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Series 1 Volume XXXVIII; Part 1

Official Report Number 42

Report of Maj. Arthur MacArthur, jr., Twenty-Fourth Wisconsin Infantry
Near Atlanta, Ga., September 12, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the late campaign:

On the 3d of May, 1864:, the regiment rejoined the brigade while on the march, having for the previous three months been on duty at the headquarters Second Division. On the 9th we advanced and took position on Rocky Face Ridge in front of. Dalton; remained in this position with some slight changes until the morning of the 13th, when it was ascertained that the enemy had evacuated their fortified position. We passed through Dalton and continued the march in the direction of Resaca, near which place the enemy were developed on the 14th. About 2 p. m. advanced with the brigade about 300 yards, when we debouched into an open field. Here we were exposed to galling fire of both artillery and small-arms. Receiving no orders to halt, the regiment advanced at a double-quick step toward a small' elevation, behind which we took temporary shelter. After a short delay we advanced to the crest of the elevation and engaged the enemy. In crossing the field before mentioned the regiment became detached from the brigade, the balance of the brigade; with the exception of the Fifteenth Missouri and Thirty-sixth Illinois, not crossing the field. After being engaged about two hours I went to the rear with the command to replenish ammunition, clean guns, &c. Toward night I again took position, but was not engaged, night having temporarily put an end to the fighting. About 2 a. m. on the morning of the 15th I was relieved from this position and retired about 200 yards, where I remained until daylight. About 8 a. m. on the 15th I again engaged the enemy, but as we were behind works not anyone was injured. Toward noon I relieved some troops on the right of Battery M, First Illinois Light Artillery. I retained this position until the next morning, when the fact was developed that the enemy had left our front. During the engagement Lieut. Col. T. S. West was wounded. This devolved the command upon myself. The line of march was immediately taken up in pursuit of the retiring enemy. Passing through Resaca, we camped on the night of 'the 16th near Calhoun, through which town we passed the next morning. Toward noon I relieved the Thirtieth Illinois in support of the skirmish line. The skirmishers advanced without any aid from me of any moment until within a few miles of Adairsville, Ga. Here the enemy displayed so strong a force that Colonel Barrett, commanding the skirmish line, requested me to deploy three companies on the right of the road to assist his line. In accordance with the request, I deployed Companies A, F, and D, under command of Lieut. T. T. Keith. Shortly after Colonel Barrett requested me to bring the balance of my command to his assistance. I immediately deployed two more companies on the right and the remaining four companies on the left of the road. The united efforts of the two regiments made no visible impression on the enemy. Shortly after the entire brigade became engaged; the fighting was very severe and lasted from about 3 p. m. until after dark. I have to lament in this engagement the loss of Lieut. Thomas T. Keith, killed, and Lieut. George Allanson, severely wounded. The next morning the march was resumed, passing through Adairsville in the direction of Kingston, where we arrived without any interruption of movement on the 19th of May. Remained in camp near Kingston until the 23d of May, when the march was again resumed and continued without interruption until arriving in the vicinity of Dallas on the 25th. On the night of the 25th got into position; in the morning threw up works. Remained in this position eleven days, all the time under fire, men being killed and wounded in the most retired line of works. While in this position Lieut. George Coote was severely wounded.

