Atlanta To Chattahoochee River Battle
SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS
May 1, 1864 Skirmish at Stone Church. 2, 1864 Skirmish at Lee's Cross-Roads, near Tunnel Hill. Skirmish near Ringgold Gap. 3, 1864 Skirmish at Catoosa Springs. Skirmish at Red Clay. Skirmish at Chickamauga Creek. 4, 1864 Maj. Gen. Frank P. Blair, jr., assumes command of the Seventeenth Army Corps. Skirmish on the Varnell's Station Road. 5, 1864 Skirmish near Tunnel Hill. 6-7, 1864 Skirmishes at Tunnel Hill. 7, 1864 Skirmish at Varnell's Station. Skirmish near Nickajack Gap. 8-11, 1864 Demonstration against Rocky Face Ridge, with combats at Buzzard Roost or Mill Creek Gap, and Dug Gap. 8-13, 1864 Demonstration against Resaca, with combats at Snake Creek Gap, Sugar Valley, and near Resaca. 9-13, 1864 Demonstration against Dalton, with combats near Varnell's Station (9th and 12th) and at Dalton (13th). 13, 1864 Skirmish at Tilton. 14-15, 1864 Battle of Resaca. 15, 1864 Skirmish at Armuchee Creek. Skirmish near Rome. 16, 1864 Skirmish near Calhoun. Action at Rome (or Parker's) Cross-Roads. Skirmish at Floyd's Spring. 17,1864 Engagement at Adairsville. Action at Rome. Affair at Madison Station, Ala. 18, 1864 Skirmish at Pine Log Creek. 18-19, 1864 Combats near Kingston. Combats near Cassville. 20, 1864 Skirmish at Etowah River, near Cartersville. 23, 1864 Action at Stilesborough. 24, 1864 Skirmishes at Cass Station and Cassville. Skirmish at Burnt Hickory (or Huntsville). Skirmish near Dallas. 25-June 5, 1864 Operations on the line of Pumpkin Vine Creek, with combats at New Hope Church, Pickett's Mills, and other points. 26-June 1, 1864 Combats at and about Dallas. 27, 1864 Skirmish at Pond Springs, Ala. 29, 1864 Action at Moulton, Ala. June 9, 1864 Skirmishes near Big Shanty and near Stilesborough. 10, 1864 Skirmish at Calhoun. 10-July 3, 1864 Operations about Marietta, with combats at Pine Hill, Lost Mountain, Brush Mountain, Gilgal Church, Noonday Creek, McAfee's Cross-Roads, Kenesaw Mountain, Powder Springs, Cheney's Farm, Kolb's Farm, Olley's Creek, Nicka-jack Creek, Noyes' Creek, and other points. 24, 1864 Action at La Fayette. July 4, 1864 Skirmishes at Ruff's Mill, Neal Dow Station, and Rottenwood Creek. 5-17, 1864 Operations on the line of the Chattahoochee River, with skirmishes at Howell's, Turner's, and Pace's Ferries, Isham's Ford, and other points.
HDQRS. TENTH KENTUCKY VOLUNTEER INFANTRY,
Near Atlanta, Ga., August 24, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my regiment during the campaign:
The regiment left Ringgold, Ga., May 10, at 6 a.m., joining the division same day at 4 p.m. at Tunnel Hill. In the engagement around Buzzard Roost my command did not participate. Upon the arrival of the army in front of Resaca I was at the front line of the brigade, but had no engagement with the enemy. On the 13th of May moved to the right, and here had 1 man killed. My regiment from this time on never, until the 9th day of July, met the enemy as an organization. I was on the front line from the 2d of June until the evacuation of Kenesaw Mountain by the enemy, and consequently had some part of my command constantly upon the skirmish line, and shall therefore not try to make an extended report, but only give my losses and the date of their occurrence--May 15, 1 man killed; June 4, 4 men wounded; June 15, 1 man wounded; July 21, 2 men wounded. On the morning of the 9th of July 1 was ordered to support with my regiment a forward movement of the skirmish line. I moved out at 6 a.m., and followed the skirmishers at close supporting distance. They, meeting a largely superior force of the enemy, were compelled to fall back. As soon as they had rallied behind my line I opened a fire upon the enemy, which checked his advance. There being no connection on my left, and the enemy coming around on my flank, I was forced to fall back about 200 yards, where I compelled the enemy to halt, and the Tenth Indiana joining me, he fell back to his old position. That night the rebels evacuated that side of the river. This contest, although only lasting fifteen or twenty minutes, was very severe. My loss was 4 killed, 14 wounded, and 2 missing. Among the wounded were Lieutenants Warren and Grace, of Company A, who fell while gallantly discharging their duty. Since crossing the river parts of my command have again been daily on the skirmish line, and the following losses there occurred: July 20, 2 wounded; July 21,<ar72_817> 1 wounded; August 4, 1 wounded; August 7, 4 wounded; August 13, 1 wounded; August 16, 2 wounded, making a total of 40 killed and wounded since the beginning of the campaign to the 16th instant.
