This article contains the correspondence from the 14th Ohio Battery (Light Artillery) and represents the news of the outfit whose earlier letter was published in this column four weeks ago. Here is "Part 2" of their story:
South Bank Chattahoochee River,
Opposite Roswell, Georgia
July 15, 1864
"Dear Old Chronicle: Since my letter of June 4th, written while in the vicinity of Dallas, Ga., there has much of importance transpired with General Sherman's Army of the Military Division of the Mississippi.
''I cannot follow it through all its marches and battles since that date, as they are many and tedious, resulting in the enemy being compelled to withdraw across the Chattahoochee River, ousting him from a formidable position by nature, rendered the more so by engineering skill - that of the Kennesaw Mountain.
''These advantages have not been gained without much severe fighting, and the loss of many good men to our army. It is now thought the enemy are prepared to dispute our passage to Atlanta, which is 20 miles distant from this point, the left of our lines. Below us, south of Marietta, our lines are less that 12 miles distant from the city.
''The army is so far as I can learn, resting from the excessive duties of four weeks constant fighting and maneuvering in and around the Kennesaw position. It is evidently the intention of General Sherman to push the rebels beyond Atlanta before the campaign is virtually closed for the summer. With the present heat it is almost impossible to move troops during the day; sunstroke operating with terrible effect. It is not confined to the troops alone, as the animals necessary for transportation, perhaps suffer considerably from the same cause.
"A short sketch of the 14th Ohio Battery's doings in this memorable thirty days fighting around Kennesaw may prove of interest to your readers. To look back at the fatigues and exposures of these days, I cannot think any sane man would wish for more of the conflict.
''But we are ready when the advance is again sounded, well knowing the rebellion can only be crushed by hard blows, and this army dreams of no such word as defeat, while such men as Sherman, Thomas, McPherson, Schofield, Hooker, Logan, and other able Generals lead it. Its motto is 'Victory'.
"June 5th and 6th were consumed in marching from our position north of Dallas to Ackworth, on the railroad, a distance of fourteen miles. We passed to the rear of a portion of the army, over ground that had been warmly contested by the 4th, 20th, and 23rd corps.
''In a number of places in the forest, I noticed the graves of several of Ohio's noble braves, who had fallen in defense of principle that will live as long as the memory of this rebellion. Not alone was Ohio represented; but the heroes of a dozen different states had been silently laid there to rest from their labors, side by side.
"It was through the flank movement to Dallas from Kingston, and from thence to Ackworth that secured to General Sherman the Allatoona Pass in the mountains by that name, through which the railroad passes. The Pass had been strongly fortified by the enemy, and those who have passed over the road, remark its being impregnable against assault.
''From June 7th to the 10th, we rested at Ackworth, where the army lay within a circuit of some six miles. The time was employed in preparing for the struggle soon to commence; writing letters home, and in hurried visits to soldier friends in the different commands. Friends and brothers met there, who will not again meet on earth.
''While at Ackworth, the 17th Corps joined the army after a weary march of several hundred miles. The Army of the Tennessee is commanded by Major General James B. McPherson, and is composed by the 15th, 16th, and 17th Corps, commanded respectively by Major Generals Logan, Dodge, and Blair.
''It is often the case that I see these commands confused by crediting deeds of valor to General McPherson's corps, who commands the Department and Army of Tennessee, and a more noble man is hard to find in the army or out. Our successes at Vicksburg are greatly due to his skill and ability.
"June 10th the army commenced moving south and east from Ackworth, the 23rd Corps on the right, with General Stoneman's cavalry on the extreme right. General Thomas' Army of the Cumberland in the centre, the 4th, 14th, and 20th corps, while this, the Army of the Tennessee, on the left, with General Garrard's cavalry on the extreme left.
''At Big Shanty Station, after a march of eight miles, in a drenching rain, the increasing preparations were made for battle, and here commenced the series of constant battle and skirmishes that occupied the ensuing twenty-eight days.
