J[ohn] H[amilton] Se Cheverell.

Journal history of the Twenty-ninth Ohio veteran volunteers, 1861-1865 online

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lanta lies only nine miles to the south of us. The rebel
army of General Joe E. Johnston is said to be strongly
intrenched some four miles south of our position. A
small number only of rebels remain on the opposite bank
of the Chattahoochie. The Union and rebel pickets
are on good terms, often meeting in the middle of the
river, where they exchange coffee for tobacco, which, by
the way, was a very scarce article with us. The Twenty-
ninth Ohio regiment now musters only one hundred and
fifty men for duty. The mustering officer tells us that
we have lost more men killed and wounded in propor-
tion to the number present at the beginning of this cam-
paign than any regiment in the Western army.

July 6, we were in support of a battery during the
forenoon. During the afternoon we moved to the left,
camping in a beautiful grove of pines.

7th. Moved forward some three miles, to a ridge
commanding a fine view of the country.

nth. The rebels have crossed Chattahoochie river.
Our pickets are posted on its north bank.

17th. Moved forward to the left, crossed the Chatta-
hoochie river at Peace ferry about 9 o'clock p. m.

1 8th. Moved forward some two miles, skirmishing
much of the distance.

19th. Advanced to Peach Tree creek, which we
crossed, encountering the enemy and taking some



Battle of Peach Tree Creek — Some of the "boys" go to Anderson-


On the morning of July 20th, just as old Sol was tint-
ing the east with his rosy hue, our army began a general
forward movement, the Twentieth corps in this advance
being on the right centre, the Fourth corps left, resting
on our right, and Newton's division (Fourth corps) con-
necting with our left. Slight skirmishing ensued early
in the morning, but towards noon the enemy retired.
The unbroken stillness which followed caused us to ad-
vance cautiously lest the rebels draw us into an ambush.
On reaching Peach Tree creek, a narrow, sluggish stream,
whose abrupt banks, covered with briars and a dense,
almost impassable undergrowth, would be a fatal barrier
to a routed army, especially as the stream was without
bridges, the entire command came to a halt until cross-
ings could be constructed. Previous to the crossmg of
the main line General Geary ordered forward a force in
reconnoissance, consisting of the Twenty-ninth Ohio,
Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania, a detachment of the
Thirty-third New Jersey, and four pieces of Bundy's
New York battery, Geary himself following and direct-
ing the movement. When once across we advanced
over several rough sparsely wooded ravines until reach-
ing an eminence overlooking a narrow, open valley
on our front and left. Immediately on our right
front was a piece of heavy timber, extending also on
our rear. The ridge directly in our front was covered
with a thick undergrowth, affording a fine position for an


ambuscade. Our force was now brought to a half
Bundy's battery was hastily put into position on the ridge
to cover the valley. The Twenty-ninth Ohio assumed
position on the right, and the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania
on the left of the battery. D. E. Hurlburt, captain of
company K, had charge of a detail from the Twenty-
ninth and Sixty-sixth Ohio regiments in the skirmish of
the timber, so he states.

The detachment of the Thirty-third New Jersey
deployed as skirmishers across the valley in our front,
General Geary and staff following closely in its rear.
While they were advancing, we hastily constructed a
light barricade of fence rails, and Bundy prepared his
battery for business. We anxiously watched General
Geary and the skirmishers as they cautiously moved up
the ridge.

When within a few yards of the underbrush a large
force of rebels came from cover, and with wild yells
rushed forward. Captain Bundy at once opened fire
upon them, which threw them into disorder, but did not
check their advance. As Geary and staff passed over our
line his chief. Captain Elliott, fell from his horse, shot
dead. Geary shouted to us, "A general engagement ! a
general engagement ! My brave men hold to your po-
sition. I will send support to you." He was answered
with rousing cheers. When the little remnant 'of the
skirmishing force had come in we commenced a rapid
fire in connection with Captain Bundy's double-shotted
guns, which speedily thinned the advancing columns of
rebels, but without avail, as the breaks were at once filled
with fresh troops. As the rebels attempted to close with
us our men seemed to be endowed with the valor born
of desperation, and clubbed them back. Forward they
came, a dense mass of living fire, and bravely we sus-


tained the shock of twenty times our number. The
sharp rattle of musketry, the loud roar of Bundy's guns,
and the defiant shouts of the combatants, in close hand
to hand conflict, can never be erased from the tablets of
memory while life shall last. It was grandly, awfully

