Journal of the Atlanta Campaign, kept at headquarters of the Fourth Army Corps,
Lieut. Col. Joseph S. Fullerton, Assistant Adjutant General.
MAY 1-SEPTEMBER 8, 1864.--The Atlanta (Georgia) Campaign.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXVIII/1 [S# 72]
Part IV (August)
August 1.--6 a.m., the troops of the three divisions of this corps commenced to work on the new line that we are to occupy to-night. 11 a.m., received from department headquarters a copy of Special Field Orders, No. 48, headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, dated near Atlanta, Ga., August 1, 1864, as follows :
7 p.m., the interior line of our works completed. 8 p.m., General Schofield moving his troops from the left, passing in our rear and going over to the right. Colonel Grose's division (First Division) stretched out this evening, and Kimball's brigade, of Newton's division, was moved over from the right and has gone into position on Grose's left, this division and brigade thus relieving all of Schofield's troops, and together with 2,000 men of Garrard's cavalry (dismounted) they occupy the works that were occupied by Schofield's corps. But little skirmishing to-day. At 5 p.m. all of our artillery opened fire upon Atlanta and kept it up until dusk. Day very warm and clear.
August 2.--10 a.m., received note from General Whipple, chief of staff, saying that General Thomas wished to know whether there are any troops guarding the Powers' Ferry bridge. If so, and they are not strong enough, they should be relieved and the bridge burned. At once replied, stating that parts of two regiments are there, and asked whether they should be relieved. 12.30 p.m., received instructions from Major-General Thomas to hold the line we occupy at present and not to withdraw to the new and interior lines we have constructed. At once sent word to division commanders not to move until further orders. Also sent word to General Garrard, who is on our left, that General Thomas does not wish him to withdraw his cavalry until further orders. 10 p.m., received dispatch from Major-General Sherman, sent to General Stanley, stating that orders have just been received from Washington assigning him to the command of Fourth Corps. Day clear and very warm. Usual skirmishing and artillery firing. But very few casualties.
August 3.--8.30 a.m., General Stanley sent a dispatch to General Thomas stating that he would make a reconnaissance this morning, and would push out his skirmish line and attack the enemy's picketline, and asked for his opinion. No answer received. Later in the morning, after riding along the lines and observing the situation, it was thought advisable not to make the reconnaissance. 10.15 a.m., received directions from General Thomas to strip the south end of the bridge at Powers' Ferry, and to take the guard down to the bridge at Pace's Ferry for the purpose of guarding it. 10.20 a.m., sent directions in accordance with the above-mentioned order to the commanding officer of the guard at Powers' Ferry bridge. 10.40, received message from Captain Messenger, at his lookout near Howard's house, stating that the rebels are leaving our front and moving off through Atlanta. Afterward he sent word that the vacated places were filled by other rebel troops. 10.50 a.m., sent Captain Messenger's dispatch to Major-General Sherman. 11 a.m., Major-General Sherman telegraphed General Stanley that our (the Twenty-third and Fourteenth Corps movements to the right to-day will surely draw the enemy to East Point. He may possibly attack our left, but I (Sherman) think not. Every approachable point to Atlanta should be felt, and make the enemy develop his force. The extreme silence and absence of artillery firing when the enemy must see troops moving at Palmer's front are suspicious. I (Sherman) would like to have the skirmishers about Wood and Newton's front push a reconnaissance as far forward as possible, and use considerable artillery about 4 p.m. 12.20 p.m., General Sherman telegraphed General Stanley that Hascall's division, of Schofield's corps, and one of Palmer's divisions will cross Utoy Creek to the east and will threaten the railroad, so that the enemy may weaken Atlanta (the defenses of) so far that a bold dash may make a lodgment about Wood's front; at all events make the attempt with a strong skirmish line. 2 p.m. sent dispatch to General Sherman, stating that the report of the signal officer that the rebel troops were leaving the front of this corps was partly incorrect. About one brigade left, and it was replaced by other troops. The enemy's artillery can be seen in our front in position. 3 p.m., received dispatch from Major-General Sherman, stating that General Hascall is across Utoy Creek and General Baird is passing; to watch well the effect on the extreme left, and at whatever point signal officers can see in Atlanta. 3.30 p.m., received telegram from General Thomas directing General Stanley to strengthen our skirmish line and make a bold dash against the enemy, and to capture his picket-line at any rate.
Orders to carry out General Thomas' instructions were at once given verbally to Generals Wood and Newton, and written one sent to Brigadier-General Grose. (Colonel Grose has just received appointment as brigadier-general.) Each division commander was directed to strengthen his skirmish line, and all of them to push out together and co-operate one with the other. Captain Bridges was also directed to open our artillery on Atlanta at 4 p.m. 4.30 p.m., Grose's, Newton's, and Wood's re-enforced skirmish lines advanced simultaneously. As soon as they started from their rifle-pits they met with a heavy musketry and artillery fire from the enemy. At least twenty guns were opened upon them, firing principally canister. The enemy's line of skirmish pits was carried along the whole front of the corps, except in front of Gibson's brigade, of Wood's division. Gibson was very near the enemy's main works and forts, and he met with a destructive fire of musketry and canister. Newton went within 100 yards of the star fort and took three lines of skirmish rifle-pits. Some time after skirmishers of Hazen's brigade had taken the enemy's line of rifle-pits, in front of the same, about sundown, the enemy sallied out of his works in strong force, and coming through the woods and striking their right flank drove them back a short distance, where they remained, holding their, position until they were withdrawn, after dark, by order. Hazen's skirmishers advanced over the open field and took the enemy's pits, with a number of prisoners, in said open field, about three-fourths of a mile from our works, and about 100 yards from the enemy's main works. All of the rest of our skirmishers held the advance positions which they had gained. The reconnaissance demonstrated that three of Cheatham's brigades are in our front, and prisoners report that Cleburne's division is on. Cheatham's right. There are also, in addition to these old troops, plenty of militia in the works. The enemy's forts and works (of which they have two or three lines) are very strong. The enemy has plenty of artillery in position in our front. In one place they have a six-gun battery, all of which guns opened upon us. The enemy's right extends beyond the Augusta railroad. In the operations this evening we took 50 prisoners, about, and have lost in killed and wounded about 40 men; a small loss for the severe fire to which the men were exposed. Soon after the advance of our skirmish lines to-day the enemy was seen to re-enforce his main lines of works by sending up troops from their rear. It being deemed not prudent to leave our skirmish line so far out from our main works the skirmishers were withdrawn after dark to the position they occupied before the advance was made. The lines of this corps, from right to left, now stretch about four miles. We have not yet been ordered to occupy the new and interior lines that we constructed August 1. To-day clear and hot until 1 p.m.; then quite a shower; cleared up again at 3 p.m.
