previous next

Doc. 140.-operations around Dalton, Ga.

Colonel Grose's report.

headquarters Third brigade, First division, Fourth army corps, Blue Springs, tens., February 29, 1864.
Major W. H. Sinclair, A. A.G. First Division:
sir: I have the honor to report the part taken by this brigade in the recent seven days before Dalton.

I was ordered by the Division Commander, and marched to take part in the reconnaissance toward the enemy from this place, on the morning of the twenty-second of February, 1864, with the Eighty-fourth Illinois, Colonel Waters, Seventy-fifth Illinois, Colonel Bennett, Thirty-sixth Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Carey, Thirtieth Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Hind, Eightieth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Kilgour, and Twenty-Fourth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Cockerill, with battery H, Fourth U. S. artillery, Lieutenant Heilman; effective force, officers and men, including battery, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six.

My brigade having the advance, and the Thirty-sixth Indiana marching in front, we marched toward Red Clay, or “Council-ground,” on the Georgia State-line, a distance of eight miles; arrived there at half-past 12 P. M. I was there ordered by the General commanding the division, to move on the road toward Dalton, and, if possible, find the enemy. I advanced three miles to Wade's farm, and found the enemy's pickets, drove them, and directed Captain Van Antwerp, with his company of Fourth Michigan cavalry, to pursue them, which he did promptly, one and a half miles. Upon the cavalry rejoining the brigade, we returned to Red Clay and rested for the night.

February 23d. Marched with the division via Dr. Lee's house twelve miles, to near Catoosa Springs, Georgia, to make a junction with Fourteenth corps; arrived there about nine o'clock P. M.

February 24th. Marched back east to Dr. Lee's house, with division. I was here directed to move south-east toward Dalton, crossing the ridge three miles north of the place known as Tunnel Hill, with my infantry and one section of artillery, the latter under command of Lieutenant Stansbury. I passed the first and second ridges to a road running south on the eastern base of the latter, along the road to Neil's farm, six miles from Dalton. At this point I made a junction with Colonel Long, in command of six hundred cavalry. He was in position, and skirmishing with the enemy. He had left Charleston, Tennessee, passed around on Spring-Place road, thence west by Varnell's Station to the position at which I found him. Neils farm is six miles north-west of Dalton, and three miles north of the Chattanooga and Dalton Railroad. We both advanced on the wagon-road south, toward Glaze's house, at the railroad. The ridge to our right at this place, (Neil's house,) soon changes to south-east, and continues that direction until it passes beyond Davis's house, at the western base of the ridge, at which point the road crosses to the west side of the ridge. Five hundred yards beyond, and south-east from the passage of the road over a ridge, a gorge separates the ridge, through which a creek flows to the west, south of which the ridge bears to the west of south one and a fourth miles to the railroad, at a point three miles north of west from Dalton, and at a point one and a half miles east of the gorge through Rocky-Face Ridge, or Buzzard's Roost, forming a valley east of Rocky Face Ridge about one and a half miles wide, running from Davis's house south to the railroad a like distance. We steadily [601]

Map showing relative position of forces during the reconnaissance near Dalton, Georgia. February, 1864.

[602] advanced, Colonel Long taking the lead; drove the enemy from all the ridge north of the creek. Upon entering the valley, Colonel Long's command passed to the right, alone the base of the ridge, to the west. The Eighty-fourth and Seventy-fifth Illinois infantry were moved forward in the valley on the left of the cavalry, covering the slope of the eastern ridge with skirmishers, thrown forward and to the left to cover the ridge and flank of the line. The Twenty-fourth Ohio was thrown forward in rear of the cavalry to support them. In this form we pressed the enemy to within three hundred yards of the railroad, the command of Colonel Long driving the rebel infantry out of their camps immediately at the road. We continued in this position, skirmishing in front, for some time, when lines of the enemy's infantry commenced an advance upon us. A few well-directed rounds from the section of artillery, with the aid of a heavy skirmish-line, brought them to a halt and put them under cover. It was now near night, and learning from prisoners that Stewart's rebel division was in our front, and Stevenson's near by, and not knowing that it was possible to have any assistance during the night, at dusk I withdrew the forces, leaving the cavalry and Eightieth Illinois infantry at Neil's farm, and retired the residue to widow Burk's house, reported the facts, and rested for the night.