A dense smoke settled around the battery and enclos-
ing the extreme left of the regiment, hid the position of
our right. Suddenly firing begins on us from our rear.
The cannoniers are disabled and the infantry are called
upon to work the guns, which were instantly turned to
the rear upon heavy masses of rebels advancing from
the woods on our flank. The greater part of our regi-
ment had discovered this movement in time to change
front to rear, but were instantly forced back by the over-
whelming numbers of the rebels, and those in charge of
the battery were instantly surrounded by a powerful mob
of yelling fiends. Still the double-shotted guns continue
to belch forth fire and death, cutting great gaps in the
ranks of the enemy at each discharge.

At the guns' front, with muskets clubbed, a hand to
hand conflict was had, to allow the reloading of the guns.
The situation was now most desperate. A cordon of
the enemy hemmed in the brave band, now reduced to
but seventy men, whose ammunition was exhausted, and
at last they were forced to surrender the battery. Henry
Rood, of company A, and Henry E. Clark, company B,
are the only names the writer has been able to secure of
those captured at this time.

General Geary came up soon after, charged the enemy
and recovered the battery, which was instantly turned
uppn the rebels, causing great destruction. The prison-
ers were, however, too far in the rear for recapture, and
they were conveyed to that loathsome earthly hell, Ander-


sonville. What they endured, the cruelties of the studied
starvation by express order of chivalric Jeff Davis, and
the horrible atrocities accorded to defenseless prisoners
by the Southern opponents in this unholy, ungodly con-
flict, the writer will not attempt to describe ; language
fails in the recital. Loss : Killed, two; wounded, seven;
captured, five; total fourteen.



Siege of Atlanta — The Capitulation — General Sherman's Report.

July 2ist, heavy skirmishing on our right. 2 2d, we
moved forward in pursuit of the retreating rebels. 23d,
we are now strongly intrenched, within two miles of
Atlanta, Georgia ; lively skirmishing much of the time.
24th, shelling and picket firing to-day ; rebels charged
our line but were repulsed. 25th, brisk firing all day.
26th, advanced our line forty rods. 27th, quiet along
the lines. 28th, heavy firing on our right; the rebels
are repulsed. 29th and 30th, fighting continues.

August 2St to 3d, hot firing all the time. 4th, Na-
tional Thanksgiving Day; fighting on our right ; rebels
driven back; skirmishing every day — all the time; getting
monotonous. 25 th, left our works and fell back to the
Chattahoochie river, near Vining station ; marched all
night. 27th, Major-general W. H. Slocum assumed
command of the Twentieth army corps.

September 4th, moved forward to Atlanta, which we
reached about 2 o'clock p. m.; marched through the
city and went into camp about one and one-half miles
west of the city. 6th, received an order from General
Sherman that the campaign was ended, and that the
troops are to have a full month's rest; that our task was
not only done, but well done. 12th, the citizens of At-
lanta were moved south to-day; from this date we lay
in camp with little to mar our happiness till November
ist, when we received orders to send all our baggage to
the rear and put ourselves in light marching order.


November 5th, orders having been received for the
troops to move, the Twenty-ninth struck tents and
marched from Atlanta at 3:30 p. m. in the direction of
Stone Mountain, some three miles, and camped for the
night. At I o'clock p. m. on the following day, the reg-
iment marched back to Atlanta, and again occupied its
old camp.

During the afternoon of the ist of September spe-
cific orders for the withdrawal of Stewart's rebel corps de
armee and the militia were issued, and about sunset the
latter were withdrawn from the trenches. When they
were fairly on the road Stewart's corps followed, all being
en route by midnight, except the cavalry, a brigade or
two of infantry, and the pickets. These latter remained
until the advance of the Twentieth corps neared the city
on the morning of the 2d. The explosion of ammuni-
tion was of course heard at the position of the Twentieth
corps, and though General Slocum (who it appears was
in command of the Twentieth corps at the time) had re-
ceived no intelligence of Sherman's great success at
Jonesboro, he was not unprepared to find Hood gone
any morning, and the explosions convinced him that the
withdrawal was taking place. He instantly issued orders
to his division commanders. Generals Ward, Williams,
and Geary, to send out each a heavy reconnoissance at
daybreak on the morning of the 2d.

