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Report of Major-General C. L. Stevenson from the beginning of the Dalton-Atlanta campaign to May 30, 1864.

[The following is from the original Ms. furnished us by General Stevenson himself, and has never before been in print so far as we are aware.]

headquarters Stevenson's division, In the Field, May 30th, 1864.
* * * * *

During the latter part of last month I received orders to break up my winter camp on the Sugar Valley road and move my division to the position assigned it in front of Dalton. I went into bivouac in Crowe Valley, and immediately went to work to complete the defences of the portion of the line allotted me — from the signal station upon Rocky Face mountain on my left to Ault's creek on my right. General Pettus was placed upon the left, General Reynolds on the left-centre, General Cumming on the right-centre, and General Brown on the right. General Pettus was ordered to hold the mountain with a regiment of rifles. The movements of the enemy very soon showed that his greatest efforts would be against the mountain, which was, in fact, the key to my position; and accordingly, on the — instant, General Pettus was ordered to occupy the mountain with his brigade, and the vacancy in the trenches created by his removal filled by extending intervals to the left.

On the 8th instant, the enemy pushed forward his skirmishers vigorously, supported by a line of battle, against the angle in Pettus' line at the crest of the mountain. This attack was quickly and handsomely repulsed by that portion of his line which occupied the angle. In compliance with instructions from the Lieutenant-General, Brown's brigade was then moved from its position on my right to the left of Pettus on the crest of the mountain, who was thus enabled to contract his lines and strengthen his weak point — the angle referred to. Brown's place in the works was first [226] supplied by Mercer's, then by Walthall's, and then by Govan's brigades. General Brown, as senior officer, was directed to take charge of the defence of that portion of the mountain occupied by my troops.

On the 9th instant the enemy, formed in column of divisions, made a heavy assault upon the angle in Pettus' line. The fight was obstinate and bloody, but resulted in a complete success to us. For details I would refer you to the reports of Generals Brown and Pettus. In the mean time, the enemy had advanced his sharpshooters close upon the line of Brown's brigade on the mountain, and Reynold's and Cumming's in the valley. Soon after the assault upon Pettus, the enemy manoeuvred considerably in the valley, and seemed at one time disposed to assault the position of Generals Cumming and Reynolds. In front of General Cumming he appeared several times in line of battle, but was checked by the fire of skirmishers, and of those guns of Major J. W. Johnston's battalion of artillery that could be brought to bear upon him. From this time until we retired from the position, there was constant skirmishing, first along my whole line, and later mainly in front of Brown's and Pettus' brigades.

On the night of the 13th instant, agreeably to orders, I vacated my position and took up the line of march for Resaca. On the morning after my arrival near this place, I took up position in two lines north of Resaca, and immediately upon the right of the Resaca and Dalton road. I was soon afterwards ordered to connect with Major-General Hindman on the left of the Resaca road, and, for this purpose, moved two regiments across the road. Cumming and Brown were in my front line, Pettus being the second line to the former and Brown to the latter. During the morning there were several attacks upon General Hindman, and in my front the sharpshooters of the enemy obtained positions which entirely enfiladed portions of Cumming's line. The men were sheltered as well as possible by such defences as they could construct of logs and rails, but still suffered severely. The fire of these sharpshooters upon the artillery, some pieces of which were advanced in front of the line of General Cumming, was particularly destructive, and amongst the wounded was the brave Major J. W. Johnston, the battalion commander.

About five o'clock that evening, agreeably to orders, I commenced a movement to dislodge the enemy from the high points of the ridge some distance in front of General Cumming. Brown and his [227] support (Reynolds) were directed to move out in front of their trenches and then swing around to the left. After the movement commended, General Cumming was also directed to wheel all of his brigade, which was to the right of the backbone of the ridge, to the left in front of his works, the regiment upon the crest being the pivot. I was much gratified by the gallantry with which the movement was made, and by the success which attended it. Too much praise cannot be awarded Brown's gallant brigade; for particulars I refer you to his report.

