Today in History:

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


Wilson and McNary on a station on a hill near the ferry, and Captain McClintock near the ferry, communication was opened between Generals Sweeny, Dodge, and McPherson.

On the following morning, learning that the troops were to effect a crossing early, and wishing to open communication to south side of ferry as early as possible, went myself to Lay's Ferry, crossed in pontoons boats with the first regiment, and before the pontoon bridge was laid had communication with Lieutenant McNary's station on the hill. While communicating with Lieutenant McNary, a brigade of the rebel army made a desperate charge in line of battle to drive our forces into the river. Our batteries on the opposite side of the river and covering the ferry opened on the enemy, firing over our heads, during which time pieces of spherical case-shot from our own batteries went through my signal flag in the hands of Sergeant White. My flagmen, Sergt. James White and Privates Alonzo Glore and Lyman Riley, showed the most commendable coolness and bravery under the heavy fire of the enemy's musketry and our own artillery.

When the enemy had been repulsed, and the occupation of the south side became a certainty, I directed Captain McClintock to abandon his station and to work from mine, which was done. I then returned to our front, near Resaca, where I received a note from Captain Babcock, chief signal officer, Army of the Cumberland, stating that from a point in our front I could communicate with his officers, and, though them, with Generals Thomas and Sherman. That this was not done before was simply owing to the fact that every officer of my party, including myself, was actually employed in charge of stations. I immediately established a station and opened a communication, running the station until I could relieve Lieutenants Magner and Sherfy from the old station, in communication with the same officers, when they relieved me. During the night the enemy evacuated their position in front of us and retired toward Atlanta. On the following day I directed the abandonment of all the stations and the rendezvous of the officers and men of this detachment at south side of Lay's Ferry, where, at 4 p. m., I joined them, and they were instructed to march with the corps to which they were assigned and to perform during the march east of us and parallel with us. This was done every night until our arrival at Kingston on the 19th instant. On the evening of the 17th, near McGuire's, the head of the column being attacked, Lieutenants Edge and Sample reconnoitered the country by the Rome road, and Lieutenants McNary and Frerichs and I by the Adairsville road, reporting by courier the results of our observations. A prominent point between the two roads offering a good view of the surrounding country, I directed Lieutenant McNary to return to General McPherson's headquarters, to which I might communicate by signal, should I be able to get possession of it. Lieutenant Frerichs and myself then proceeded, with a few men from the Eighth Missouri Mountain infantry, to the base of the mountain, driving out the enemy's cavalry, thence [to] the top of the hill on foot, it being too steep for horses. At the top I could see the enemy's position and strength, which I reported by signals, through Lieutenant McNary, to General McPherson.