About 1,000 men were detailed from each division,
and at 5 a. m. pushed forward on neighboring roads into
Atlanta on the north and northwest, encountering no op-
position. They pushed rapidly forward, and at 8 o'clock
came in sight of the rebel intrenchments, so lately occu-
pied with enemies but now silent and deserted.

Advancing rapidly, Colonel Coburn, commanding
General Ward's reconnoissance, entered the enemy's


works, encountering in the suburbs Mayor Calhoun, of
Atlanta, and a deputation of the city council. The for-
mer nervously presented a paper surrendering the city
and asking protection. Colonel Coburn refused to re-
ceive the paper for informality, and directed that another
should be drawn up. Mayor Calhoun invited several of
General Ward's staff to accompany him to the court-
house, where the documents should be made en regle^
promising at the same time to expel the drunken rebel
stragglers, who were lingering in the streets and were dis-
posed to skirmish with our advance. He immediately
took measures to effect the last, and accompanied by the
officers whose names are offered in attest, he returned to
the court-house, and the following document was drawn

" Atlanta, Georgia, )
September 2, 1864. j
"Brigadier-general Ward, Commanding Third Division
Twentieth Corps.

"Sir : — The fortunes of war have placed the city of
Atlanta in your hands, and as mayor of the city I ask
protection to non-combatants and private property.

"James M. Calhoun,

Mayor of Atlanta. "

The preliminary formalities thus disposed of, our
troops entered the city with music and flags, marching
promptly and erect. A fine flag-staff was found on the
Franklin printing house, where the Memphis Appeal had
been printed. The stars and stripes were soon flung to
the calm, sunny air amid the cheers of the brave men
who had fought for so many weary, consuming days to
place it there.

General Henry W. Slocum established his headquar-
ters at the Trout house, the leading hotel of the city,


overlooking the public square. In the forts around At-
lanta eleven heavy guns, mainly sixty-four pounders, were
left by the enemy; also about three thousand muskets, in
good order, stored in various parts of the city, were
found ; also three locomotives in running order, and
large quantities of manufactured tobacco were discov-
ered. Between one and two hundred stragglers, the
majority of them very drunk, were fished from their hid-
ing places and placed under guard at the court-house.


Army Headquarters, July 26, 1864.
"The major-general commanding the army congratu-
lates the troops upon the brilliant success attending the
Union arms in the late battles. In the battle of the
20th instant, in which the Twentieth corps, one division
of the Fourth corps, and part of the Fourteenth corps
were engaged, the total union loss in killed, wounded,
and missing was 1,733. I" ^^0"^ ^^ ^^^ Twentieth corps
there were put out of the fight 6,000 rebels; 563 of the
enemy were buried by our own troops, and the rebels
were permitted to bury 250. The Second division of
the Fourth corps repulsed seven different assaults of the
enemy with light loss to themselves, and which must
have swelled the number of dead buried by the rebels to
beyond 300. We also captured seven stands of colors.
No official report has been received of the part taken in
the battle by the Fourteenth corps. In the battle of the
2 2d instant, the total Union loss in killed, wounded, and
missing was 3,500, and also 10 pieces of artillery. The
rebel loss in prisoners captured was 3,200. The known
dead of the enemy in front of the Fifteenth" and Six-
teenth corps and one division of the Seventeenth corps
was 2,142. The other divisions of the Seventeenth


corps repulsed six assaults of the enemy before they fell
back, and which will swell the rebel loss in killed to at
least 3,000. The latest reports state that we buried over
3,200 rebels killed in this fight. There were captured
from the enemy in this battle 18 stands of colors and
5,000 stands of arms.

"By command of

Major-general George H Thomas.

"W. D. Whipple,

Assistant Adjutant-general."

general Sherman's special field order no. 68.

"Headquarters Military Division, of the
Mississippi in the Field,

Atlanta, Georgia, Sept. 8, 1864.

