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No. 91. report of Brig. Gen. William P. Carlin, U. S. Army, commanding First Division, of operations August 17-September 8.

Hdqrs. First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, Jonesborough, Ga., September 5, 1864.
Captain: I have the honor to report to the general commanding the Fourteenth Corps the operations of this division since the 17th of August, the date on which I assumed command. The positions of brigades and their unimportant movements prior to the beginning of the great movement against the Macon railroad need not be described, as the record of all such information would encumber the headquarters of the division and corps without affording necessary or interesting data.

On the 26th of August the Second and Third Brigades were withdrawn from the position they had held before the enemy near Atlanta and marched to a position on the left of the Twenty-third Corps, the Third Brigade having preceded the other two, which position was held till the 28th, when the entire division marched to Red Oak, on the Atlanta, West Point and Montgomery Railroad. On the 29th the Second and Third Brigades were engaged till 2 p. m. in destroying the railroad toward East Point, while the First Brigade made a reconnaissance in the same direction on the right of the railroad and covered the working parties. There was slight skirmishing between the First Brigade and the enemy, resulting in no loss to us. On the 30th the division marched ten miles toward Jonesborough, Ga., and encamped near Mrs. Evans', on the Fayetteville and Atlanta road. On the 31st the division marched to Renfroe's and remained there till near sundown, when I received orders from Major-General Thomas to move at once to support General Howard, who was then confronting the enemy near Jonesborough, which [526] movement was made without delay. Being informed through General Howard's staff officer that he wished me on the Fayetteville road — that is, near Renfroe's — I countermarched to that place, where instructions were received from General Davis, commanding the corps, to proceed to my former camp at Mrs. Evans' and remain there that night.

On the 1st day of September I received orders to move to the support of General Baird and take position on his right, which was then on the Atlanta and Jonesborough road, east of Mrs. Evans'. Before going into position there I received orders to proceed about two and a half miles toward Jonesborough, and take a position facing the town. Having marched till within two miles of that place and reached the pickets of the Seventeenth Corps, I took position parallel to the road and facing the Macon railroad, one and a half miles distant. I have omitted to state above that the First Brigade and Nineteenth Indiana Battery were detached at Mrs. Evans' and sent to Renfroe's to protect the train of the army in accordance with orders received. From the point designated above I sent the Third Brigade on a reconnaissance toward the railroad, with also one regiment of the Second Brigade as skirmishers. The skirmishers of both brigades soon encountered the enemy at a creek near the road and drove them back to a strong position, where they contested the ground obstinately with infantry or dismounted cavalry and one or two pieces of artillery. The position of the enemy was soon taken by the Third Brigade and the Sixteenth U. S. Infantry, and one caisson, filled with ammunition, captured. The Second Brigade was immediately moved up to the right of the Third and the skirmishers pushed onto the railroad. While here Captain Edmonds, of my staff, pointed out a very fine position for a battery, and I immediately ordered Prescott's battery to take position there. Prescott moved to it as rapidly as his horses could go, unlimbered, and opened his guns, which created great havoc among the rebels. It may here be stated that much of the success later in the day was due to the execution of this battery, both on the infantry and artillery of the rebels, as Prescott was almost immediately on the right flank of the enemy facing Morgan's division, of the Fourteenth Corps, and of the Army of the Tennessee. While occupying the position last described I sent out a regiment on the left front to open communication with the Fourth Corps, which was accomplished by Lieutenant-Colonel McMahan, commanding the Twenty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry. I then changed the front of my division again to the right, the left of the Third Brigade resting on the railroad, and formed line of battle, when I received orders from General Davis to move forward toward Jonesborough till I should find the works of the enemy. Moving through a dense forest to an open field the enemy was encountered in a thicket beyond. I ordered an assault, which was made with great energy and gallantry by both brigades. The position of the enemy was very strong and the approach almost impassable in consequence of a dense growth of small bushes. The Second Brigade reached the works at the first dash and captured many prisoners. They would have held the works and gone on but for the unfortunate loss of Capt. L. M. Kellogg, commanding the Eighteenth U. S. Infantry, who was on the extreme right. He was badly wounded while crossing the works. The enemy brought up re-enforcements and compelled the right to fall back about 100 yards. A portion of this brigade gallantly clung to the works till overpowered and captured. When preparing to reform [527] the Second Brigade for another charge, I received information from General Davis that he had ordered Colonel Este's brigade, of Baird's division, to support me. As it was fresh and well formed I placed it in position for a charge, when General Baird arrived and gallantly led it himself. It is an agreeable duty that I perform in saying that the conduct of this brigade was truly admirable, and that they deserved the success they achieved. Colonel Este deserves promotion for his gallantry and good management. The Third Brigade continued the fight till every rebel was driven or dragged from the works. The Thirty-eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin commanding, deserves great credit in this part of the fight, as they had to contend almost alone against a very obstinate foe strongly intrenched. The enemy having lost his works, brought infantry and artillery on the road still farther toward Jonesborough, and opened so heavy a fire that no farther advance could be made. Darkness closed the fight. The two brigades captured about 300 prisoners and many small-arms. The Second Brigade lost in killed, wounded, and missing, 168; the Third Brigade, killed, wounded, and missing, 203; total, 371. The greater portion of the wounded will recover.

My thanks are due to General Baird for the readiness displayed to support me at all times, as well as for the support actually received. It is not X mere empty custom when I acknowledge the great assistance rendered during the hottest of the fight by Captain Edmonds, Ninety-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Capt. 4. W. Smith, Eighteenth U. S. Infantry, and Lieut. W. B. Roby, Thirty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and Lieut. George H. Tracy, all of my staff. Dr. Solon Marks, chief surgeon of the division; Lieut. H. G. Litchfield, ordnance officer, and Lieut. W. R. Maize, in charge of ambulances, are deserving of mention for the faithful performance of their duties in their respective departments. Col. M. F. Moore, Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, deserves special mention for the promptness with which he always obeyed orders, and put his command in motion. The staff officers of the Second Brigade, Captain Mills, Lieutenant Estes, and Lieutenant St. Onge, and especially Capt. W. J. Fetterman, acting assistant adjutant-general of the brigade, displayed great gallantry and spirit in assisting Maj. J. R. Edie, Fifteenth Infantry, in advancing the brigade. The regimental officers and enlisted men cannot be over praised for their conduct.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. P. Carlin, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. A. C. McCLURG, Asst. Adjt. Gen. and Chief of Staff, 14th Army Corps.

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