''Here a rainstorm set in which deterred our movements somewhat rendering the roads almost impassable to artillery and transportation wagons for ten days, yet our lines were gradually pressing forward, more or less fighting occurring along the lines, a distance of from twelve to twenty miles.
''Our position was in the immediate front of Big Kennesaw; from the top of which could be seen their signal flags communicating to a like station on Lost Mountain, seven or eight miles to the southwest of our movements.
''For nine days we made less than two miles, at times our skirmish line being within fifty and a hundred yards of that of the enemy. These lines were very formidable, and the firing constant from one days end to another. A large number were killed and wounded on both sides each day, yet our boys would advance at night and dig rifle pits so close to the Johnnies that they would have to draw back some distance. In this way our lines reached within eight hundred yards of their main line to the West of Kennesaw, while the forces to our right and left had less difficult ground to operate on, and our immediate opponents were compelled to seek the top and West slope of the mountain.
''During all this time one could hear the angry growl of artillery and rattle of musketry, at any hour of the day or night. On the 14th, the rebel General Polk was killed on Pine Mountain, by a shell (Polk) from Captain Simonds' 5th Indiana Battery. He was in company with Generals Johnson, Hardee, and Hood, taking observations of our position when the lucky shot cut short this religious bishop rebel general's career. It is to be regretted that the other rebel leaders were not disposed of by the same shot.
''A number claim the honor of killing the bishop, yet Captain Simonds has the advantage. The captain's death occurred the 15th, from a rebel sharpshooter while making disposition of his battery on a new line. He is said to have been a brave and able officer.
"Before daylight on the morning of June 20th we took position within 2,000 yards of the top of Kennesaw where the enemy had planted several batteries and were vigorously shelling our troops around the base and back of it.
''Let me here state that the mountain consists of two prominent peaks, connected by a ridge of about two-thirds their height. The point called Big Kennesaw, ranged to our immediate left in front of the 17th corps, although we could reach it very easily with our guns. Some twenty pieces of artillery opened on the two highest points at almost the same moment, and the rain of iron was too much for the rebels, as they ceased their fire.
''The night of the 20th was occupied by both parties in erecting earthworks, while the skirmish lines were busy along the base of the mountain in holding their positions. We could not advance from the nature of the mountain side, which was lined with loose rock, many of them having been loosened by the rebels to be rolled down on our men. In this manner the time passed until the morning of the 27th, when the assault along our entire line occurred, which was only partially successful.
"During the seven days the battery fired one thousand rounds at the enemy and his artillery. While firing on the 27th, a sad accident occurred to Albert E. Griffin, one of our cannoniers. He had just pushed the charge home in No. 2 gun when a premature discharge took place, blowing his right hand off at the wrist joint.
''His arm was amputated below the elbow, and I learn he is now doing well. He was sent to the Hospital at Chattanooga.
''Alva L. Fitch, of the same gun squad, who was engaged at the piece, suffered from the effects of the discharge, having his left arm badly bruised, and being stunned. He is now fully recovered and doing duty. It is almost miraculous that no one was killed, and so few injured.
''We held our position in front of the mountain, but could not advance with anything but our skirmish line, and but a short distance with that. The 23rd Corps on the right overlapped the rebels' left and they moved sufficiently to the front to enfilade the rebel works, thus compelling them to fall back, giving the 4th and 20th corps a chance to advance, while our forces from the left kept constantly shifting towards the right, which pressed the rebels back toward Marietta and the river.
"We kept pounding away at old Kennesaw, day and night, to attract their attention, till July 2nd, at midnight, when our division, which had kept up the line for better than a mile for three days, moved to the right and rear. Morning dawned July 3rd, with our forces in possession of Kennesaw, the enemy having left it, with the glorious old starry banner flaunting its gracious folds amid the cheers of many thousands of loyal lungs.
''So close was our advance on the rear of the rebel column, that a severe skirmish occurred near the little town of Marietta, which lay snug up to the eastern slope of the mountain.