"The officers and soldiers of the armies of the Cum-
berland, Ohio, and Tennessee have already received the
thanks of the Nation through its President and com-
mander in chief, and it remains now only for him who
has been with you from the beginning, and who intends
to stay all the time, to thank the officers and men for
their intelligence, fidelity, and courage displayed in the
campain of Atlanta. On the ist day of May our armies
were lying in garrison, seemingly quiet, from Knoxville
to Huntsville, and our enemy lay behind his rocky-faced
barrier at Dalton, proud, defiant, and exultant. He
had time since Christmas to recover from his discom-
fiture on the Mission Ridge, with his ranks filled, and a
new commander in chief, second to none of the Con-
federacy in reputation for skill, sagacity, and extreme
popularity. All at once our armies assumed life and
action and appeared before Dalton. Threatening Rocky
Face, we .threw ourselves upon Resaca, and the rebel
army only escaped by the rapidity of its retreat, aided
by the numerous roads with which he was familiar, and


which were strange to us. Again he took post, at Alla-
toona, but we gave him no rest, and by a circuit toward
Dallas and a subsequent movement to Ackworth, we
gained the Allatoona pass. Then followed the eventful
battles about Kenesaw and the escape of the enemy
across the Chattahoochie river. The crossing of the
Chattahoochie and breaking of the Augusta road was
most handsomely executed by us, and will be studied as
an example m the art of war. At this stage of our game
our enemies became dissatisfied with their old and skil-
ful commander and selected one more bold and rash.
New tactics were adopted. Hood first boldly and
rapidly on the 20th of July fell on our right at Peach
Tree creek, and lost again. On the 2 2d he struck our
extreme left and was severely punished; and finally again
on the 28th he repeated the attempt on our right, and
that time must have been satisfied, for since that date he
has remained on the defensive. We slowly and gradu-
ally drew our lines about Atlanta, feeling for the railroads
which supplied the rebel army and made Atlanta a place
of importance. We must concede to our enemy that
he met these efforts patiently and skilfully, but at last he
made the mistake we had waited for so long and sent
his cavalry to our rear, far beyond the reach of recall.
Instantly our cavalry was on his only remaining road,
and we followed quickly with our principal army, and
Atlanta fell into our possession as the fruit of well-con-
certed measures, backed by a brave and competent army.
This completed the grand task which had been assigned
us by our Government, and your general again repeats
his personal and official thanks to all the officers and
men composing this army for the indomitable courage
and perseverance which alone could give success. We
have beaten our enemy on every ground he has chosen,


and have wrested from him his own Gate city, where
were located his foundries, arsenals, and workshops,
deemed secure on account of their distance from our
base and the seeming impregnable obstacles intervening.
Nothing is impossible to an army like this, determined
to vindicate a government wherever our flag has once
floated, and resolved to maintain them at any and all

"In our campaign many, yea very many of our noble
and gallant comrades have preceded us to our common
destination, the grave; but they have left the memory
of deeds on which a Nation can build a proud history.
McPherson, Harker, McCook, and others dear to us all,
are now the binding links in our minds that should at-
tach more closely together the living, who have to com-
plete the task which still lies before us in the dim

"I ask all to continue as they have so well begun, the
cultivation of the soldierly virtues that have ennobled
our own and other countries, — courage, patience, obedi-
ence to the laws and constituted authorities of our
Government, fidelity to our trusts, and good feeling
among each other; each trying to excel the other in the
practice of those high qualities, and it will then require
no prophet to foretell that our country will, in time,
emerge from this war purified by the fires of war and
worthy its great founder, Washington.

"W. T. Sherman,
Major-general commanding."



With Sherman to the Sea— Colonel Schoonover's Journal — Siege of

Tuesday, the 8th instant, the Twenty-ninth was. very
busy holding election. Detachments from other organ-
izations were permitted to vote at the Twenty-ninth head-
quarters. The Twenty-ninth regiment cast three hun-
dred and eighty-four votes. Of these Lincoln received
three hundred and fifty and McClellan thirty-four.
During the day the regiment was wide awake and
enthusiastic, and gave every soldier a chance to vote.
At 6:30 A. M. on the following day, while the regiment
was in tents eating breakfast, the rebels opened a lively
fire Vv'ith artillery, at short range. The enemy approached
our picket, which was posted west of camp, covering the
Sandtown road, who were surprised and fell back without
firing a shot; hence the first intimation that we had that
the enemy was near was the report of their artillery and
the bursting of shells in our midst. The Twenty-ninth
fell in and took position behind the fortification which
the regiment had constructed. In the meantmie a line
of skirmishers was sent out and soon the enemy were
driven back. A portion of the brigade was sent out on
the Sandtown road, marched a few miles, but the Con-
federates had flown, and late in the afternoon the scout-
ing party returned to camp.

