Today in History:

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


and in the mean time the Fourth Division was deployed into line and advanced, driving the enemy full a mile and a quarter to a ridge of hills. At this point my right connected with Major- General Logan, commanding Fifteenth Army Corps.

There was a bald hill to the left of this position, occupied by the eenmy in some force. From it a sharpshooter wounded General Gresham afterhe had deployed his division. General Balir, in accordance with orders from General Leggett should assault the hill on the evening of the 20th. General Blair reports:

If my order had reached General Leggett on the evening of the 20th I am sure the hill would have been carried without serious loss my part.

It seems the order did not reach General Leggett, so that on the morning of the 21st the same movement was ordered and caried into effect with great gallantry. The Third Division moved upon the enemy's works at double- quick, capturing ffrom 40 to 50 prisoners. Several ineffectual attempts were made by the enemy to regain the hill. The other division of General Blair (Gresham's) was pushed forward under a heavy fire to prevent the enemy from re- enforcing against Leggett. This division was wthdrawn as soon as the object of the movement was accomplished.

During the skirmishing of the 20th the conduct of Brigadier- General Gresham, who was severly wounded, is higly commended by his corps commander. Brigadier General Giles A. Smith was assigned to the command of his divison on the morning of the 21st. During the action of the 21st General M. F. Fore, of Leggett's division, and Colonels Potts and Shane, of General G. A. Smith's division, receive high praise for therir skill and good conduct. The position secured by General Blair played an important part in the memorable action of the next day. The losses in this corps on the 21st amounted to an aggregate of 750 killed, wounded, and missing. The enemy's loss was not supposed to be as great, as he fought behind breast- works, excepting during his attmpts to regain the hill. During the 21st one brigade of the Sixteenth Corps, Colonel Sprague commanding, was dispatched to Decatur, as a guard to the trains, and with orders to relieve any portio of Garrard's cavalry at that point. Another brigade of the same corps was sent to General Blir, and placed in reserve in rear of his command. This was the position of affairs on the left of the army on the evening of the 21st of July. During the night follwing the enemy evacuated his intrenchments in front of the entire army, and had apparently retired within his works immediately covering Atlanta. The 22nd of July is, perhaps, the most distinctly marded of any day during this remarkable campaign. The enemy, taking advantage of the absence of our cavalry from the left fkank, and of our natural supposition that he had fallen back as usual, made a wide detour, completely turning the position of the Army of the Tennessee, and assaulting rom the left ad rear with the utmost vigor. At the very opening of this battle the commanding general, Major- General McPherson, was killed. No distinguished officer of this war, who had given a noble life to his country, alnd left with his countrymen a record of honor and affection, seems to have impressed the citizen and soldier kile him, and his death occasioned a profound sense of loss, a feeling that his place can never be completely filled. How valuable! how precious! the country to us all, who have paid