, secured 89 prisoners, including 3 commissioned officers. Our casualties during these operations about Kenesaw were: Killed, 35 wounded, 193; missing, 1; total, 229 [395]

July 3, about 9 a. m. we marched with the division, moving toward Marietta on a road to the right of the railroad, passing through and to the south of the same for about two miles, when we crossed the railroad, taking and continuing on a road to the left of and parallel with it, passing through a line of parapets, built but not used by the enemy, and camping that night near Neal Dow Station, about five miles south of Marietta. Our division being a reserve, we did not become engaged this day. The enemy being found in force here in a strongly fortified position, about 12 m. July 4 this brigade was moved forward and to the left a distance of about one mile, where we formed on the left of Knefler's brigade, covering our front with skirmishers, connecting them on the left with General Garrard's cavalry force, which was covering the left flank of the army. The position thus taken being the extreme left of the army, our line was refused to that of the main line, our front being southeast, the general front south. At 7 a. m. July 5 we marched with and in rear of the division in close pursuit of the enemy, passing through his, works, which he had abandoned the night previous, falling back to his fortifications at the Chattahoochee River, where the railroad crosses the same, we moving along the railroad to Vining's Station, where we turned directly to the left, going into camp on the bank of the Chattahoochee River at Pace's Ferry, and about half a mile from the railroad, the enemy in our front being on the opposite side of the river, and on our right in his fortifications on our side of the river, confronted by the other corps of our army. We remained in this position, simply picketing our front and flank, until 12 m. July 10, when we moved with the division about seven miles up the river, going into camp at Edwards Ferry, supporting the Twenty-third Corps, who were in position on the opposite (Atlanta) side of the river. July 12, we moved with the division, this brigade being in the advance, about three miles down the river, crossing the same on a pontoon bridge about 1 p. m., and going into position on the crest of a ridge one mile from the ferry on the left of General Stanley's division, where we built strong barricades and remained until 8 a. m. of the 13th, when we moved about one mile and a half to the right, taking position onthe crest of avery considerable ridge, our right nearly resting on the river, our left connected with General Hazen's brigade; this position we also barricaded and remained until the morning ,of July 18. July 17, without breaking up camp, this brigade (taking the advance) moved with the division to the right, crossing Nancy's Creek, and covered the crossing of the Fourteenth Corps over the Chattahoochee River at Pace's Ferry. This accomplished, we returned to camp about 6 p. m., having met with but little opposition and no loss and taking a few prisoners. July 18, at 8.30 a. m. the brigade marched out in rear of the division, which followed the division of General Newton on the Powers' Ferry and Atlanta road to Buck Head, a distance of about seven miles, where, at 4 p. m., we went into camp. At 6 a. m. on the 19th this brigade, following the brigade of Colonel Knefler, which led the advance of the division, moved on the same road to Peach Tree Creek, a distance of about two miles, when the enemy was found in considerable force on the opposite side, protected by a chain of rifle-pits and prepared to make a determined resistance to our crossing. The brigade was massed in the rear of and in support of Colonel Knefler's brigade, which was in position on the right of the road. Flankers from all the regiments were moved well out on our left and the Twenty-fifth [396] Illinois Infantry sent forward and deployed as skirmishers on the left of the road, connecting their right with those of Knefler's brigade, advancing with them. About 2 p. m. they succeeded in crossing the creek under a heavy fire from the enemy. About 3 p. m. the Eighty-ninth Illinois, supported by the Eighth Kansas, relieved the Twenty-fifth Illinois, and advancing drove the enemy from his riflepits on the left of the road, and established our line, with the left (Eighty-ninth), resting on the creek (where it makes a bend, running nearly north and south), and the right (Eighth Kansas), on the crest of the ridge, connecting at the road with Knefler, who had previously crossed his brigade, capturing the enemy's pits in his front, together with a number of prisoners. This position was at once barricaded under a sharp fire from the enemy and held until dark, when we were relieved by General Hazen's brigade and returned to our camp of the night previous at Buck Head. Our losses at this point were: Killed, 4; wounded, 9; total, 13.