Late that night I received orders to retire from the position which I had taken, which was done. The next morning I was ordered to retake it, which was accomplished without difficulty, the enemy not having reoccupied it. My command immediately went to work to construct defences of logs and rails, and in a short time were quite well entrenched. During the course of the morning I received orders to place the artillery of my division in such a position as could enable it to drive off a battery that was annoying General Hindman's line. Before the necessary measures for the protection of the artillery could be taken, I received repeated and peremptory orders to open it upon the battery before alluded to. Corput's battery was accordingly placed in position at the only available point, about eighty yards in front of General Brown's line. It had hardly gotten into position, when the enemy hotly engaged my skirmishers, driving them in, and pushing on to the assault with great impetuosity. So quickly was all this done, that it was impossible to remove the artillery before the enemy had effected a lodgment in the ravine in front of it, thus placing it in such a position, that, while the enemy were entirely unable to remove it, we were equally so, without driving off the enemy massed in the ravine beyond it, which would have been attended with great loss of life.

The assaults of the enemy were in heavy force, and made with the utmost impetuosity, but were met with a cool, steady fire, which each time mowed down their ranks, and drove them back, leaving the ground thickly covered in places with their dead. When Brown's brigade had nearly exhausted their ammunition, I caused it to be relieved by Reynolds' brigade, upon which assaults were also made and repulsed with the same success.

During the attack, I ordered General Pettus up with three (3) of his regiments, which had remained in our position of the day previous. My intention was to employ his force in attacking the [228] enemy in front of the battery and remove it. A portion of Gibson's brigade of Stewart's division was also. sent me, but was soon recalled. The troops engaged, it will thus be seen, were Brown's and Reynolds' brigades, and also the two right regiments of Cumming's. During the day, Tenner's battery reported to me, and rendered good service. In the evening I received orders to move that portion of my force which was on the right of General Cumming, out of the trenches, and, co-operating with General Stewart, to swing around upon the enemy. At the moment that I received the order, the enemy were making a heavy assault upon General Reynolds, and Brown had not yet replenished his ammunition. The order, however, was peremptory, and the movement was attempted. The Fifty-fourth Virginia on the right leaped the trenches, and rushed bravely upon the enemy, but found that there was no connection with General Stewart's left, and being thus unsupported, were compelled to fall back before the rest of the brigade moved out. In this attempt, the gallant Captain G. D. Wise, of my staff, was dangerously wounded, and the regiment, in less than fifteen.minutes, lost above one hundred (100) officers and men.

That night I received orders to withdraw, which was effected, owing to the coolness of the troops, without serious loss. My last brigade had not marched three hundred yards from the trenches before the enemy made an assault. Especial credit is due the skirmishers of Brown's brigade for their conduct in this affair, and I ask attention to his report.

As I have stated, I covered the disputed battery with my fire in such a manner that it was utterly impossible for the enemy to remove it, and I knew that I could retake it at any time, but thought that it could be done with less loss of life at night, and therefore postponed my attack. When ordered to retire, I represented the state of things to the General-Commanding, who decided to abandon the guns.

Upon my arrival at New Hope church, I put my command in position on the right of General Stewart, and very soon thereafter the enemy assaulted him in force. A small portion of my left brigade (Brown's) was engaged, and the men behaved with their usual spirit until relieved. The enemy kept up a heavy fire of skirmishers and artillery upon my front line — Brown and Pettus — and inflicted considerable loss; but my skirmishers behaved well, and were only driven back upon portions of the line. On the 28th, I was informed by General Baker that the enemy had succeeded in [229] planting a battery a short distance in front of his works, and that, having no long range guns, he could not drive them off. I sent him a regiment of rifles from Cumming's brigade, which soon dislodged the enemy. The following statement will show my losses during the whole movement:

Brown's brigade,3917310
Cumming's brigade,1989270
Reynold's brigade,33126190
Pettus' brigade,3017761

It affords me pleasure to bear witness to the uniform gallantry with which my division has acted, and to acknowledge my indebtedness to my brigade commanders, their officers and men, as well as to the officers and men of Johnston's battalion of artillery, commanded since Major Johnston was wounded by Captain M. 0. D. Corput.

While in position near New Hope church, I regret to state that I lost the services of Brigadier-General Reynolds, who there received a painful, but I hope not a dangerous wound.

The limits of this imperfect report will not permit me to make mention of particular individuals. We have been called upon to mourn the loss of many gallant spirits, among them, Major Barber, Third Tennessee, and Major Francis, Thirtieth Alabama.

I desire to express my renewed obligations to my staff, Majors John J. Reeve, G. L. Gillespie (wounded at Resaca), H. M. Mathews, R. Orme, Captain G. D. Wise (wounded at Resaca), W. H. Sykes, and Lieutenants Shane and Botts, and Chief Surgeon H. M. Compton.

The above is a copy of the rough draft of a report made to Major I. W. Ratchford, A. A. G. of Hood's corps.

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