Today in History:

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


placed in position in the center of the refused line on the right flank. The enemy resisted these operations of General Osterhaus with some determination.

Deeming it necessary that the left flank of my command should be more fully supported, I directed General Osterhaus,to send two regiments to report to General Hazen, commanding Second Division, on the left. At the same time, the two regiments of Osterhaus which covered our right flank were relieved by a brigade of the Sixteenth Corps. At noon the section of artillery, posted within 1,000 yards of the depot, opened with telling effect upon the enemy's troops, although the infantry had not fully completed their extended line. Our position being isolated from the main army and threatening the enemy's communication, we were exposed greatly, and liable to attack at any moment. Considering these facts, I caused my lines to be intrenched with great care, under the supervision of Captain Klostermann, who is one of the most through engineer officers I have met in the service. The positions obtained for all the batteries of the corps were the best that could have been selected, and division commanders were very active in their efforts to establish their lines with a view to hold the enemy should they attack us. At about 3 p.m. August 31, the enemy opened artillery in front of my entire line keeping up continual fire for about fifteen minutes, when they uncovered their lines and made a sudden and desperate assault on all parts of my line, approaching at points on the left of General Hazen's line (which has the left of my position) within thirty paces. The most determined part of the assault was maintained by General Hazen, the enemy, perhaps, thinking if they could create confusion at that point they could compel my whole line to retire beyond the river. The assault raged severely in front of Harrow and Osterhaus, the enemy approaching their lines at the average distance of 50 and 100 paces. The artillery firing of the enemy had prepared my troops for what followed, and when the assault commenced every man was in the trenches and ready for the fray. The most terrible and destructive fire I ever witnessed was directed at the enemy, and in less than one hour he was compelled to retire discomfited and in confusion. The rebel general, Patton Anderson, and his staff, rode fearlessly along his lines in front of the Second Division, and did all that a commander could do top make the assault a success. But few of those who rode with him in that perilous performance of duty returned from the field. Himself, with many of his staff, were seen to fall by the unerring and steady fire of my troops. Prisoners, captured subsequently, state that General Anderson was shot through the abdomen and carried off the field by his troops. I could not help but admire his gallantry, though an enemy. The enemy made two more assaults, but evidently with far less spirit and determination than the first. The withering and destructive fire which they had received in the first onset had dampened their zeal, and destroyed their confidence in being able to defeat us, and they were, consequently easily repulsed, though not without severe punishment being inflicted on them.

The enemy's loss was greater than in any former engagement, except on the 28th of July, near Atlanta. In front of the Second Division 186 bodies of the enemy were buried between our picket-lines. General Hazen captured 99 prisoners, not including 79 wounded, and captured 2 stand of colors. General Hazen esti-