Today in History:

36 Series I Volume XXXVIII-III Serial 74 - The Atlanta Campaign Part III


In the evening the division was withdrawn to the rear of the Seventeenth Corps.

In conjunction with the movement of General Harrow, General Blair reports tht he was enabled to advance his lines considerablly. Until the 19th of June the lines were advanced more or less. On the morning of the 19th it was ascertained that the enemy had abandoned his lines nad fallen back to a second line two miles nearer Marietta. The enemy's position in front of the Fifteenth Army Corps was on the crest of Kenesaw. The Fifteenth Corps intrenched near its base, the Seventeenth occupied Brush Muntain, farther to the left, and the Sixteenth Corps connecting with the Fourteenth farther to the right. From the 20th to the 23rd no change. General Blair, on the 23d, made a reconnaissnce in force toward Marietta. Finding the enemy attacking the cavalry to his left and rear he withdrew, after having accomplished the object of the reconnaissance, which was simply to oblige the enemy to keep a force on his right, and prevent him sending re- enforcements against General Thomas' position,. The 25th and 26th the Fifteenth Corps (General Logan) changed position to the right, relieving the Fourteenth Corps, the Fifteenth in turn being relieve4d by the Sixteenth and Seventeenth. From the time of coming into the presence of the enemy, near Big Shanty, until the 25th of June the skirmish fire was constant and often very destructive of life. Besides, artillery firing was kept up on our troops from the heights, and by them in reply. The enemy had, meanwhile, been abandoning works on his center and left, till he had reached his strongest position in front of Marietta. Now, it will be perceived, by reference to General Sherman's Special Field Orders, No 28, that a general attack had been determined upon on the 27th of June. General McPherson was to make a feint on the extreme left and a real attack to the south and west of Kenesaw, General Thomas to attack the center and General Schofield the right.

General Blaier reports that he made a demonstratin on the morning of the 27th, in pursuance of the above instructions. The demonstratin extended along the front of the Sixteenth Corps. A portion of the Fifteenth was selected by Major- General Logan to make the assault, lnamely, the division of General M. L. Smith, of two brigades (Generals G. A. Smith and Lightburn), and one brigade (Colonel Walcutt's) of General Harrow's division. The troops moved forward at 8 a. m. precisely, being fomed in two lines. Noyes' Creek was crossed, the enemy's ksimish rifle- pits carried, but their farther advance was checked by the nature of the ground taken in connection with the enemy's fire. He brought to bear upon our lines two batteries of artillery and a full line of musketry, within short range, from behind his parapets. In addition to the steep slope covered with rock, which our men had to climb, the approaches After failing in the attempt to carry the works by assault, General Logan directed his men to retire to the last line of works captured, which he caused to be put in a defensible condition. He reports as follows:

No less than 7 commanding offices of regiments were killed or disbled in this assault. Among the killed was the gallant Lieutenant- Colonal Barnhill, of the Fortieth Illinois Infantry, at the head of his gallant regiment within thirty feet of the enemy's last line. Just at dark the enemy attampted a counter-movement on Lightburn's brigade, but was repulsed with loss. We captured 87 prisoners, including 3 commissined officers, in the assault. Casualties, 80 killed, 506 wounded, 17 missing; aggreagate, 603.