August 4.--8 a.m., received written instructions from Major-General Thomas to have persons on our lookout stations to-day to watch closely the movements of the enemy, and to hold the troops in readiness to take advantage of any opportunity to move on their intrenchments. General Sherman thinks his movements to-day will either force the enemy to attack him or place their communications in a critical condition. He (Thomas) further says: Martin's division of rebel cavalry is on the south of the railroad, about half way between Atlanta and Decatur, and Garrard had better send out a small scouting party to discover their whereabouts, with a view of attacking them if the ground be favorable. 8.15, sent Garrard instructions to send out the scouts, &c., in accordance with the above order. Garrard is now commanding a division of cavalry, and is on our left, operating under directions of General Stanley. The Fourth Corps and Garrard's cavalry division constitute now the left of Sherman's grand army and of the Army of the Cumberland. 9.15 a.m., received General Sherman's telegraphic orders for the day (to-day) as follows :(*)
10 a.m., official copies of the foregoing orders of Generals Sherman and Thomas sent to division commanders for their information and guidance. 12.30 p.m., received dispatch from General Sherman, dated Utoy Creek, saying that Schofield's and Palmer's troops were crossing Utoy Creek and moving toward Sandtown road, and that he is on the hill this side of Utoy Creek, above Herring's Mill. 5 p.m., heavy firing heard off in the direction of Schofield's and Palmer's troops. The enemy is moving two small regiments in front of our left, behind his breast-works, one to our right and the other to our left, the only movements of his troops that have been discovered thus far. 7.40 p.m., General Grose reports that his lookout reports that two columns of the enemy's troops are moving from our left toward the town. At once sent this information to department headquarters. 8 p.m., have been informed that Schofield and Palmer did not effect much to-day; they did not move in time, or rather did not get far enough; are some distance from the railroad yet; they will move out again early in the morning. Unusually quiet along our front to-day; but little firing from either side. Day clear and very warm.
August 5.--7.30 a.m., received dispatch from General Thomas, stating--
The indications are that Major-Generals Schofield and Palmer are engaged with the enemy, as the musketry can be heard. Observe closely the indications of the battle, and should our troops advance upon the town, be prepared to take advantage of such movement.
12.40 p.m., received dispatch from General Thomas, saying that Schofield is heavily engaging the enemy; to watch them closely in our front, and to take advantage of any attempt that they may make to withdraw therefrom; to threaten along our line, &c. 12.55 p..m., in accordance with these instructions, at once sent word to division commanders to strengthen their skirmish lines, open fire, and make a general demonstration. Orders were also sent for all the batteries of the Artillery Brigade of the corps to fire upon the enemy's works with solid shot. 3 p.m., our re-enforced skirmish line advanced from the whole of the corps front. The enemy were driven from their rifle-pits in front of Grose's division. No attempt worthy of mention was made to drive them from their rifle-pits elsewhere. The enemy in Wood's front opened a heavy artillery and musketry fire from their main works; also in Newton's front. In General Grose's front we received a very heavy fire from the enemy's main works, and from a heavy out-work about 100 yards in advance of the same. Our main line of troops was now brought out of our works, as though we were about to make a general advance, and moved forward a short distance to places of cover, where they remained until they, with the skirmishers from the advanced position they gained to-day, were withdrawn after dark. At 5 p.m. Colonel Smith's regiment, Thirty-first Indiana (First Division), was sent out to the left on a reconnaissance to move toward the Augusta railroad. After Colonel S[mith] had gone 600 yards he came up with the enemy's skirmishers, and he quickly drove them back to their main works. Soon he discovered one regiment of the enemy moving out to his left and another to his right, and he slowly fell back to our works. 9.45 p.m., received a dispatch from General Sherman stating that--
A heavy movement of troops is reported out of Atlanta, south through WhiteHall. Let your extreme left (Kimball's division preferred) feel forward strong and fire half a dozen shots with artillery in quick succession or by volleys, something different from the usual [way].
The above instructions were carried out by General Kimball, commanding the left division of the corps, at 10 p.m. The dispatch was telegraphed to him. Our demonstration of to-day held the enemy in our front and prevented any forces of the enemy from being sent to his left. We found the same batteries in our front and about the same amount of infantry that was discovered day before yesterday. Since that time, though, the enemy has made his skirmish rifle-pits much stronger, and in many places the pits have been constructed into a continuous line. We have lost about 40 killed and wounded to-day. Day very hot; cloudy part of the day.
August 6.--7 a.m., received report, by field telegraph, from General Kimball, commanding First Division, that the enemy was advancing his skirmish line and that he is re-enforcing his. 8.30 a.m., received another dispatch from General Kimball; reports that the enemy is evidently hunting for his left; that the left of his picket-line has been attacked, but it held firm, and the enemy is yet moving to his left. 8.40 a.m., General Stanley telegraphed General Whipple, chief of staff, a report of the enemy's movements, and then left headquarters for our left. 8.50 a.m., moved two regiments of General Wood's division toward the left as a support for General Kimball's left, that part held by General Garrard's dismounted cavalry. (General Garrard held that part of our lines which is refused on the left, commencing at Kimball's left and running along the old abandoned rebel works toward Peach Tree Creek, and which covers the road to Atlanta via the Howard house.) 11 a.m., a deserter comes in from the enemy in front of Kimball's left, and he reports that the enemy's demonstration was made by Maney's brigade, of Cheatham's division; that this brigade is posted south of the railroad, and that the enemy are very anxious to learn what force we have. Our picket-line was driven back a short distance, and we lost 1 man killed and a few wounded. 12 m. General Thomas telegraphed General Stanley that--(*)
12.30 p.m., telegraphed General Thomas that no attack, excepting one coming suddenly from the direction of the match factory on the Roswell road, can affect our position. Two regiments are guarding the breast-works on the Roswell road. 3.10 p.m., received instructions from General Thomas to order our batteries to demonstrate and to engage the enemy at all points along our lines during the day, as Schofield, who crossed the Sandtown road at 12.50 p.m., and attacked the enemy in his works without success, will make another attack this afternoon farther to the right. Instructions in accordance with this were at once given to the chief of artillery of the corps and to division commanders. Division commanders were instructed to make strong demonstrations and such movements and displays of their troops as to lead the enemy to believe we were about to attack him. 3.30 p.m., our batteries opened. 4 p.m., our demonstrations commenced. 4.30 p.m., General Kimball reports that the enemy has moved one regiment out from his main works and placed it behind his picket-line, opposite his (Kimball's) center. 4.30, directed General Kimball to continue his demonstration, but to be careful of his reconnaissance down the railroad. The reconnaissance of to-day has been a success. It caused the enemy to develop his force, and prevented him from moving to his left, the point of Schofield's attack. 9 p.m., Schofield assaulted the enemy's works this p.m., and was repulsed with quite heavy loss. Casualties for the day in killed and wounded 7. Day hot and clear.
August 7.--Nothing of importance occurred to-day in our front. No change in the enemy's position. He shows the same force and amount of artillery as yesterday. 'Some artillery firing and musketry along our lines. Losses through the day very small, not over 3 men wounded. At 1 p.m. received instructions from General Thomas to picket well the Roswell road in front of the breast-works. This was done two or three days ago, and such picketing still continues to be done. 4 p.m., Schofield making an attack on the extreme right of our lines. Later; did not amount to much, only developed the enemy in strength in his front. Day very warm and clear.