November loth. Remained in camp occupied in the
usual camp and picket duties, and the inspection of
amunition, arms, and accoutrements, and all was quiet,


and at 8 o'clock in the evening the city of Atlanta took
fire and was nearly annihilated. Saturday, the 12th, in
camp, and all is quiet. Sunday, November 13th, the
Twenty-ninth was detailed to tear up and destroy the
railroad, and 7:30 marched out on the railroad leading
to Chattanooga, and was engaged until 10 at night in
burning the ties and bending the rails. At night the
regiment returned to its old camp at Atlanta, 14th in-
stant, in camp; all quiet. A man in company I was
injured by falUng from a building. 15th instant,
marched at 6:30 a. m. on the road leading to Stone
mountain in a southeast direction from Atlanta, and
at 6 p. M. halted and went into camp (marched fifteen
miles). 1 6th instant, marched at 7:30 a. m., and at
5:15 p. M. halted and camped for the night (marched
twelve miles). 17th instant, marched at 5 o'clock a.
M., and after marching twelve miles halted for dinner,
and at 2 p. m. fell in and marched until 5 p. m., when
the regiment halted and went into camp. i8th instant,
moved at 4:30 a. m.; marched ten miles, and at 12 m.
halted for dinner; fell in at i o'clock and at 6 p. m.
halted and camped for the night (marched twenty miles
during the day). 19th instant, marched at 6:30 a. m.
Twentieth instant, moved fourteen miles and camped
for the night near Edenton. 21st, marched through
Edenton in the direction of Milledgeville, a distance of
sixteen miles, and went into camp. 2 2d, marched at
5:30 A. M., halted at 12 m. one hour for dinner, and at
1:15 p. M. fell m and marched until 8 o'clock p. m.,
passed through Milledgeville and crossed the Oconee
river and camped for the night. 23d, Twenty-ninth reg-
iment detailed for picket ; fell in and moved east about
three-fqurths of a mile, passing through the woods and
advancing into an open country ; during its stay on


picket duty some of the boys went out on a foraging ex-
pedition, and it is not necessary to state that they were
successful, and that honey, sweet potatoes, and some
fine chickens (which the quartermaster had left), made a
very pleasant repast. 24th, received orders to join the
brigade; marched at 7 o'clock a. m., and halted at 1:30
for dinner; fell in at 2:15 p. m., halted at 7:30, camped
for the night; marched fifteen miles. 25th, moved at 7
A. INI., passing through a low country covered with heavy
timber and thick undergrowth ; the Twenty-ninth was
train guard; halted at 12 m., at Buffalo creek, for dinner;
found the bridge destroyed; parked the train, and late in
the afternoon the bridge was repaired and the regiment
with the train crossed, passed through Buffalo swamp
and camped for the night; marched twelve miles. 26th,
the regiment was ordered up at 3:30 a. m., remained on
arms until 7:30, when it marched with the brigade; halted
at 1:30 p. M. at Sandersville for dinner, and in the after-
noon marched to the Georgia Central railroad, tore up
about two miles of track, and at 8:30 went into camp;
drew ra*tions of honey for su]:)per. 27th, marched at 5
A. M., reached the railroad at 8:50, tore up the track,
and at 2:30 p. m. marched to Davisboro, which it
reached at 9 o'clock, and camped here ; marched nine
miles. 28th, in the forenoon marched bock to the rail-
road, and tore up track until 5 o'clock p. m., then
marched back to Davisboro, and camped for the night ;
nothing special transpired during the night except the
burning of a house, which accidentally (?) took fire ;
search was made in the regiments of the brigade by the
staff officers to find out if possible the cause of the fire,
but "not guilty" was the response. 29th, marched at
6:30 A. M., halted at 11:30, at Bartlows station, for din-
ner, and in the- afternoon marched through Bostwick and


went into camp; marched 14 miles. 30th, marched at 6
A. M., halted at Daniel Blake's plantation for dinner, and
in the afternoon marched four miles and camped for the

December i, 1864, marched at 7:30 a. m., the Second
division in the advance, passed through a low, wet coun-
try, almost impassable to the ordnance train ; halted at
8:15 and camped for the night; marched fifteen miles.
2d, marched at 6 a. m.. First brigade in advance; moved
about ten miles; halted at 12 m. for dinner, at a creek
where the rebels had destroyed the bridge, and while
preparing dinner, the Twenty-ninth regiment was ordered
to fall in, which it did without delay, and marched to

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Online LibraryJ[ohn] H[amilton] Se CheverellJournal history of the Twenty-ninth Ohio veteran volunteers, 1861-1865 → online text (page 8 of 17)