From the position in front of Dallas we moved toward Acworth, near which place I remained until the 10th of June. Nothing of moment occurred in my command until the 15th, on the night of which day we threw up works, which were abandoned on the 16th, and a new line constructed in advance. On the morning of the 17th it was again ascertained that the enemy had evacuated their position in our front. On the morning of the 18th advanced on the enemy by the right of companies to the front.. This was accomplished with a great deal of difficulty, as the rain was pouring in torrents and the ground to be passed over almost impassable on account of mud; during the day threw up works under fire. During the night the enemy again left their position; they were again developed near Kenesaw Mountain. The next morning (20th) works were constructed which were a valuable protection in the afternoon. During the day Capt. David Y. Homing, Company E, was wounded. During the evening I was relieved from my position by a portion of the Fourteenth Army Corps. From here I marched about one and a half miles toward the right. After getting into position works were immediately constructed. On the morning of the 22d I was ordered with my command on the skirmish line. In accordance with instructions from the division officer of the day, I advanced in conjunction with the skirmishers of the Twentieth .Army Corps. Owing to some misunderstanding the line connecting with my left did not advance, thus exposing my left to a flank movement and my entire line to an enfilading fire. On this account I was compelled to retire, leaving 2 of my dead in the enemy's skirmish works. In the afternoon I advanced again and occupied successfully all the ground that was desired. I was relieved toward midnight, when I retired behind the works, in which position I remained without anything of moment occurring until the morning of the 27th. In accordance with directions, I formed my regiment on the First Division, right in front, and directly in the rear of the Eighty-eighth Illinois. About 8.30 the formation was complete, and the advance ordered; the ground to be passed over was covered with fallen timber, forming an almost impassable abatis; the men, however, advanced most admirably. Having advanced three-fourths of the distance between our own and the enemy's works, I was ordered to halt. The head of the column had reached the enemy's works and on account of our halting began to retire in some confusion, this was communicated to some extent to the men that were somewhat retired, but was quickly quieted. I remained in this position exposed to a most galling fire of artillery and infantry for half an hour, unable to reply on account of the formation. After it had been sufficiently demonstrated that we could not occupy the enemy's works, I was ordered to retire with my command. I marched my regiment back to the position occupied before the assault. In this engagement I have to lament the loss temporarily of Adjutant Horace Buchanan, who was quite severely wounded.

On the night of the 27th I was on picket, on which tour of duty I lost several men wounded.

I remained in the position behind the works until the 2d day of July, when I was relieved from my position and ordered to a position about a mile to the left of my former one. On the morning of the 3d it was again found that the enemy had left our front. The march was taken up and continued until about five miles south of Marietta, where the enemy was found. This position was evacuated on the morning of the 5th of July. The line of march was immediately taken up in pursuit, and on the night of the 5th we camped on the north bank of the Chattahoochee River. Remained in this position with a slight change of camp until the 13th, on which day we crossed the Chattahoochee River and went into camp, where we remained until the 18th. On the night of the 19th crossed Peach Tree Creek and took position near where the battle was fought the next day. The engagement of the 20th was a very brilliant affair, the enemy advancing on our works, which were very hastily constructed, and were each time repulsed and driven back in great disorder. On the 21st I remained quiet all day, and on the 22d the enemy retired; we immediately pursued and got into position in the vicinity of Atlanta. Threw up works; remained here with a slight change of position until the 25th of August, on the night of which we retired from our position and marched toward the right; continued the march without anything of any moment occurring until the 1st of September, when we struck the Macon railroad, spent most of the day in destroying the road. Toward evening the firing on the right indicated that the enemy were being engaged by some portion of our army. Took my position in line at double-quick and advanced by the right of companies to the front. About 5.30 p. m. became engaged; moved across an open field in conjunction with the Forty-fourth Illinois. In this affair I have to lament the loss of Lieut. Fred Schlenstedt, who was killed. On the morning of the 2d we advanced without opposition until near Lovejoy's Station. At this place went into position and remained here until the night of the 5th, when we retired in the direction of Atlanta, which place we arrived at on the 8th, and went into our present camp.

I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of both officers and men throughout the long and tedious campaign, and I desire to make special mention of Lieut. J. W. Clark, for his valuable assistance throughout the entire campaign. *

I remain, lieutenant, your most obedient servant,

Major, Comdg. Twenty-fourth Wisconsin Volunteers.
[Lieut. N. P. JACKSON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.]
* It Nominal list (omitted) shows 19 killed, 45 wounded, and 2 missing.



Title: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.
Series 1Volume XXXVIII; Part 1 - Reports; Page 327-330
Chapter:L - The Atlanta, Ga., Campaign. May 1-September 8, 1864.
Author: United States. War Dept., John Sheldon Moody, Calvin Duvall Cowles, Frederick Caryton Ainsworth, Robert N. Scott, Henry Martyn Lazelle, George Breckenridge Davis, Leslie J. Perry, Joseph William Kirkley
Published: Washington: Government Printing Office
Date: 1891