August 8.--Nothing of importance occurred to-day. No change in the enemy's position in our front. About the same number of troops and guns discerned in his works. We are watching for an opportunity to break through his lines. Will make the attempt as soon as they are weakened by his withdrawing forces to oppose our pressure on his left. Usual picket and artillery firing to-day. Only 3 men wounded, so far as heard from, yesterday; no report of killed. Day very sultry, with heavy showers.
August 9.--8.40, received instructions from General Sherman, through General Thomas, as follows:
All of the batteries that can reach the buildings of Atlanta will fire on the town to-morrow (to-day, August 9), using during the day about fifty rounds per gun, shell and solid shot. General Schofield will, during the cannonade, completely develop the enemy's strength and position on his (the enemy's) left flank.
In accordance with above instructions all of our batteries opened upon Atlanta at about 10 a.m., and continued to fire until between 3 and 4 p.m. The lookouts report great commotion in Atlanta, and that our shells burst immediately over all parts of the town. It is reported that General Schofield discovered strong works in his front, on our right, and that the general system of the enemy's works extend to and even beyond East Point. Usual picket-firing to-day. Two men wounded; no report as to whether any killed. Day showery and quite warm.
August 10.--Nothing of importance done to-day. Usual amount of artillery and picket firing. 5 p.m., General Wood reports the lookout in Knefler's front reports the enemy moving troops, with wagons, toward our left; this on the other side of his breast-works. At once sent word to General Kimball to be on the watch, &c. 6.30 p.m., the signal officer at Howard's house reports that he has observed no movements of the enemy to-day. Everything in Atlanta appears unusually quiet. The usual picket and artillery firing to-day. We threw a few red-hot shot from the batteries in General Wood's front to-day into Atlanta. Day warm. Heavy showers during the entire day.
August 11.--2 p.m., received a note from General Sherman directing General Stanley to inquire of General Garrard whether the enemy are working on the Augusta railroad. Such fact is reported by prisoners. 3 p.m., General Garrard reports that some of the officers and men who were out with Stoneman's raid report that they crossed the Augusta railroad so late as Sunday last, and no work had been done up to that time. He also reported that the enemy's cavalry is massing on our left at Covington, preparatory to making a raid toward Tennessee or Kentucky. Nothing of importance occurred to-day. No movement of the enemy has been observed by our lookouts, and there has been no change in their lines in our front. On the extreme right of the army Schofield is working up toward the enemy. Usual picket and artillery firing to-day. Day very warm and many heavy showers.
August 12.--7.15 a.m., received a telegram, per courier, from department headquarters, dated August 11, of which the following is a copy:(*)
7.20, dispatched word to General Sherman that his dispatch was just received, and that his instructions would be carried out. Upon arriving upon the ground it was found that the enemy's pickets near the distillery could not be taken without losing a great many men, and, in fact, there was every chance for them to escape before they could be captured. It was thought advisable not to attack them, but to keep up a demonstration in such a manner as to hold the enemy in his works while Schofield was operating on the right. Kimball, Wood, and Newton made a large and bold show of force, skirmished very lively and fired artillery, most of the day. It had the desired effect. 9.30 a.m., sent word to General Sherman that there is no change in the enemy's position and in the amount of force that he has been displaying for several days. 5 p.m., the officer from the lookout in front of General Kimball's division reports that there has been no change in the enemy's force and position in our front to-day. The same number of troops can be seen in his works to-day as yesterday. 5 p.m., General Kimball was directed to be in readiness to take the enemy's skirmish line to-morrow at daylight. 7 p.m., directed General Kimball that under present circumstances it is not advisable to attack the enemy's skirmishers (or pickets) in the morning. During the day and all night skirmish firing and occasional artillery firing kept up. We lost 7 men killed and wounded to-day. Day warm and showery.
August 13.--1.25 a.m., received dispatch from Brigadier-General Kimball, commanding First Division, stating that a column of the enemy had been passing for an hour and a half in front of Taylor's brigade, of his division, moving toward our left. (This division now on the left of the army.) And he further reported that the enemy had been keeping up a constant skirmish fire all night. He asked for two regiments to support his left. 1.30 a.m., directed General Wood to send two regiments at once to report to General Kimball (to report to him at daylight), and for them to move to a point on the Roswell road near Kimball's left. 1.30 a.m., telegraphed to General Thomas the substance of Kimball's report. 4.30 a.m., sent a dispatch to General Kimball asking whether he had learned anything more concerning the movements of the enemy. 8.30 a.m., General Kimball dispatched that he had delayed answering the dispatch of 4.30, as he was waiting for definite information; and he says the enemy made the movement of troops, but he does not know where they went. Deserters just in say that they know of no movement having been made during the night; also, he reports that the enemy made a reconnaissance along our picket-line this morning. 9.30 a.m., General Kimball reports that his lookout reports that the enemy's line in front of Kirby's brigade, of his division, has been strengthened during the night by at least three regiments. This accounts for the movement of last night. 9.50, received dispatch from General Thomas, stating that he had directed General Garrard to send out scouts and see what the movement made last night means, and that he wants General Stanley to be on the watch for the earliest signs of movement of the enemy. The enemy has appeared active in front of Kimball's division to-day, but there has been no movement of their forces from the position which they have been holding for some time past. Nothing new along the rest of our line and no changes of the enemy's force discovered. The usual skirmish and artillery firing to-day. Day warm and showery.
August 14.--2.15 a.m., received dispatch from Brigadier-General Kimball stating that Colonel Kirby reports that the enemy are moving to our left in his front, and that there is quite a fire in Atlanta. 2.15 a.m., directed General Wood to have two regiments in readiness to move to General Wood's [Kimball's?] assistance at a moment's warning. 6 a.m., as the enemy has not made an attack or demonstration on or in front of our left it is supposed that the movement of troops last night was merely in shifting them from one position to another, changing troops. 7.25 a.m., General Kimball reports no change in the enemy's position in his front this morning. Nothing of importance occurred to-day. Usual skirmishing and artillery firing and usual results. There has been a consultation or council of army commanders, and a grand movement of troops will soon take place. 6 p.m., the railroad in our rear has been cat by the enemy's cavalry, supposed to be a large force under command of Wheeler. Day very sultry; perhaps the hottest day of the summer.
August 15.--No change to-day in the enemy's position. General Garrard has taken his cavalry from our left, and has gone off to the enemy's right to see whether there is yet a force of cavalry (of the enemy's) left on his (the enemy's) right. General Kimball extended his pickets this a.m. to the left, so as to cover the lines held by General Garrard's dismounted cavalry, but which are not occupied now. This leaves our left much more exposed. General Wheeler, with about 5,000 cavalry, now raiding in our rear. Yesterday he demanded the surrender of Dalton. Colonel Laiboldt, the commander of the post, refused. A fight was the result. General Steedman came up with two regiments of infantry to Laiboldt's assistance and drove the enemy off toward Spring Place. 8 p.m., General Garrard has returned. He found seven regiments of the enemy's cavalry opposite our extreme left intrenched. Did not fight them, but returned and went into camp in the rear of the center of the corps. He does not again occupy the works on our left. Usual picket and artillery firing. Day very hot.