At 6 a. m. July 20 we moved with the division to the left, crossing Peach Tree Creek at a point about two miles from the Powers' Ferry and Atlanta road, and relieved the division of General Stanley, which was in position on the south side of the creek, with his right resting near the same, our front being about south. Here we occupied an extended front, every regiment being in the first line, with considerable intervals between, and each covering its front with skirmishers, leaving a large interval between the divisions, occupied only with a skirmish line. The skirmish fire on either side was unusually light during the day, until between 4 and 5 p. m., when the enemy attacked with his whole force the troops on our right, including the division of General Newton, of the Fourth Corps (occupying a position near the one we had fortified), all of the Twentieth and part of the Fourteenth Corps, his attack not extending far enough to the left to press the skirmishers occupying the interval referred to, consequently not finding the weak place in our extended lines which he was evidently in search of; on the contrary, he was repulsed with great loss. The enemy having fallen back during the night, at 6 a. m. of the 21st our skirmish line was advanced through the enemy's works and closely followed by the brigade, moving in a southwesterly direction for a distance of about one mile, when the enemy was found strongly intrenched in a position about three-fourths of a mile from the Peach Tree road. Here we took position 800 yards from the enemy's works, on the crest of a considerable ridge, and built strong barricades, this brigade forming the right of the division. There being no connection on our right, our front was extended by putting all the regiments (except the Fifteenth Ohio) in one line, and deploying to the right all of the Thirty-second Indiana as skirmishers, and at 12 m. the Fifteenth Ohio was sent about one mile to the right to support Bridges' battery, which had taken a commanding position in an open field and within effective range of the enemy. In this day's operations we took 9 prisoners, but suffered no loss.

During the night of the 21st, the enemy having again fallen back, our skirmishers at daylight occupied his works, capturing 9 prisoners, and at 6 a. m. the brigade moved forward without opposition on road, passing through the enemy's works and striking the Peach Tree Creek road about three-fourths of a mile beyond, near which point the Thirty-second Indiana was deployed as skirmishers on either side of the road, along which we then advanced, meeting [397] with but feeble resistance, until arriving at-- house, when, at 8 a. m., in obedience to orders, we halted, and sending the Fortyninth Ohio Infantry to the left of the Thirty-second, it was deployed as skirmishers, and pressing forward took position on the crest of the ridge, which later in the day was occupied by this brigade. This position was within one and three-fourths of a mile of the courthouse in Atlanta, and about 800 yards of the enemy's fortifications, consisting of detached field-works for artillery, without any connecting curtains, and which were apparently not held in strong force by him, he having massed his troops on his right, where, in the afternoon, near the Decatur road, he attacked our left wing, consisting of the Army of the Tennessee, under General McPherson, meeting with greater disaster than on the 20th, when he attempted to break our center. About 10 a. m., this brigade being relieved by the division of General Newton (who established and fortified our vacated line and occupied it during the subsequent operations of our troops before Atlanta), we moved to the left and rear and massed in the rear of Knefler's brigade, who at that time joined the left of Newton's division. At 2 p. m. we moved forward and to the right and relieved the first brigade of General Newton, on the crest of a ridge about 600 yards from the enemy's works (the position occupied by the Forty-ninth Ohio in the morning), which position we strongly fortified and held, with all the troops in a single line, during the stay of our army before Atlanta, our line in this position forming a crescent with the convex side toward the enemy, being somewhat in advance and on a greater elevation than the lines on either side of us. As rapidly as possible we strengthened our works and made them impregnable to assault by the construction of three lines of rough but substantial chevaux-de-frise and the arranging of abatis work 100 yards in width along our entire front, also constructed traverses at frequent intervals for the protection of the men, our position being such that at all points our works were enfiladed by the enemy's musketry and artillery fire. Being ordered on the 28th to develop the enemy's force in our immediate front, and, if possible, carry and hold his skirmish pits, the men on our skirmish line, composed of detachments from the different regiments, and supported by the Eighty-ninth Illinois, at a given signal rushed forward without firing a gun, carrying the enemy's pits and capturing 38 prisoners, including 4 commissioned officers, a few men on the right, from the Eighth Kansas and Eighty-ninth Illinois Infantry, advancing to within a few yards of the enemy's main line of works.

With the prompt assistance of the pioneers, the captured pits were at once converted to our own use and occupied by our skirmishers, giving them a position commanding the enemy's main line of works, and the ground in rear of the same, from which we were enabled to do the enemy much damage during the balance of the siege. This comprises all operations, except occasional demonstrations made by re-enforcing our skirmish line and giving a heavy musketry fire for a short time during the siege. At this place, on the 1st of August, the Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry; August 2, the Thirtysecond Indiana Infantry, and on August 25, the Thirty-fifth Illinois Infantry, were relieved from duty with the brigade and proceeded to the capitals of their respective States to be mustered out of service, their terms of service having nearly expired. August 25, Colonel William H. Gibson, Forty-ninth Ohio Infantry, commanding this brigade, after three years of honorable and distinguished service in [398] the field, was relieved from duty and proceeded to his home to be mustered out of service, and the command of this brigade was assumed by myself.

Our casualties at this point before Atlanta were: Killed, 24; wounded, 125; missing, 3; total, 152.

Orders having been issued to move the entire army to the southwest of Atlanta, the same night, in concert with the other troops, we abandoned our works at 10 p. m., leaving the skirmishers in their usual position until midnight, when we withdrew by regiments, commencing on the left, and joined the division on the Peach Tree road, in rear of General Newton's division, and moved to the right and in rear of the Twentieth Corps, marching about four miles, and resting in bivouac at 4 a. m. in a position near the railroad and in rear of the Sixteenth Corps, where the men left on picket on our vacated lines joined us at daybreak. This movement was executed without the enemy discovering our withdrawal until the next morning, when awaiting in a defensive position until 9 a. m. we moved with the division in a southwesterly direction, striking the Sandtown road, which we followed until 4 p. m., when we went into camp, having marched about twelve miles. At 8 a. m. on the 27th we marched with the division, moving south on a neighborhood road in the direction of the West Point railroad to a point near Camp Creek, 6 miles from East Point, where, the cavalry covering our movement meeting with considerable resistance, we halted for the night and barricaded our front. At 6 p. m. on the 28th moved with the division on a road crossing Camp Creek and intersecting the West Point railroad near and north of Red Oak Station, bivouacking on both sides of the road, having marched about three miles. On the 29th, the Second and Third Brigades having been detached for the purpose of assisting in the destruction of the West Point railroad, this brigade took position on the left of Newton's division, our left refused, and built strong barricades. Later in the day the Twentythird Corps came into position on our left. August 30, at 6 a. m. marched with the division, crossing the West Point railroad near Red Oak Station and moving in an easterly direction. About 11 a. m. the brigade was detached from the division, for the purpose of guarding the corps' trains, which were moving on a road to the right leading toward the Fayetteville pike, rejoining and camping with the division that night at β€” Church, southwest of Rough and Ready and four miles from the Macon railroad. At 8 a. m. August 31 marched with the division in an easterly direction, crossing Flint River at-- Mills, where, striking a by-road to the right and south of the main road, we moved in the direction of the Macon railroad, striking the same near Rough and Ready about 4 p. m. and assisted in its destruction. Near night-fall we took position, fronting south, on the right of the road, throwing up temporary works. Next morning at 7 a. m. marched with the division, following the main Jon esborough road to a point four miles from the town, when, leaving the road to the right, over by-roads, we again struck the Macon road, and, following its line south to a point about one mile from town, where we massed in an open field in rear of General Newton's division, which, in connection with the Fourteenth Corps on its right, had engaged the enemy toward night-fall, our division being in reserve, this brigade did not become engaged. The enemy having retreated during the night from his position at Jonesborough, early in the morning of the 2d we marched with the division, following the [399] line of railroad toward Lovejoy's Station, where the enemy being found in force, this brigade, about 3 p. m., went into position on the left of the railroad, connecting our right with General Wagner's brigade, of Newton's division, Colonel Post's brigade connecting with our left. We advanced to within 300 yards of the enemy's barricades and threw up temporary works. The campaign being ended, we retired to Jonesborough on the 4th, rested there on the 5th, and leisurely marched to the position we now occupy, passing through Atlanta, and arriving here the following day.

