Oliver, John M. – September 9, 1864

Michigan Civil War Collection

Click here for this soldier’s biography: https://micivilwar.com/authors/oliver-john-m/
Regiment: 15th Michigan Infantry Battles Mentioned: 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. Sir. 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