Oliver, John M. – September 9, 1864

Michigan Civil War Collection

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Regiment: 15th Michigan Infantry

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Historical Figures: John M. Oliver

Hd Qrs 1st Brigd 4th Div. 15th A.C.
East Point, Ga. Sept 9th 1864
Capt Ira J. Bloomfield
AAAGenl 4th Div 15th A.C.
I have the honor to submit the
following report of the 1st Brigade, since August 4th 1864 when the
Division was reorganized together with the reports of the Regimental
Commanders. And a copy of the report of the operations of the 3rd Brigd
which was under my command during the campaign until it
was discontinued in the reorganization.
On the 4th of August 1864 the
3rd Brigd was discontinued. The troops composing it together with the
12th Ind Infty Col Raul Williams Commdg and 90th Ills. Capt
O’Connor Commdg organized as a Brigade and designated as 1st
Brigade 4th Division, 15th Army Corps.
The position occupied was about one mile (W.)
of Atlanta, well fortified and in close proximity to the works of the
enemy. On the 5th the 48th Ills was put in the front line, relieving
a Regiment of the 2nd Brigade. While occupying this position
our Pickets were constantly engaged and their fire was often severe
and destructive. Our skirmish line having been securely entrenched
on the nights of the 7th and 8th the main line moved forward, and
occupied it on the 9th the distance gained being 300 yards on
the left, and 450 on the right, and the line lengthened by this movement
so that the 99th Ind & 15th Mich. were also brought forward. On the nights
of the 12th and 13th a line of works was constructed in advance of the 15th Mich
and occupied by the 70th the following day. At daylight on the 17th
Capt John Murphy Co “B” 90th Ills. having volunteered for the purpose
with 20 men from his own Regiment. And 20 from the 12th Ind.
made a dash upon a few of the enemys rifle-pits, which had been
annoying us greatly, and succeeded in taking them, with 8 prisoners
losing one man killed. The same night the enemys skirmishers
made an effort to retake them, but failed. August 18th made a
demonstration, which resulted in discovering that there was no
diminution of the enemys force in our front skirmishing continued
until 26th. At 9.10 P.M. commenced with drawing our lines leaving the
usual number of skirmishers in front and accomplished it without
loss, or interruption. the skirmishers having repulsed a heavy de-
monstration made by the enemy and coming in all safe at the sound
of Revellie in their camps. Marched all night an encamped at 1
P.M. 27th on the south side of Wolf Creek distance 12 miles & fortified
our position. 28th Marched 5 miles to Atlanta and Montgomery R. R.
and kept one half of the Brigade, employed during the night in des-
-troying it. 29th the 12th Ind. was detached as Train guard. 30th marched
11 miles and went into position a half mile from Jonesboro. At 8 P.M. 70th
Ohio and 99th Ind in front. 48th Ills and 15th Mich in reserve and 89th Ills
deployed as skirmishers. This position was well fortified during the
night by the two Regiments in front. Aug 31st constructed an interior
line of works during the forenoon, and had some skirmishing until
half part two ocl’k P.M. when the enemy were seen forming columns
for assault. Our skirmishers were briskly attacked and driven in and
for a short time, the enemy made a determined effort to drive us
from our position, but were repulsed handsomely. The engagement
was quite spirited. The officers and men of the command behaved
with gallantry. No men straggling or leaving their posts. The
severity of the affair of the 31st was not realized until after we got
into Jonesboro, and saw the number of men wounded and heard them
talk of the slaughter of that assault on our lines. As soon as the
enemys columns had been driven back, the 90th Ills was deployed
as skirmishers, and again advanced to their old position which they
reoccupied taking 26 prisoners. In the engagement our total loss was 23.
Sept 1st at daylight the order was given to advance our line of skirmishers
composed of details from the 48th Ills and 15th Mich. for the purpose of
feeling the enemys lines. Capt Keneipp 48th Ills commanding was
wounded, and the advance was promptly made under the direction
of Lt McNiel 15th Mich. next in command. They pressed forward
on the rifle-pits of the enemy within 50 yards of the enemys main
line of works captureing 33 prisoners. three of whom were officers.
The gallant conduct of Lt Edwards 15th Mich. on this occasion, is
worthy of great praise. and the Commanding Officer takes pleasure
in announcing that it has elected the marked approbation of the
Genl. Commdg. Div Sept 2nd skirmishers advanced at dawn and
finding, the enemys works abandoned, pressed forward to the Rail
Road, capturing 1 officer and 7 men, moved in pursuit at 9 A.M. along
the Rail Road, to the vicinity of Lovejoys Station, and erected
during the night, a strong line of works, at a distance of 4 to 600 yards
from those of the enemys. Sept 3rd and 4th brisk skirmishing. At 8 P.M.
Sept 5th withdrew to our position at Jonesboro. Sept 7th marched 7
miles to Morrows Mills. Sept 8th marched 5 miles to East Point.
In making a report of so extended a campaign as this lasting such
a length of time and with a command that has been so uniformly
successful under so many adverse circumstances and where all
alike, behaved with great, and distinguished courage, and devotion
to particularize in especial mentions is unnecessary. I have though
this to say for all, that notwithstanding our fearful losses and the
terrible battles we have been through. We have always been
successful. We have never turned our backs upon the enemy. and
have taken in prisoners and of wounded and killed that fell
into our hands more than the aggregate loss to say nothing of the
killed and wounded carried off by the enemy. The records of
the Regiments of this Brigade, through this long and exhausting
campaign, are brighter than any was previously made. They
have been true, devoted, constant, and loyal. All the officers
staff, field and line, with their men, have my sincere thanks
and the proud satisfaction that they have contributed their
full share, towards the crowing result of the Great Campaign
“the Capture of Atlanta.”
Very Respectfully
Your Obt Servt
Col Comdg Brigd