The total casualties in the brigade during this period have been: Commissioned officers-killed, 9; wounded, 44; missing, 3; total, 56. Enlisted men-killed, 171; wounded, 869; missing, 150; total, 1,190. Total-killed, 180; wounded, 913; missing, 153. Aggregate, 1,246. For a detailed list I respectfully refer to the accompanying reports of regimental commanders. During the same time we have taken 301 prisoners, including 13 commissioned officers. The Twenty-fifth Illinois, Thirty-second Indiana, and Thirty-fifth Illinois having been relieved from duty before the close of the campaign, no reports were furnished by their commanding officers.

To Col. Frank Askew, commanding Fifteenth Ohio Veteran Volunteers; Lieut. Col. Samuel F. Gray, commanding Forty-ninth Ohio Veteran Volunteers; Lieut. Col. William D. Williams, commanding Eighty-ninth Illinois Infantry; Col. Frank Erdelmeyer, commanding Thirty-second Indiana Infantry; Col. R. H. Nodine, commanding Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry; Lieut. Col. W. P. Chandler, commanding Thirty-fifth Illinois Infantry; Lieut. Col. O. C. Johnson and Maj. George Wilson, commanding Fifteenth Wisconsin Infantry; Col. John A. Martin and Lieut. Col. James M. Graham. commanding Eighth Kansas Veteran Volunteer Infantry, all brave and competent officers, are due the thanks of their country.

To the brigade staff-Lieut. S. Green, assistant inspector-general; Lieut. C. A. Norton, acting assistant adjutant-general; Lieut. J. A. Beeman, topographical engineer; Capt. C. H. Askew, provost-marshal; Lieut. Wallace McGrath, aide-de-camp and acting assistant adjutant-general; Capt. C. Fouke, commissary of subsistence; Lieut. T. A. Pesso, acting assistant quartermaster; and Lieuts. V. Koehler and L. G. Nelson, aides-de-camp--I render my personal thanks for their valuable aid and cordial co-operation, and bear cheerful testimony to their bravery, industry, and the good judgment with which they performed, under the several commanders of the brigade, the arduous and important duties necessarily imposed upon them.

Having now submitted the customary details, based upon the best data at my command, I should regard the report of operations in so great a campaign as the one just closed as incomplete did I omit to bear tribute to the excellent esprit de corps and veteran steadiness and bravery of the officers and men in the gallant old First Brigade. Tried on the fields of Shiloh, Stone's River, bloody Chickamauga, and Mission Ridge, they could not fail, even when put to the severer test of 123 days of active field duty, unrelieved by a consecutive night of secure rest; no maneuvers, however self-evidently dangerous, have called forth dissatisfaction or a spoken doubt; no murmurs have come from them of necessarily imposed, but heavy, duty in storm or sunshine; no officer or enlisted man mars the records of our courts-martial with a cowardly charge against his name; no flag has received a stain or been lost because its keepers shrunk in the [400] hour of action; none of our brave boys have fallen dishonorably or unregretted, and all our dead have received honorable sepulture, even when in the hands of the enemy. Once only has the old First Brigade met repulse in these 123 days--the sad, yet glorious, 27th of May-and the rude-made graves of 105 men'on the slope of Cleburne's parapets give silent testimony to the pith of the old First's regiments. For a year past it has passed into a proverb with us that β€œany battalion can fight itself,” not that the officers are lessened thereby in the scale of skill or bravery, but that the men are so disciplined as to preserve the unit in battle or associated action in repulse or advantage: It is not for me to pass eulogy upon the First Brigade, of the Third Division. I only ask justice for and mention honorably of its works; for, under the skillful and watchful eye of its division commander, it has performed all acts worthy of honorable mention, and I, in all trustworthiness and candor, leave the same in his hands.

Believe me, captain, though the month of September, enjoyed in peace and glorious recollections in the empire city of the empire State of the South, finds the battalions of the Fairst Brigade shorn of half their numbers, yet the old unconquerable spirit is in the ranks, ready at all times and seasons to battle for national liberty, national peace, national power, and the national unity of half a hemisphere.

Respectfully submitted.

C. T. Hotchkiss, Colonel Eighty-ninth Illinois Infantry, Comdg. Brigade. Capt. M. P. Bestow
, Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division.

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