February 25th. At early day Brigadier-General Cruft, division commander, promptly came up with the other two brigades, and by his orders all moved forward to Neil's farm, the enemy having reoccupied the ridge where the road passes over toward Davis's house, and for near a mile to the north. Our lines were soon formed, my brigade on the ridge to the right, covering the summit and extending well over the western slope; the Thirtieth Indiana, Seventy-fifth and Eightieth Illinois in the front line, from right to left, in the order I have named them; the Eighty-fourth Illinois, Twenty-fourth Ohio, and Thirty-sixth Indiana in the second line. The Second brigade, Colonel Champion, formed on my left, Colonel Lorng's cavalry extending his left, the other brigade, Colonel Dickerman, in reserve. It was now about nine A. M. Major-General Palmer appeared on the field. send wished to see me. I reported to him in front on the skirmish-line. After consultation, the General informed me that we would not advance until General Baird's division should arrive in the valley to my right. About eleven o'clock all was ready and I sounded the forward, and the whole line moved off in splendid order. I rode with Colonel Bennett, Seventy-fifth Illinois, whose battalion was the battalion of direction. Was upon the summit of the ridge, with good opportunities to observe well the movements and grandeur of the scene, to the right and left of the long blue lines moving to battle. A more grand sight my eye has never beheld. The direction was left oblique, to keep the bearing of the ridge, my artillery following the lines closely, and bearing past at every halt. We had not more than started before the skirmishers became closely engaged in all the woodland covering the ridge. The advance was steady and rapid, clearing the enemy from the ridge as we went. When my lines had reached the creek at the gorge, and beyond Davis's house in the valley, the skirmishers well advanced beyond, a staff-officer rode up and informed me that General Palmer desired me to have halted on the ridge. I immediately halted where we were. We remained in this position during the afternoon, having heavy skirmishing and artillery practice in the mean time, the enemy occupying the ridge and valley south of the creek that I had possession of the day before. With ten thousand more men on our left, Dalton, no doubt, would have fallen an easy prey to our arms. At night, the object of the reconnoissance being ended, we were ordered, and, with the division, retired to Dr. Lee's farm, on the west of the Tunnel Hill range of ridges, and three miles north of that place.

February 26th. At about nine o'clock A. M., I moved my command south-east one mile, on to the ridge two miles north of the Tunnel, threw out some skirmishers on the eastern slope, met some rebel cavalry that were attempting to follow us, and drove them out of sight and hearing. In the evening, moved down south-west into the valley at Israel's house; rested until nine o'clock P. M. Was ordered and marched westward to the Stone Church, near Catoosa Platform, and rested the balance of the night.

February 27th. Started at twelve o'clock M., and marched to Ewing's farm, north nine miles, and camped for the night.

February 28th. Marched at seven o'clock A. M. Arrived in camp at this place at twelve o'clock M. Command in good condition.

I can with pleasure refer to the prompt and willing cooperation and obedience of the officers and men of my command during this short campaign, and I regard myself as truly fortunate, in being surrounded by first-class officers, both of infantry and artillery, and braver soldiers never went upon a battle-field.

My staff-officers and non-commissioned staff have alike my kindest regards for their efficient aid and assistance during the dangers and fatigues.

The following shows the casualties of the brigade while on the reconnoissance:

Colonel J. E. Bennett, Seventy-fifth Illinois.--Wounded, one commissioned officer, six enlisted men; missing, one commissioned officer; total, two commissioned officers, six enlisted men; aggregate, eight.

Lieutenant-Colonel W. M. Kilgour, Eightieth Illinois.--Wounded, four enlisted men; total, four enlisted men; aggregate, four.

Colonel L. H. Waters, Eighty-fourth Illinois.--Wounded, three enlisted men; total, three enlisted men; aggregate, three.

Lieutenant-Colonel O. D. Hurd, Thirtieth Indiana.--Missing, three enlisted, men; total, three enlisted men; aggregate, three. [603]

Lieutenant-Colonel O. H. P. Casey, Thirty-sixth Indiana.--Killed, one enlisted man; wounded, two enlisted men; total, three enlisted men; aggregate, three.

Lieutenant-Colonel T. M. Cockerill, Twenty-fourth Ohio.--Wounded, twelve enlisted men; total, twelve enlisted men; aggregate, twelve.

Lieutenant William H. Hulman, battery H, Fourth artillery.--Wounded, one enlisted man; total, one enlisted man; aggregate, one.

Total.--Killed, one enlisted man; wounded, one commissioned officer, twenty-eight enlisted men; missing, one commissioned officer, three enlisted men; total, two commissioned officers, thirty-two enlisted men; aggregate, thirty-four.

My sincere condolence and high appreciation of the merits of these braves attend them.

Major Watson, Seventy-fifth Illinois, wounded by a falling tree-effects of artillery firing — deserves notice as a noble officer. Hope he may soon recover.

For more detailed accounts, I refer to the accompanying reports of the regimental and battery commanders. Exhibit A, herewith, gives the topography of the ground in the vicinity of the contest. All of which is respectfully submitted.

I have the honor to be, Major, your humble servant,

W. Grose, Colonel Commanding.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: