Today in History:

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


Division was held as a reserve. The distance marched during the night was thirteen miles, over very difficult roads, and in the midst of a disagreeable rain.

After reconnoitering the roads in front to be traveled on the 28th, I started, forward at 8 a.m., with the division of Osterhaus' in advance, on a neighborhood road directly in my front leading toward Fairburn, forming the left column of the Army of the Tennessee, behind which the trains of the army were directed to move. About two miles from the position occupied on the night of the 27th, we crossed the Campbellton and Atlanta road, and struck the Fairburn road two miles and a half from the railroad. This road being assigned to the corps of Generals Blair and Dodge, I was compelled to cut an entire road parallel with the Fairburn road to the railroad, a distance of three miles. This road was made through dense woods by the pioneers of the First Division, under the supervision of General Osterhaus and Captain Klostermann, chief engineer of the corps, and was completed so rapidly that the advance was at no time checked. The head of my column struck the West Point railroad, two miles north of Fairburn, near Shadna Church, at noon, and immediately went into position covering the road. The division of Brigadier-General Hazen coming up immediately, was placed in position on the left of General Osterhaus, and both divisions intrenched; the division of General Harrow was massed in reserve. I detached one of the brigades of General Harrow, with orders to destroy the railroad track and telegraph wire, instructing General Harrow to cause the ties to be burned and the rails to be burned, bent, and so twisted as to render them entirely useless and irreparable, and to break the telegraph wire in pieces and conceal it a distance from the road. On the morning of the 29th General Harrow reported the order fully executed. I made a personal examination of the road, and do not hesitate to pronounce the destruction most complete. I directed the cuts in the road to be filled up with dirt and logs, and that percussion-shells be concealed in them in such a manner as to explode should the enemy attempt to repair the road. The enemy's cavalry was ascertained to be in my front.

The 29th was passed in position covering the road, and on the 30th at 7 a.m., in accordance with Special Field Orders, Nos. 112 and 113, from department headquarters. I moved forward on the direct route toward Jonesborough, crossing Pond Creek and Shoal Creek. About two miles south of the point of the railroad from which we started a detachment of the Ninth Illinois Mounted infantry and Captain Jessup's company, D, Fifth Ohio Cavalry (my escort company), all under the direction of Captain Cunningham, one of my aides, struck the skirmishing, a distance of two miles, where they had erected strong and extensive barricades south of Pond Creek behind which they took refuge. Four men were lost in this advance. The position taken up by the enemy appeared too strong for this force to advance against, and the skirmishing continued until the head of my column arrived. The officers mentioned above displayed a great deal of gallantry in the advance mentioned. The force which they compelled to retire was a strong one and well organized. The head of my column arrived at the barricade at 10 a.m. The enemy's force consisted of two brigades of cavalry and a battery of artillery. They were handsomely dislodged, after a sharp little action, by the combined movements