I have the honor to be, captain, your obedient servant,
W. H. HAYS,
Colonel Tenth Kentucky Infantry.
Capt. WILBUR F. SPOFFORD,
A. A. G., 3d Brig., 3d Div., 14th Army Corps.
HDQRS. THIRD BRIG., THIRD DIV., 14TH ARMY CORPS,
Camp near Atlanta, Ga., August 25, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to transmit the following report of the operations of the Third Brigade during the present campaign up to the morning of the 6th day of August:
In pursuance of orders from my general commanding division, the troops composing the brigade, except the Eighteenth Kentucky Volunteers, left to garrison Ringgold, in obedience to orders from department headquarters, left Ringgold on the 10th day of May, 1864, and arrived in the evening of Sunday in front of Buzzard Roost, when we rejoined the division. We remained in reserve until the 12th, when the brigade moved, but as guard to the entire trains of the corps, on the road to Villanow; thence through Snake Creek Gap to Sugar Creek Valley, when, leaving the trains on the evening of the 13th, we moved forward to the extreme left of the army, supporting during the night a division of General Cox, Twenty-third Army Corps, in accordance with orders received from Major-General Schofield. Next day, the 14th instant, rejoined our division, and on the 15th, excepting one regiment, Seventy-fourth Indiana Volunteers, detached as train guard, moved to the right in front of Resaca, relieving a portion of the troops of the Fifteenth Army Corps. During the day and evening our skirmishers were hotly engaged with those of the enemy inflicting upon them considerable loss, and losing as follows:
Command Killed Mortally Wounded Wounded 38th Ohio 1 2 14th Ohio 1 2 10th Kentucky 1 Total 3 1 4
Before break of day-of the morning of the 16th instant the pickets of our brigade, under charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Wharton, of the Tenth Kentucky Volunteers, were the first to discover the evacuation of their works by the rebels, and the first to occupy them, and, being re-enforced, pushed forward and captured some 60 prisoners without loss.
May 17, left Resaca, passing through Adairsville, Calhoun, and Kingston. No events of special importance transpired except that, on the 22d day of May, the Tenth Indiana was detailed to form part of the garrison at Kingston, and rejoined the brigade on the 15th of June. Crossing Pumpkin Vine Creek June 1, and camping in rear of the Twenty-third Army Corps during the night, June 2 took up position on the extreme left of Fourteenth Army Corps. During the 2d, 3d, and 4th days our skirmish lines were during most of the time hotly engaged, although suffering but little loss, owing to the extreme carefulness of officers and men. It was in the immediate rear of our lines, whilst occupying this position, that Major-General Palmer, commanding the corps, had so narrow an escape from being shot, and his senior aide-de-camp, Maj. D. W. Norton, was killed. Other general officers, including the general commanding the division, would have been killed during the occupancy of this position had not Providence been more merciful and rebels less skillful in arms than they were discreet. The lasses of the brigade at this point were:
Command Killed Wounded 38th Ohio 1 6 14th Ohio 2 4 10th Kentucky 4 74th Indiana 2 Total 3 16
June 5, the rebels evacuated their works, brigade moving immediately forward, and on the 10th of June went into position in front of Pine Knob, skirmishers engaging the enemy's pickets without loss. Except changing of position to the left, building breast-works, digging trenches, marching, and bivouacking, nothing transpired of interest until the 14th instant, when our skirmish lines were again hotly engaged with those of the enemy, and continued to be so up to and during the 17th, when the enemy evacuated their position in front of the right of our army. The losses of the brigade were:
Command Killed Mortally Wounded Wounded 38th Ohio 2 14th Ohio 2 1 11 10th Kentucky 1 74th Indiana 3 7 Total 5 1 21
On the 19th instant the brigade moved forward in support of the division, skirmishers driving the enemy's pickets on to Kenesaw Mountain, taking up position near the base of the mountain in reserve to the division. During the intermediate period of time, from the 20th to the 26th, the brigade was subject to very severe shelling from the rebel batteries, and much annoyed by their sharpshooters scattered along their front. The fire of the rebel guns was much the severest we have experienced during the campaign, but resulted in comparatively small loss, being as follows from the 20th to the 26th:
Command Killed Mortally Wounded Wounded 38th Ohio 1 2 12 14th Ohio 1 5 10th Indiana 2 3 10th Kentucky 2 74th Indiana 6 Total 3 3 28
On the 26th we moved to the right, and on the 27th were put in position to support the assault made by the division of Brigadier-General Davis upon the enemy's works. Until the 30th no changes were made in the position of the brigade, when we moved again to the right and, in conjunction with the First Brigade, relieved the division of General Geary, Twentieth Army Corps. On the morning of the 3d of July, the rebels having evacuated Kenesaw Mountain, we moved forward to the south and west of Marietta, and camped at night in view of the enemy. On the night of the 3d instant threw up works, also on the 4th, but on the 5th the enemy again evacuated, going toward the Chattahoochee River; the brigade was moved in pursuit in advance of the corps, the Tenth Indiana moving in support of the skirmishers. When within two miles of Vining's Station; on the Atlanta road, we came up with the rebel rear guard, and sharp skirmishing ensued, resulting in driving the enemy back to and across the railroad. The brigade took up position for the night by the side of the railroad at ten-mile stone. Until the 9th skirmishing continued more or less active among the pickets, when we were ordered to advance our picket-lines for the purpose of developing the enemy's lines. Moving out, the Tenth Kentucky Volunteers in support of the skirmishers, we soon engaged the rebel pickets, driving them at first a short distance with ease; but the skirmishers upon our left, having advanced within sight of the enemy's works, and meeting with a heavy and severe fire, fell back to their support. On being rallied and re-enforced by two additional companies of the Tenth Kentucky, they again advanced to the position they had before advanced to. The fire, however, of the enemy becoming very severe, and there being no connection on our left, the rebels meanwhile advancing in two lines of battle and endeavoring to gain our flank, the order was given to fall back, changing front to the left. The line was reformed about 150 yards in the rear, and the advance of the enemy checked, and they in turn retired, upon the coming of the Tenth Indiana, the fight lasting some fifteen minutes, and the fire was really very severe. Most of the officers and men behaved with the utmost gallantry, and did all under the circumstances the most exacting commandant could ask. The object of the advance was gained. The enemy was found, and found, too, in uncomfortably strong numbers. <ar72_808> That night they crossed the river, burning their boats and bridges behind them. Our losses from the 2d to the 9th of July, inclusive, were:
Command Killed Mortally Wounded Wounded 38th Ohio 1 6 14th Ohio 1 3 10th Kentucky 4 14 10th Indiana 5 74th Indiana 5 Total 5 1 33
During the evening the brigade enjoyed a much-needed rest on the north bank of the Chattahoochee. On the 17th the brigade crossed the Chattahoochee River, bivouacking on its south bank; the next morning moved to the south side of Nancy's Creek and remained for the day. On the 19th advanced and went into position one-fourth of a mile south of Peach Tree Creek, and on the left of the division. During this and the succeeding day had severe skirmishing, and on the 21st drove the rebel pickets back to their main works, the Fourteenth Ohio, under command of Major Wilson, supporting the skirmishers. On the 22d the rebels abandoned their works early in the morning and fell back to Atlanta. The brigade moved forward in the direction of Atlanta and went into position one-half mile west of the railroad and about two miles from Atlanta, on the Turner's Ferry road, and on the left of the division. Remained in this position, subject a portion of the time to severe shelling, until August 3, when, being relieved by Colonel Coburn's brigade, of General Ward's division, Twentieth Army Corps, we moved southwest about four miles and went into position on the right of the Twenty-third Army Corps, near Utoy Creek, and put up works for my front line of battle on the ground I found occupied by our skirmishers. On the 4th our pickets were hotly engaged with the rebel skirmishers. On the 5th, a general advance of our picket-lines being ordered, I increased the strength of my own by two additional companies from the Thirty-eighth Ohio and one from the Fourteenth Ohio, and placed the line under the immediate command of Major Irving, Thirty-eighth Ohio.
Upon the signal for the advance being given, the skirmishers advanced in the most gallant manner, carrying the rebel skirmish pits under a most galling fire, and capturing nearly all occupants. I cannot but think the charge was the handsomest and most successful one of the campaign. Officers and men behaved magnificently, and evinced a dash and a courage rarely equaled, never surpassed. Our picket-lines were immediately established on those so recently held by the rebels, and our main lines advanced from 100 to 150 yards in face of and under a severe musketry and artillery fire from the main works of the enemy. The day, however, so auspicious in its events to the general good, was rendered gloomy by the loss of some of the most gallant officers and men of the brigade, among whom was Lieut. Col. Myron Baker, commanding the Seventy-fourth Indiana, instantly killed; Maj. William Irving, of the Thirty-eighth Ohio, in charge of the pickets, severely wounded, leg being badly shattered, and Capt. Charles M. Gilbert, of the Thirty-eighth Ohio, besides some 70 non-commissioned officers and men killed and <ar72_809> wounded. Colonel Baker was one of the most gallant and efficient officers in the [service], and in his death his regiment met with an irreparable loss and the country a most valuable servant. Major Irving, by his severe wounds, has earned a new claim to the sympathy and respect of his fellow soldiers and gratitude of the loyal people. I would be glad to speak particularly of other officers whose conduct during the campaign has merited the highest praise, but the length to which even the brief résumé of a campaign of more than ninety days has unavoidably extended this report warns me to bring it to a close. I will only add that the officers and men of this brigade, with scarcely an exception, have borne the hardships and privations of this campaign with the greatest fortitude and patience, and its dangers, when calked upon to meet them, with the utmost gallantry and coolness. I cannot close this hurried and imperfect report without expressing to the general commanding the division and the officers of his staff my sincere thanks for the uniform courtesy which he and they have extended toward me during the entire campaign. Accompanying this report will be found a complete list of casualties.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. P. ESTE,