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No. 64. report of Capt. Samuel West, Fifty-ninth Illinois Infantry, of operations August 24-September 8.

Hdqrs. Fifty-Ninth Regt. Illinois Vet. Vols.,
In Camp, near Atlanta, Ga., September 11, 1864.

Sir: Obedient to instructions from brigade headquarters, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Fifty-ninth Regiment Illinois Veteran Volunteers in the recent campaign during the time that I had the honor to command the said regiment:

In the absence of the field officers of the regiment, I assumed command of the same on the 24th of August. It was at that time lying in the trenches northeast of Atlanta. By direction of the brigade commander, the regiment left this position on the night of the 25th ultimo, marching in a westerly direction, crossing the Chattanooga railroad, and bivouacking about one mile beyond it. Here, by direction of Brigadier-General Wood, I threw out two companies (A and C) as picket guards to cover the brigade front. On the morning of the 26th the march was resumed in a southwesterly direction; we marched slowly a distance of about eight miles, camping at night, fronting the northeast. The two companies on picket duty the previous night, under the command of Captain Henderson, were engaged through the day as flankers and rear guard, and did not rejoin the regiment until after dark. On the morning of the 27th instant the regiment resumed the march, moving about five miles toward the southeast, halted at noon and constructed a rail barricade, fronting the south. Companies B, F, H, and K, under command of Captain Wiley, were placed on picket duty in front of the brigade. We remained in this position until the evening of the 28th ultimo, when the march was again resumed, and continued until 9 p. m., the direction being south. We bivouacked by the roadside. On the morning of the 29th instant the knapsacks of the men were piled up together, and leaving a light guard with them, the regiment marched to the West Point railroad, about two miles west of East Point, and commenced tearing up the track, burning the ties, and bending the rails. The regiment destroyed about 400 yards of the railroad, and then returned, camping near its location of the previous night. On the morning of the 30th ultimo, we crossed the West Point railroad in our line of march, moving slowly through the day in a southeasterly direction about five miles, camping at night near a frame church. On the morning of the 31st [433] ultimo resumed the march, the regiment skirmishing until about 2 p. m., when, relieved by the Forty-first Ohio Volunteers, marched to within a mile of the Macon railroad, the Fifty-ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers being placed on picket duty that night. On the morning of the 1st instant moved out on the Griffin road, the division acting as guard to the wagon train, crossed the Macon railroad, and bivouacked after dark about two miles north of Jonesborough. On the morning of the 2d instant moved through Jonesborough; about five miles south of there at 3 p. m., formed in double column at half distance in rear of the First Brigade of our division, which was in line of battle, with orders to deploy on its left as the enemy was developed. The lines moved forward about 600 yards, when, by direction of the brigade commander, the regiment executed a deployment in conjunction with the Seventy-first Ohio Veteran Volunteers on my right, in prolongation of the line of battle of the First Brigade. No other material movement was executed until after dark, when the regiment moved forward some fifty paces, and threw up a. line of breast-works during the night, protecting its front. In this position we remained somewhat exposed to a rather severe fire from the enemy's pickets until the night of the 5th instant, when, at 8 o'clock, we commenced, by order of our brigade commander, a retrograde movement. We marched all night, and bivouacked as day was breaking on the ground which we had occupied on the night of the 1st instant. This night's march was peculiarly difficult, owing to the darkness and muddy condition of the roads. On the 6th we remained in bivouac. The 7th and 8th instant were occupied in the march to Atlanta. On the afternoon of the 8th instant we made our camp in the position which we now occupy, three miles east of Atlanta.

During the time that I was honored with the command of the regiment, I received hearty co-operation from all its officers; the conduct of the men was all that could be desired. To Adjutant Frank Clark I am much indebted for the prompt and efficient manner in which he executed the duties of his office, and otherwise aided me in the command.

I append a list of casualties.1

I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Samuel West, Captain, Commanding Regiment. Capt. John Crowell
, Jr., Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.

1 Nominal list (omitted) shows 6 men wounded.

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