August 16.--Nothing new along our lines and in front of them prior to sundown. The usual picket-firing; not so much artillery firing. 8.25 p.m., General Kimball's lookout reports that at 7.15 p.m. the enemy threw fire-balls into the air at the fort southwest from his position, and he discovered troops passing a fire near the fort. They continued to pass for over twenty minutes, and at 7.45 more fire-balls were thrown from the same point. He could not tell whether the troops were moving east or south. 8.45 p.m., directed division commanders to instruct their pickets to be on the alert and to watch closely for any movements of the enemy. 10 p.m., General Kimball's lookout reports he has seen the enemy's troops passing a fire from a point west of his position and moving southward; that the enemy has been unusually active since sundown. 10.20, Generals Wood and Newton report the enemy very active in their fronts. 11 p.m., reported the situation to General Thomas. Day very hot and clear.
P. S.--On the a.m. of August 17 no material change was discerned in the enemy's line, &c. No attack made or movement discovered.
August 17.--2 a.m., received Special Field Orders, No. 57, headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, near Atlanta, Ga., dated August 16, 1864 (General Sherman), which read as follows: (*)
10 a.m., in accordance with the foregoing order, instructions were sent to division commanders to at once select a sufficient number of their best wagons from the ordnance trains to carry 100 rounds of ammunition (musket cartridges) per man in said wagons. Fifteen days' forage of six pounds per animal per day must also be carried in said wagons. Also, to select the best teams from this supply train and load them with fifteen days' rations, to commence on the 20th instant. The ammunition wagons must move to-morrow to a position west of Proctor's Creek and in rear of Sherman's headquarters. The supply trains must move by the Marietta and Atlanta road from the railroad bridge, and park at the same place (Sherman's) to-morrow. All surplus wagons must be sent back to Vining's Station to be parked by Colonel Hayes, chief quartermaster of the corps. Headquarters wagons, ambulances, caissons to be sent back before sundown to-morrow, and all surplus wagons, animals, &c., to be sent back to Vining's Station to-morrow. 11 a.m., General Kimball reports that the enemy is moving to his left, and that he should have some cavalry to cover his left flank. This dispatch was at once sent to department headquarters. 11.30, General Wood was ordered to send a regiment to relieve the right regiment of Kimball's division, which was done. 12 m., it now appears that the movements of the enemy discovered on our left this morning was only the marching of the enemy's troops into the positions vacated by them last night. 12.15 p.m., received extract from Special Field Orders, No. 226, headquarters Department of the Cumberland, near Atlanta, August 17, 1864, of which the following is a copy:(+)
12.15 p.m., received from department headquarters the following extract from a dispatch from General Sherman to General Thomas, dated August 17, with instructions to act in accordance therewith, viz:
Stanley's line should be most persistent in annoying the enemy, and maltine feints as though looking for a place for assault, such to be kept up until to-morrow night.
12.15, directed division commanders to make a display of their force, and to make movements (so as to be seen by the enemy)as though they were moving and massing on our left for an attack; to keep up an active fire, &c. (This programme was carried out, commencing at 1 p.m.) 12.30, received dispatch from General Thomas directing General Stanley to be on the qui vive and to try and discover what the movements of the enemy meant, and to be prepared to take advantage of the same; also to be prepared to resist an attack. 5 p.m., Major-General Sherman dispatched to General Stanley that he now has positive information that Wheeler has gone to East Tennessee, and that he will not now move infantry, but will "break the Macon road all to pieces with our cavalry to-morrow night ;" therefore you (Stanley)will threaten and demonstrate against Atlanta, and make feints of attack during to-morrow and next day. 7 p.m., directed chief quartermaster and commissary of subsistence of corps not to move their trains to-morrow. 4.45 p.m., directed division commanders to keep up a demonstration and show of force to-morrow, and to threaten an attack on Atlanta; also told them that they would not move until further orders, but to be ready to move on very short notice. Day very clear and hot.
August 18.--4 a.m., received dispatch from General Sherman, per Major-General Thomas, stating that the shelling of our lines (at present) is to withdraw our attention from some other point, and to be on our guard. 4 a.m., received dispatch from General Sherman, per Major-General Thomas, stating that Hood may attempt to pass around our left flank to our rear, following the cavalry movement, and to ascertain whether any infantry has passed out of Atlanta to the east. 8.30, received report from General Kimball, stating that there had been no change in appearance of things in his front, and that there has been no movements of the enemy so far as could be discovered. Lookout also reports no change: 8.30, received dispatch from General Thomas wishing to know whether anything is going on among the rebels in our front or on our flank. 8.30, reported to General Thomas, "no change of appearance of things on the enemy's side." No changes on the part of the enemy discovered during to-day. 2 p.m., received dispatch from General Thomas, dated August 18, as follows:
For the purpose of aiding General Kilpatrick in his operations on the Macon railroad as much as possible, I desire you to concentrate on your left flank as large a force as you can, without weakening your lines too much (by daylight to-morrow morning, 19th), and make a strong demonstration, and attract the enemy toward you as much as possible, and endeavor to hold him opposite you during the day. It is hoped that General Kilpatrick will be able to reach the Macon road at Jonesborough between 12 m. and 2 p.m. to-morrow, 19th, and if he can have from that time until 10 p.m. to work uninterruptedly, he ought to be able to destroy so much of the road as to make it impossible to operate it for at least ten days, by which time it is supposed Hood will be starved out. Similar instructions have been given to General Garrard, who will operate on the enemy's flank still farther to your left. It is also desirable for you to make a similar demonstration on the morning of the 20th, to enable General Kilpatrick to withdraw.
7.30 p.m., directed General Wood to send two regiments (or three, if he can spare them from his line) to General Kimball's left, to assist in a demonstration to be made in the morning in favor of General Kilpatrick, these regiments to take the place of some of those of Kimball, to be taken out of their present line; also directed him to make such a demonstration at daylight as he made yesterday. 8 p.m., directed General Kimball, in order to favor the movements of General Kilpatrick, to make a strong demonstration in the morning, to deceive the enemy and make him expect assault; to march
Colonel Kirby's brigade at dawn over to the railroad (to the left and front of Kimball's left). where the main body of it will be held in reserve, while regiments are sent to the left and front to reconnoiter.
Also at dawn in the a.m. for one of Taylor's regiments to move to the left and occupy a position about midway between our present left and the position to be occupied by Kirby's brigade, there to cover the deep ravine on our left. 8.15 p.m., General Newton reports that he has exhausted his inventive powers in the way of making demonstrations, and wishes to know whether he can remain quiet to-morrow a.m. and instruct his pickets to hide and not fire, so that if the enemy opens artillery fire upon us in the morning for the purpose of trying to get us to reply, and thus discover whether we are here, he may deceive them and entice them to advance their skirmish line. 8.30 p.m., General Newton was instructed not to return the enemy's fire if he opens in the a.m., and to keep his pickets hid, so that the enemy might advance his skirmishers, and he take advantage of such advance. Like instructions were also given to General Wood. Usual artillery and picket firing to-day. Day dry and very hot.
August 19.--12.30 a.m., received dispatch from General Kimball stating that the lookout at Howard's house reports that 10.30 p.m. rockets were sent up in the enemy's lines, apparently opposite General Newton's division, and about twenty minutes afterward others were sent up, and then a bright fire was kindled in the southern part of the town. It is supposed that the enemy is making some movement. 3 a.m., started from headquarters for the left. General Kimball made the movements, in accordance with the orders given to him at 8 p.m. last night. At daybreak Kirby's brigade was moved to the point indicated on the railroad (Augusta and Atlanta road) and he (Kirby) sent strong reconnoitering parties toward Atlanta, and south toward the battle-field of the 22d of July, where the Seventeenth Corps fought. 5 a.m., the lookout in front of Kimball's division discovered a body of the enemy's troops, a division in strength, moving double-quick from Atlanta toward the position held by Kirby. These troops went into their works, opposite Kirby's brigade, as posted on the railroad. At daybreak Colonel Taylor sent a regiment to cover the ravine between our left and Kirby, and General Grose (commanding Kimball's right brigade) advanced his skirmishers and drove the enemy from his skirmish rifle-pits, and engaged him in his main works for a short time. 7 a.m., up to this time, from sunrise, the enemy could be discovered moving troops to his right and filling the main works and rifle-pits in front of Kirby. 7.20 a.m., as the object of the demonstration had been accomplished, General Kimball was directed to withdraw Kirby's pickets and troops and to leave two regiments at the burnt brick house, very near the railroad; also to leave the regiment in position that is now covering the ravine. These troops were instructed to keep busy through the day, and to move about as though forming for some movement, and to dig dirt near the abandoned earth-works around the burnt brick house and in front of the ravine, as though they were making preparations to stop permanently. The artillery officers of the First Division were also directed to keep up slow firing through the day. These instructions were well carried out, and had the desired effect. 12.25 p.m., a telegram from General Sherman to General Thomas was submitted to General Stanley by General Thomas. It was as follows:
General Howard's signal officer reports cars loaded with soldiers sent down the railroad. Of course Hood will try to defend that road at all cost, and we should take advantage of detachments made for that purpose. Better let all your line feel forward as far as prudent, and if a safe place be found to make a lodgment.
1.25 p.m., sent copies of said dispatch to division commanders, and directed them to re-enforce their picket-line, so as to make it a strong skirmish line, and to feel forward at 5 p.m. in accordance with the terms thereof. 5 p.m., there was a general advance along our lines by our skirmish line, which has been re-enforced by one regiment from each brigade in the corps. Along our whole front the enemy was driven into his skirmish rifle-pits. (These are nearly all united now, making a continuous line.) As soon as this advance commenced the enemy was observed to bring up troops from the rear and place them in his main works, and also to re-enforce his skirmishers by men taken from the main works. His (the enemy's) skirmish pits have been materially strengthened within the past two or three days. By our advance our skirmishers also discovered that the enemy's main lines of works have also been strengthened, and they have placed in many places in front of the same triple rows of sharpened stakes; this in addition to their abatis. We did not find a place where it was possible to make a lodgment in the enemy's main works with one single line of battle (the whole corps is now stretched out in one line), or even where the strongest column could successfully assault them, if held by any considerable force. After skirmishing with the enemy until dark, our skirmishers were withdrawn to the positions we left when we advanced against the enemy. Did not try to take the enemy's skirmish rifle-pits We had about 12 men killed and wounded only. Day very hot and clear in the morning, with few clouds and little rain late in the afternoon. We succeeded in holding the enemy in his works to-day, and also in making him re-enforce the troops therein--the object of the demonstration. 8.45 p.m., directed General Newton to keep up a demonstration against the enemy to-morrow, as he did to-day, by engaging the enemy's skirmishers, in favor of General Kilpatrick. To assist and favor General Kilpatrick the following demonstrations are to be made to-morrow, 20th: 8.45 p.m., ordered General Wood to engage the enemy's skirmishers to-morrow and to send two regiments at 3 o'clock in the morning to report to General Kimball, for the purpose of strengthening his left. 9.10 p.m., ordered General Kimball to station three regiments at daylight to-morrow so as to cover the ravine between his left flank and the burnt house on the railroad, and to put these regiments behind the abandoned earth-works on the battle-field of July 22; also to make a reconnaissance with a brigade at daylight toward the position where we supposed the enemy's right flank to rest to-day, and to maneuver so as to lead the enemy to believe that we are hunting for his right and trying to turn him. This, it is supposed, would make the enemy throw a force in that direction and hold it there-all day, thus preventing him from sending troops off after Kilpatrick.
August 20.--At daylight this morning General Wood's two regiments that were sent to our left reported to General Kimball, and at the same time General Kimball commenced to make his reconnaissance toward the enemy's right--that is, toward the right of his infantry. The reconnaissance was made, under General Kimball's direction, by General Grose, with six regiments of his brigade, and with three regiments of Colonel Opdycke's brigade supporting his left. From the burnt brick house on the Augusta railroad the course of march was nearly due south. Near this house the rebel skirmishers were met, and they were driven about one mile back to their works. These works are at the angle that was occupied by the Seventeenth Corps about 20th of July. After considerable skirmishing with the enemy, during which we lost a few men and captured 8 prisoners, our troops were withdrawn without attacking the enemy's works. There was no intention of doing this. It was not thought prudent to keep them so far out from our main body of troops without support any longer, especially as the object of the reconnaissance had been accomplished. By this reconnaissance we discovered the point where the right of the enemy's infantry rests; that Strahl's brigade, of Cheatham's division, is on their right, and on the right of this are but two regiments of cavalry. Ferguson's brigade of cavalry (which was on their right) left at daylight yesterday morning in pursuit of Kilpatrick. The prisoners taken today also confirm the reports of our lookouts, that the enemy is putting up large guns in the fort southeast of Atlanta, and that there is a line of works covering the south of the city. Generals Newton and Wood also made demonstrations during the day by engaging the enemy's skirmishers, artillery firing; &c. Our reconnaissance and demonstrations to-day had the desired effect in keeping the enemy in his works and in making him re-enforce his troops opposite us. 1 p.m., received from General Garrard, commanding cavalry division, two papers taken from two scouts who were captured by some of his troops near Decatur. These papers were orders from Hood's chief of scouts ordering them to be sure and find out where our left flank rests, where the flank joins the main line, and what troops are on our left flank, and to be sure and send in this information, and let it be reliable. These papers were at once sent to department headquarters. 7 p.m., Captain Steele, aide-de-camp, who was on the Howard house lookout, reports that he heard heavy artillery firing at 5 p.m. a long way off, perhaps fifteen or twenty miles (the atmosphere and wind favorable), in a direction ten degrees east of south--supposed to be Kilpatrick and the enemy on the Atlanta and Macon Railroad. 8 p.m., received dispatch from General Thomas telling us to look out for an attack upon our left flank by Hood. About 15 men killed and wounded to-day. Day clear and very warm until afternoon; afternoon two or three heavy showers.
August 21.--6.25 a.m., the signal officer at the Howard house reports that no change within the rebel lines discovered this morning, and that on the rebel right, about south thirty-five degrees west, the tents (sheeting) have all been taken down, and troops are standing around as though they are about to move off. 2.45 p.m., five deserters came into our lines from Maney's and Vaughan's brigades, of Cheatham's division. They report that at noon yesterday these two brigades moved to the right of the Augusta railroad to re-enforce Strahl's brigade, which was on the rebel right. This is the result of our demonstrations and reconnaissance yesterday. The usual artillery and picket firing to-day. Nothing further of importance occurred. Lost 12 men killed and wounded to-day. Day clear and warm; heavy rain after dark.
August 22.--Nothing unusual or of importance occurred during the day. We are closely watching the movements of the enemy and for the effect of General Kilpatrick's raid. Very little artillery firing to-day. Usual picket-firing. Two or 3 men wounded. 5 p.m., General Kilpatrick returned from his raid. He destroyed four miles of the Atlanta and Macon Railroad completely and ten miles at intervals. He had hard fighting; found the enemy's infantry and cavalry on the ground. He was opposed by one division of infantry and one brigade, and three brigades of cavalry. Day very hot and clear. Nothing of unusual interest occurred along our lines this morning. Lost a few men wounded to-day.
August 23.--Signal officers at the Howard house report no change in the appearance of rebel forces within their lines. A few men can be seen at work on their forts, &c. Deserters who came into our lines to-day report that the-enemy has nearly 40,000 veteran troops and about 35,000 militia; also that Hood is expecting us to move around his flank right or left. Orders have been received today from department headquarters requiring our quartermaster and commissary of subsistence to at once provide fifteen days of forage and subsistence. General Stanley was also verbally informed by General Thomas that a flanking movement, to be made by all of the army save one corps, would commence on the night of the 25th instant. Nothing of importance occurred to-day. Usual picket-firing and very little artillery firing from either side. Lost 5 men killed and wounded to-day. Day clear and very hot. 8 p.m., Major-General Thomas verbally instructed General Stanley to make every preparation for the movement indicated in Special Field Orders, No. 57, headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, dated August 16, which movement has been delayed, and that it would commence just after dark on the night of August 25. The orders from department and military division headquarters have already been issued for this movement.
August 24.--7 a.m., the signal officers at the Howard house report that there appears to be no change within the enemy's lines this morning, and that there was more firing than usual on the skirmish line last night. 8 a.m., information of the contemplated movement of the corps was given to staff officers, and they were instructed to have everything in readiness in their respective departments for the same. 9 a.m., instructed division commanders to carry out the instructions given to them on the 17th instant in reference to said movement; that the movement will commence just after dark to-morrow evening, August 25; to send all surplus men, horses, wagons, and material not necessary for the success of the expedition to the rear to-day and to-morrow morning; to have every preparation for this movement made by to-morrow noon, and to place good and reliable division officers of the day on duty to-morrow. Instructions in reference to withdrawing the pickets will be given to-morrow. 5 p.m., signal officer reports that there is nothing new within the rebel lines; that at present there is a large fire near the business part of the city; that it has been burning for two hours, and that our shells burst just at the fire. 7.30 p.m., sent instructions to Colonel Hayes to move his trains on Friday down the river on the north side thereof; that it will not be safe to move on the other side; that he must cross the river over the bridge at Sandtown on the same day, and park near the same. It is reported this evening that the enemy has been withdrawing from the front of the Army of the Tennessee. If this be true he may be making preparations to attack our left to-morrow. There has been more skirmishing than usual to-day. The usual artillery firing. Lost 10 men killed and wounded to-day. Day very hot.
August 25.--10 a.m., directed the movements of this corps to take place to-night as follows, in "Orders of the day for the Fourth Army Corps" :(*)
6.45 p.m., Opdycke's brigade marched over to General Newton's division, and immediately afterward the three divisions of the corps commenced to withdraw. By 10 p.m. all of the troops had been withdrawn from the main line of works and were on the march for Proctor's Creek, moving around the Twentieth Corps. Our pickets were successfully withdrawn at about 11 p.m. without being observed by the enemy. 11.25 p.m., the head of our column (Kimball's division) reached Proctor's Creek. Only part of this division came up in time, as there was a break in the Second Brigade, causing an interval in our line of march of about one mile and a half. It is said by officers who were where the break occurred that this was caused by some of General Geary's division (Twentieth Corps)passing through our column. This caused a delay, and the rear of our column did not get to Proctor's Creek until daybreak. It was closely followed by the skirmish line. Generals Newton's and Wood's divisions were posted on the high ridge on the north side of the creek, and General Kimball's division was posted on a hill near to and on the south side of the creek. After daylight the enemy's skirmishers followed us up and opened a brisk skirmish with the skirmishers of the Second and Third Divisions on the north side of the creek. Verbal orders were received from General Thomas to withdraw from Proctor's Creek (if the enemy did not attack) at 8 a.m. to-morrow and march for Utoy Post-Office, on the south side of Utoy Creek. These orders were given to Major-General Stanley this evening. Day very hot; heavy rain-storm in the afternoon. The rain made the roads very heavy, and it was hard for the troops to move over them. We lost a few men by capture, men who fell behind in the march to-night.
August 26.--9 a.m., the enemy did not attack us this morning, only engaging our skirmishers, and at this hour we commenced to withdraw our troops. Newton's division was withdrawn to the south side of the creek and Wood's division followed him, and after these divisions had passed him on the march to Utoy Creek Kimball followed with his division. 3 p.m., the head of our column (Newton's division) reached Utoy Creek, crossed it, and went into line of battle on the ridge on the south side thereof, the line facing north. 4.30 p.m., Wood's division reached Utoy Creek, crossed, and went into line of battle, his right joining Newton's left, and his right and Newton's left both resting on the Sandtown road. 5 p.m., Kimball's division crossed Utoy Creek and took a reserve position in the rear of Newton's and Wood's divisions. Established headquarters near the Widow Kennedy's, or Utoy Post-Office. 10.45 p.m., received orders from Major-General Thomas to march to-morrow to Mount Gilead Church, starting at 8 a.m., and to move over a road running directly south to said point from the Widow Kennedy's. The church (Mount Gilead) is on the north side of and near to Camp Creek, about sixteen miles from Atlanta and four miles from the Atlanta and West Point Railroad. The Army of the Tennessee is passing around our left (as we face north)to-night, and it will move parallel with us, on our right, to-morrow, when we will face south and cross Camp Creek. Day very hot. Heavy showers through the day.
August 27.--8 a.m., in accordance with General Thomas' order, the corps started on the march for Mount Gilead Church. Woods' division took the lead, Kimball's followed, then the artillery and ammunition and hospital trains, and then General Newton's division. 12.10 p.m., General Wood reached Mount Gilead Church. His division passed it a short distance until it reached Camp Creek. Here he halted and formed a line of battle, facing east and running north and south, his right resting on the creek. This line ran along the road on which we marched. 1 p.m., General Kimball went into line of battle on the prolongation of General Wood's line, his right joining General Wood's left. General Schofield's corps (Twenty-third) is now on our left, and it is facing nearly in the same direction. His right is not far from General Kimball's left. 6 p.m. General Newton arrived with his division at Mount Gilead Church. He had been delayed by the passage of the Fourteenth Corps trains across the road on which he was moving (this train having cut into the train which was moving on the road ahead of General Newton, and which he was covering and was protecting from the enemy's cavalry). This division was posted on a ridge on the south side of Camp Creek, and was placed in line of battle, also running north and south and facing toward the east. The left of the division is just across the creek from General Wood's right. When General Wood arrived at the position he now occupies he met the enemy's skirmishers (dismounted cavalry), and he drove them across Camp Creek. When General Newton crossed the creek he also drove them, and he skirmished with them until dark. The enemy fired a few artillery shots at us from a ridge about one-quarter of a mile beyond the creek. We replied with artillery and silenced his guns. Very hot and clear to-day. Lost in wounded about 6 men to-day. General Thomas verbally instructed General Stanley this evening to march from the railroad to-morrow; to be ready to march at 7 am., and to follow General Davis' corps; also to move our trains on the road to the right of the one on which we march.
August 28.--5.45 a.m., published the order of march for the day (August 28) for the Fourth Army Corps:
The corps will be ready to move at 7 a.m., but it will not move until further orders are given. General Kimball's division will lead, General Newton's will follow, and then General Wood's. The line of march will be directly southward to the railroad. Two batteries will accompany General Kimball's division, and one will accompany each of the other divisions. Headquarters trains will follow the divisions to which they belong. All other trains and the surplus artillery will move on the road to the right of the road on which the troops are to march. On this road the artillery will march first, then the hospital trains, then the ammunition trains, then the general supply train. These trains will move in the order in which the divisions march, and they will be conducted by Captain Schoeninger, assistant chief quartermaster. Fifteen ambulances and five ammunition wagons will accompany each division.
8.15 a.m., in accordance with instructions received from department headquarters, General Kimball was ordered to keep his pickets in position until the whole corps passes on the line of march from our present position. General Wood was directed to send one brigade about one mile and a half to the rear, nearly to the Patterson house, and to remain there for a short time after General Kimball's division passes, as a party of observation, to watch for any attempt of the enemy to pass a column between us and General Schofield, and also to send one brigade to march in the rear of our trains (on the road to the right) and to cover them. 8.25 a.m., the Army of the Tennessee is now marching for Fairburn on the railroad, and General Davis' corps is passing us on the march for Red Oak on the railroad, and our column is to follow him. 8.30 a.m., General' Kimball ordered to take ten ammunition wagons and General Newton seven. General Wood was ordered not to move until all of the trains have passed and all of the troops of our corps. 9 a.m., the head of General Davis' column (Fourteenth Corps) is just moving forward, having passed headquarters. He is moving on the direct road for Red Oak (on the railroad), which turns from the road on which we marched yesterday to the left a few hundred yards south of Mount Gilead Church. He has been having some skirmishing with the enemy's dismounted cavalry. 2.15 p.m., the rear of General Davis' corps has just passed, and General Kimball's division is starting on the march, following immediately after him. 2.40 p.m., arrive at the road that branches off to East Point, and, by direction of the general, General Kimball has sent a regiment out a short distance to watch any approach of the enemy that may be made from that direction while we are passing, the regiment to come in with the rear of our column. We are moving very slowly and stopping every five minutes on account of the slow movements and halts of the Fourteenth Corps in our front. The Fourteenth Corps reached the Atlanta and West Point Railroad between 12 and I p.m., and are now moving over it, going into position, the line of battle facing Atlanta. 5.30 p.m., our head of column (General Kimball's division) arrived at a point about 300 yards from the railroad, between Red Oak Station and Red Oak Post-Office. We here joined with General Davis' left, his line of battle having just been formed. 7.30 p.m., the rear of General Wood's division has just arrived and gone into position. Our line of battle is now formed, facing Atlanta, and running above the road on which the troops marched this p.m., the right very near the railroad and the left in the direction of Mount Gilead Church. General Kimball's division is on the right, Newton's in the center, and General Wood's on the left. The enemy has not made his appearance to-day. Only a small force of cavalry tried to oppose General Davis. 11.30 p.m., received copy of instructions to General Thomas, from headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, dated in the field, Red Oak, Ga., August 28, 1864, 6.45 p.m.(*)
The foregoing instructions were inclosed in a note from Major-General Thomas to General Stanley, instructing him to send a division on the left of the railroad as far to the front as possible to destroy the track.
11.30 p.m., sent instructions to General Kimball to readjust his lines in the morning and to construct a strong barricade along his front. Same instructions sent to Generals Wood and Newton. Also directed General Kimball to order Colonel Taylor's brigade, of his division, to report to General Wood to-morrow for duty, to assist in destroying the railroad track. 11.45 p.m., sent General Wood copy of General Sherman's instructions in reference to destroying the railroad, and directed him to carry them out with two of his own brigades and Taylor's brigade, of Kimball's division; to throw forward this force on the left of the railroad as far to the front as possible and thoroughly destroy the railroad track; to take care that he be not suddenly attacked, and to take one battery with him; also to leave behind all pack-horses, mules, shelter-tents, &c., so as to march as light as possible. Day very hot and clear.
August 29.--General Wood established no headquarters last night, and it was impossible for the orderly who took the order, dated 11.45 last night, to find him, and he did not get it until 7.30 this morning. 9 a.m., General Stanley started on the march to destroy the railroad. 9.30 a.m., commenced to destroy the railroad, as directed, and by 2 p.m. had destroyed (with the assistance of a part of the First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps) three miles of track from our lines toward East Point. The road was destroyed to within two and a half miles of the enemy's works this side of East Point. The enemy did not attack us, but skirmished some with our skirmish line, which was thrown out some distance ahead of a line of battle which was formed across the railroad facing Atlanta by parts of our troops and the Fourteenth Corps troops that were sent out to destroy the track. This line of battle covered the troops working on the track. The troops of the Fourth Corps engaged in this work were Post's and Knefler's brigades, of Wood's division, and Taylor's brigade, of Kimball's division, all under the immediate command of General Wood. 7.30 p.m., received instructions from department headquarters as follows?(*)
8 p.m., directed division commanders to be ready to march at 6 a.m. to-morrow; that the corps would march at that hour, in accordance with the above instructions, and that the order of march will be Newton's division to lead, followed by Wood's, then Kimball's. Day very hot and clear.
August 30.--6 a.m., the corps started on the march, in accordance with the orders of last evening. Arrived at Ballard's house at 7.40 a.m., and our advance skirmished with a few of the enemy's cavalry; did not halt. About three-quarters of a mile from Ballard's house met the Fourteenth Army Corps crossing the road on which we were moving at right angles. General Davis had taken the wrong road, and we had to wait for him to pass with two divisions. His other division has been ordered to move on the right road and our trains will follow it. 10.20, resume the march (Fourteenth Corps out of the way). 11.30, arrive at Long's house. Commenced to skirmish again with the enemy's cavalry at this point, and moved up to John Mann's house, on the Flat Shoal and Rough and Ready road. The head of Newton's division arrived at this point at 12.25 p.m. and drove back the enemy's skirmishers, who were at this point. Newton's division here went into line of battle, and Wood's and Kimball's divisions halted in the road until the Fourteenth Corps could get out of the way, it being on the road from Long's house to Couch's house, on the Fayetteville and Decatur road. 2 p.m., commenced to put the First and Second Divisions (Kimball's and Wood's) into line of battle in front of Long's house, facing Rough and Ready, and directed General Newton to withdraw to the same and place his division in this line. 3.15 p.m., received verbal instructions from General Thomas not to place the troops in line of battle about Long's house, but to place two divisions on the Decatur road, join Baird's left (left of Fourteenth Corps), and to leave Newton's division where it is (about Mann's house) until it is relieved by General Schofield. At once withdrew the troops from the line of battle which they are forming and moved Wood's division over to the Decatur road to join General Baird's left. 5 p.m., troops taking position in new line of battle. Our right joins Baird's left near the Decatur road, crosses the road, and runs in a direction facing a little north of east. Our line refuses and crosses the Decatur road a short distance from Baird's left. 5.45 p.m., Captain Kellogg, aide-de-camp, General Thomas' staff, informed General Stanley that his line was not as he desired it. He wishes two divisions to run along the Decatur road on the other side of it. 6.15 p.m., General Thomas directed General Stanley to remain until to-morrow in the position he holds, not to move as directed at 5.45 p.m., but to put our pickets over the Decatur road, which was done. 7 p.m., General Newton reports that he made a reconnaissance with Opdycke's brigade in the direction of Rough and Ready, and that he found, about three-quarters of a mile from his camp, the enemy in force. Citizens report that the enemy is about Morrow's Mill, on Crooked Creek (about one mile and a quarter in our front), and that he is in strong works, about three miles long. He arrived at this position last evening and worked all night. Day very hot and clear. Casualties not reported.
August 31.--6 a.m., picket officers of Kimball's, Newton's, and Wood's divisions report that the enemy was moving all of last night past our front and toward the right, and that they could hear artillery and wagons moving with them. 7 a.m., fog has cleared off and our pickets can see the enemy's trains passing our front about one mile and a quarter off, moving to the right. 7.15 a.m., received verbal instructions from Major-General Thomas to make a demonstration this morning in the direction of Rough and Ready with one division, to be supported by another division; that General Schofield would make a demonstration in the same direction by moving along the Shoal Creek and Fayetteville and Decatur roads, and for us to move to his right; also to be ready with the whole corps to move to the support of General Schofield, if he is attacked, or to move at any moment toward Jonesborough with the rest of the army; and to send our trains at once in the direction of Jonesborough, and to put them in park just north of Renfroe's house, on the Decatur and Fayette road. 7.35, sent orders to Generals Kimball and Wood to move their divisions forward to occupy the high ridges about a quarter of a mile in their front and on the other side of Decatur road before making the above-mentioned demonstration, and directed General Newton to remain where he is until General Schofield connects with him, and then to move to the right and connect with General Kimball in their new position. 8 a.m., started the trains (Captain Greenwood, aide-de-camp, directing their movements) for Renfroe's house--that is, all of the trains but headquarters and few ammunition wagons--with troops. 10 a.m., General Schofield came up and made connection on our left. 10.15 a.m., our barricades have been built and everything is ready to move forward. Opposite us, about a mile, we can see the enemy's earth-works and men at work on them, and our skirmishers and the enemy's are now engaged. 10.20, Kimball's and Wood's divisions advanced in line of battle. Schofield advanced on our left and we very easily drove the enemy from their works. They ran at our approach and they were dismounted cavalry. Their works were on the east side of Crooked Creek. Our corps crossed at Thorn's Mill, Schofield's at Morrow's. 1 p.m., directed Generals Kimball and Wood to move forward their divisions, Wood's to lead, toward the Atlanta and Macon Railroad. Our scout reports that it is only one mile and a half to it from this point on Crooked Creek (Thorn's Mill). General Newton's division to remain at the creek. 1.30 p.m., General Wood's head of column started on the march and General Newton commenced to take position with his division on the high ground on the east side of the creek at Thorn's Mill. 2 p.m., Wood's column ran into the Twenty-third Corps and halted for it to PASS; this delayed us in our march half an hour. 3.15 p.m., reached the Atlanta and Macon Railroad. The Twenty-third Corps reached it a few moments before us. This corps started from Morrow's Mill at the same hour that we did, and marched on a parallel road. Cox's division, of the same, tore up a part of the railroad track. 3.30 p.m., commenced to form line of battle and build barricades. Our left rests on the railroad, Kimball's division on the left, then Wood's, then Newton's. This line is straight and runs from the railroad to Crooked Creek at Thorn's Mill. It is one mile and three-quarters long and faces Jonesborough. General Schofield's right connects with us on the railroad and his line of battle faces Atlanta; thus the two lines of battle form a V, facing in different directions. 6 p.m., instructions were given to division commanders to send out strong working parties at 3 o'clock to-morrow morning to destroy the rail road. Heavy firing heard this p.m. since 2 o'clock in the direction of Jonesborough. The Army of the Tennessee arrived within half a mile of the road at that point last night. It is supposed they are having an engagement. The Fourteenth Corps struck the Macon railroad about half way between the point where we struck it and Jonesborough at 5 this p.m.
LATER.--Hardee's and Lee's corps (of Hood's army) assaulted General Howard (Army of the Tennessee) twice this p.m. and were repulsed. Stevenson's [Stewart's] corps (Hood's army) and the Georgia militia are in Atlanta, and we are between them and the rest of Hood's army. They can pass around our left and go to Jonesborough, as the country is covered with roads. Day very hot and clear. No men lost to-day.
NOTE.--The following received to-day:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Poplar Springs, Ga., August 81, 1864.
Maj. Gen. D. S. STANLEY,
Commanding Fourth Army Corps:
General: The major-general commanding directs that the following letter of instructions from Major-General Sherman be copied for your information and guidance.
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
"HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
"In the Field, August 81, 1864.
"I send you for perusal Howard's letter of 3 a.m. He did not get the road, though I doubt not he is too close for the comfort of the enemy. We must not fail in this. Order one of Davis' divisions down at once to Renfroe's and move all of your trains well to your right, so that you can rapidly fling your whole command over to Jonesborough. Then let Davis send out from his front, obliquely to the right front, a strong skirmish line with supports, as though to reach the railroad three or four miles alcove Jonesborough. Have Stanley do the same toward, but below, Rough and Ready. Impress on these commanders that it is not so necessary to have united lines, but rather columns of attack. We are not on the defensive, but offensive, and must risk everything rather than dilly-dally about. We must confuse the enemy. As soon as Schofield comes up I will put him against Rough and Ready till he meets formidable resistance.
"W. T. SHERMAN,
"P. S.--The messengers to Schofield are back, and Stanley may look for him about Morrow's in two hours at furthest."
This page last updated 02/03/02
ON TO PART V (SEPTEMBER)
RETURN TO THE BEGINNING (PART I)