''The 16th Corps moved to the right of the 23rd, some 16 miles travel, when we bivouaced for the night. On the right of the 23rd Corps is General Cox's Division, which is prospering and doing good work in the cause. I cannot see that the General has grown old during his long and continued campaign. He remains the same genial, amiable man in military as he was in civil life.
"July 4th, to many at home a day of merriment, but to many in this army a day of sorrow. At an early hour we moved some three miles to the point, where the rebel skirmishers were encountered in good positions. The day was very hot and sultry, yet it did not keep us from work.
''Away to our left could be heard the din of battle, while in our immediate front there was a lively cracking of the muskets. Rude works were hastily thrown up and dispositions made for an advance. Artillery was put in position, and the woods shelled for a couple of hours very lively in the afternoon.
''The advance took place at 6 p.m., which resulted in finding the enemy behind strong earthworks. The rebel skirmish line was mostly captured or killed.
''Our loss in the division was about 100 during the day, among them Colonel Noyes of the 39th Ohio, who lost a leg. He was a brave and gallant officer, and his loss will be severely felt in the regiment as well as the Division.
''Everything was in readiness on the morning of the 5th, for an assault on their main line, but daylight revealed the fact that they had found another ditch farther to the rear. I visited their works in our front of the 20th and 14th corps, which were the best field works I have ever met with. In many places they were six foot high and ten foot thick, with an abattis of slashed lumber in front with one and two rows of pickets set in the ground to deter our advance. It is this gradual flanking process of Sherman's that forced them from their works.
"On the evening of the 5th,we moved to the right and front four miles and camped. July 6th we broke camp at 9 a.m. and moved some two miles to the front, when the Division formed in line of battle.
''Here an order came for one section (two guns) of the Battery to report to General Stoneman's cavalry command. The left section, under Lieutenant Hurlburt, was sent to fill the order. He marched some six miles to the right and engaged a rebel battery across the river the same afternoon.
''At the same time, the right section of our battery engaged a rebel battery in our front across the river. The rebel batteries did very good shooting, many of their shells bursting close to our guns, yet no one was injured on our side.
''The command was moved on the morning of the 9th and that night reached Marietta, where the section under Lieutenant Hurlburt arrived at midnight. The 10th was consumed in making the march to this point (Roswell), 13 miles from Marietta, where the command forded the river and obtained a footing on the south side, where it now rests. It is difficult to tell when we will move, yet it will doubtless occur in the next five days.
"At this point were two large cotton factories, and one wool factory. Only one of those for the manufacture of cotton cloth were in operation, employing from 200 to 300 women. They were used by the Confederacy, but to save them, the proprietor had raised the English flag, or rather hired a man to do it, claiming protection. The real owner had fled to Atlanta, leaving his property in charge of this man.
''This ruse would not work, and the officials divided the yarn and cloth among the operatives of the mill, and then applied the torch. The ruined walls and broken machinery are all that remains of them.
" Last night's very severe thunderstorm passed over this vicinity, during which a number of soldiers were killed and wounded. One battery in our Division had three killed instantly, while I hear that the 18th Missouri regiment lost some 25 in all from the effect of the lightning. I hear of an instance where a stack of loaded arms were discharged by the lightning.
''It is sad indeed, to see our fellow soldiers stricken down under such circumstances, after escaping the long, continued dangers of the campaign.
"The health of the Battery is very good considering the fatigue and exposures which we have been subjected to since last May. While before Kennesaw, Captain Burrows' health failed him and he has been compelled to go North. His term of service expires September 10th, when I hear he intends leaving the army. Lieutenant Laird is in command, and affairs move along good naturedly.
''But I must not weary the patience of both reader and Editor (of the Western Reserve Chronicle). Both must pardon all deficiencies, as it is too warm for any thing. More anon.
''Very Truly, etc.
Compiled by members of the CW150 Committee of Warren's Sutliff Museum.