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No. 71. report of Col. George F. Dick, Eighty-sixth Indiana Infantry.

headquarters Eighty-Sixth Indiana Volunteers, Near Atlanta, Ga., September 12, 1864.
Sir: In compliance with orders received from your headquarters, I have the honor to submit the following as a report of the operations of my regiment during the campaign just closed, commencing May 3, 1864:

On May 3, 1864, the regiment left McDonald's Station, Tenn., and marched with the command southward, reaching Catoosa Springs, Ga., on the following day, a distance of about fifteen miles. Remained bivouacked here until the morning of the 7th, when I again marched with the command and occupied Tunnel Hill. On the 8th. formed in line and moved off into the valley separating Tunnel Hill and Rocky Face Ridge, where constant and heavy skirmishing was kept up until the morning of the 13th, when it was ascertained that the enemy had evacuated his position and was in full retreat. Immediately ordered in pursuit, I marched with the command, coming upon the enemy at Resaca, fifteen miles south of Dalton. At this place the enemy halted to give battle, but my regiment was not called into action, though was held in supporting distance during the two days battle which raged at Resaca the 14th and 15th of May. The morning of the 16th dawned finding the enemy had retired. The command being again ordered in pursuit, I followed, pressing the enemy's rear closely, the skirmishing at times assuming proportions almost equal to a battle, until reaching Cassville, Ga., which was on the 19th of May. At Cassville orders were received that the army would rest and replenish until the morning of the 23d of May, when it would again march with twenty days rations. Accordingly, on the 23d, the command moved out, going in a direction nearly due south. Crossed the Etowah River and continued the march until reaching Pumpkin Vine Creek, a small stream in the Allatoona range of mountains. Here it was ascertained that a portion of the Union force had met the enemy and that an engagement had already commenced. On the 26th the regiment was formed in line of battle with the brigade, and with it maneuvered until the evening of the 27th of May, when we became actively engaged. My regiment being on the extreme right of the brigade, I was ordered to halt with a view of protecting that flank. [457]

The enemy with a heavy force compelled the brigade to retire, though not until night-fall, when it fel back in good order. In this action the regiment sustained a serious loss in wounded, though none proved mortal. After retiring from the field where the command fought on the 27th of May my regiment was placed on the second line, where it remained until June 4, when the brigade was ordered to relieve McCook's brigade, of Johnson's division. My regiment was then assigned to the front line behind works, and not more than 400 yards distant from that of the enemy. On the morning of June 5 it was ascertained that the enemy had again abandoned his line of works and fallen back in the direction of Marietta, Ga. On June 6 the command again marched. Arriving near Acworth Station, Ga., went into camp and remained until June 10, when an advance was made upon the enemy, the front line skirmishing with the enemy, who, it seemed, had a well-chosen position. We bivouacked until June 15, when we evacuated and again fell back. On the evening of the 15th the command occupied Pine Mountain; remained here until June 17, when my regiment was placed on the skirmish line and advanced upon the enemy. Though the resistance was stubborn, yet we succeeded in driving him perhaps a mile. Night coming on, my regiment was relieved and ordered to bivouac till morning. June 18, continued to press upon the enemy, and, notwithstanding the heavy rains which were falling, rendering operations exceedingly difficult and unpleasant, they ceased not, and the duty was performed with cheerfulness. Advanced perhaps a mile and threw up works of rails and mud, but the enemy getting range with a piece of artillery, wounding several of my men, that position was abandoned and I was ordered to the left about 400 yards. June 19, again found the enemy retreating. Ordered to follow, but had not gone more than a mile, perhaps, when he was again encountered. On the 20th the brigade moved to the right about a mile and relieved a brigade in Hooker's corps, and on the 21st the lines were advanced with Companies I, C, and K of my regiment deployed as skirmishers. Works were hurriedly thrown up and constant and heavy skirmishing continued until the morning of July 3, when the enemy was found to be evacuating his position. Marched in pursuit and came upon his rear on the evening of the 4th, about five miles southeast of Marietta, Ga. The morning of the 6th again found his works vacated. Followed him up until reaching the Chattahoochee River, where he had chosen a strong position and easy of defense. Awaiting movements of other portions of the army, we went into camp and remained until July 10. The enemy having again fallen back, the command was ordered up the river a distance of perhaps five miles to Powers' Ferry to cross; after crossing the river went into camp.

On the 17th of July I marched with the brigade and division five miles down the left bank of the Chattahoochee River to dislodge the enemy's pickets and enable troops to cross the river at that point. This accomplished, the regiment returned to Powers' Ferry the same evening. On the 18th the command marched in the direction of Atlanta. On the 19th encountered the enemy on Peach Tree Creek. The Fifty-ninth Ohio was deployed as skirmishers, while my regiment was thrown out as a support. The enemy had a strongly intrenched position on the opposite banks of the stream, and it was with difficulty that the skirmishers effected a crossing, though the crossing was effected with but little or no loss in my regiment. [458] After reaching the opposite banks a sharp little engagement ensued. At dusk the brigade was relieved, and with it I returned to the camp of the previous night. July 20, I again moved with the brigade in the direction of Decatur, Ga., about four miles, when we again encountered the enemy. Breast-works were hastily thrown up, and twenty men thrown out as skirmishers. On the 21st the lines were advanced perhaps 500 yards, and on the morning of the 22d it was discovered that the enemy had retired. Again followed him, driving him to the “last ditch” surrounding Atlanta. Being assigned to a position on a knoll commanding the enemy's lines, I remained, performing the duties of making demonstrations, picketing, fatigue, &c., until August 25, when the command had orders to march. At about 10 p. m. we marched, going to the right of the army until reaching the West Point railroad, which the regiment assisted to destroy. August 30, marched eastward and continued the march until September 1, when the Macon railroad was reached. On September 2 I moved southward with the command about three miles, when the work of destruction was resumed on the railroad. Continued the march the same evening until coming near Jonesborough, where a portion of our forces were engaging the enemy. On the morning of the 3d, finding the enemy had retired, we followed him, coming upon him at Lovejoy's Station, twenty-eight miles south of Atlanta. Here the enemy had chosen a position and our lines were immediately formed for the purpose of dislodging him. Being assigned to the second line and to the support of the Ninth Kentucky, I moved forward with the command. Soon after we were ordered to charge and take the enemy's works, but support failing to come up on the left, the front line fell back through my regiment in some confusion, causing, for a few moments, disorder in my ranks; but order being restored, I immediately threw up a line of works, behind which we remained until the night of the 5th of September, 1864, when the army began to retire toward Atlanta. My regiment marched with the command, reaching this camp on the 8th of September, 1864.

Of the officers and men of my regiment much credit is due them for the promptness with which every order was executed. They have my unfeigned thanks.

The casualties in the regiment during the campaign foot up as follows: Killed, enlisted men, 2; wounded, officers 4, enlisted men, 50 ; total, 54; aggregate, 56.

Respectfully submitted.

Your obedient servant,

George F. Dick, Colonel Eighty-sixth Indiana Volunteers. Capt. W. S. S. Erb
, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen,, 3d Brig., 3d Div., 4th Army Corps.

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