Diary of the Battle for Atlanta, Civil War
by Pvt Charles D. Gammon
Co.M, lst Ill.Light Artillary, 3rd Brigrade, 2nd Division, Army of the Cumberland
Tuesday, May 3, 1864
Ordered to march at A.M. with 3 days rations.Struck camp and went as per order, lst Brigade advance Battery following. Passed them and camped at dark three-fourths of a mile south of Red Clay, 15 miles from Cleveland. Hot dusty day.
Wed., May 4, 1864.
Pulled out at 7. Advanced 5 miles then threw out skirmishers. Forded Tiger Creek, went into park 4 P.M. AT 5 hitched up going forward into camp 12 miles south of Cato Springs. Hot day.
Hitched up 9 A.M. and moved forward three-fourths of a mile going into park just south of Cato Springs which has been a somewhat celebrated watering place. The springs are 21 in number.
Remained in same position as yesterday.Received one days rations per man and 2 days for horses.
Reville 1 to 3. Moved to the front at day light carrying knapsacks. 3 miles out formed line of batttle. Went into position several times. Light firing on the right during day. Camped in front of Tunnel Hill. Hot and dry.
Staid in same position all day. Cannonading on our right opened at 91/2 A.M. Musketry opened on our left (Rocky Fall Ridge) at 1/4 to 10 A.M. Wright section went into position on Rocky Fall.
Moved at daylight going up Rocky Face valley.Steady fighting all day on
Rocky Face. Both sides holding their own. No.two gun got between the opposing fire and was unable to be withdrawn. Harker charged about night fall. Charley Clute slightly wounded.
Tuesday 10th 64.
Remained in same place all day. No. 5 and 6 guns took position in an open field and shelled the ridge 1/4 hour.One detailed man wounded. Firing going on all day. heavy rain all night.
Remained in same position. Firing on our right and left. Cold and wet all day. Rebels held their own well on the ridge our men being unable to carry water to our right section.
Reveille 2 A.M. Pulled out at daylight. occupide Rocky Face Gap 1200 Rebs came out of their entrenchments when we formed line of battle hastily constructing brestworks of rails. Heavy skirmishing on our front but after feeling of us they thought best to retreat. Slipped by the guns. .
Friday 13th 1864.
Marched at daylight. Rebs having evacuated Dalton last night. Entered works 10 A.M. Passed tnrough Dalton without stoping. Halted at Coffee at 1/4 hour P.M. Hear firing skirmishing on our left about as we went into camp.
Went forward at daylight. Heavy fighting began 11 1/2 A.M. on our right & front moved out taking sevrul positions and engaged the enemy. Our men carried two lines of works. No. 6 gun capsized. Only one man injured. Hot day slept by guy.
Sunday May 15th.
Firing again 7 A.M. Fought all day silencing enemy Rebel battery. One man injured no. 5 gun premature discharge. Right attack by Rebs at midnight. Harnessed and hitched up. attack repulsed. went to sleep again. hot day.
Monday May 16th, 1864.
Rebs evacuated their works last night. We entered them 8 AM and pushed forward to Resaca.R.R. bridge on fiire. Wagon bridge also partially destroyed. Bridge repaired and crossed at 2 P.M. cars arrived in Resaca just as we left. Went into camp 5 miles south.
Marched cautiously fighting more or less all day. heavy fighting toward night by our brigade and battery at the Widow Jacksons 3 miles west of Adairsville. Shrapnell exploded near Gen.Sherman , Thomas Howard who was in front of our guns.
Under way at 8 A.M.at Adairsville. Skirmishing commenced moved slowly all day. very little fighting.camped on a hill near R.R. Edwin Harding shot himself through arm.
Thursday 19th, 64.
Started 8 AM. about ---- went into park. Got lost from division found it far to the front at 10 A.M. enemy having fallen back rapidly. during the day Passed through Kingston. Heavy fighting on the left. Hot and dusty.
Went into camp near Pumpkin Vine crick 3 miles north of Kingston. went into bathing and layed myself out to enjoy a good rest.
Remained in camp and enjoyed myself. started to go to the 52nd Ill.was taken ill and had to return.
Felt better this morning remained in camp. passed the day in reading and writing.
Ordered to march at A.M. and to forage on the country. General Kimbal took command of lst Brigade marched per order crossed the Etowah river. Marched till 1 A.M.
Pulled out at 7 A.M. Crossed at Barritts Mills where we obtained forage. Camped in a steep hollow. detailed to build bridge and road to get out. sat up in the rain till 11 P.M. expecting to move. Spread tarpaulin obtaining good night's rest.
Under way A.M. marched rapidly all day comeing up with the enemy about sunset. Sharp cannonading and muskets in our front.Camped in a wheat field the boys foraged several hams and sides of bacon. hot day and night.
Moved to the front 5 P.M. camping 91/2 P.M. in the woods near center of the line. light firing in the front about nightfall. light rain.
Reville at daylight moved into park farther to the right. Right and left sections engaged nearly all day. firing at intervals during the night. Hot day.
Reveille at 2 1/2 A.M. Cattle. horse killed. could be content with our position if the weather was not so miserable and the stench from dead horses had not become intolerable.
Reville 2 1/2 A.M. same position yet. firing kept up all day. about 101/2 P.M. the Rebs charged our entire line from center to right.was repulsed in our front. fireing heavy until dawn. hot day and clear night.
Moved at night under cover of the darkness and took position within 500 yds. of Reb. sharpshooters 900 yds. of Rebel battery.worked on the breastworks till midnight.slept sound by the gun.Desultory firing all day.hot day & c.
Rebs opened on us lively two or three times but we only replied with two shots not being ready to open. Pioneers detailed to work for us on our works. worked from 11 A.M. to 11 P.M. sinking our guns..building up our embrasures with sand bags. hot day.
Wednesday, June ist,1864.
We opened on the Rebs 8 A.M. They replied with interest bursting shell all around.and over me. One shell exploded in our embrasure within two feet of my pate scattering the dirt over me in torents. we silenced their battery in 1/2 hour. worked at night repairing damages.
Heavy rain in P.M. filling our skulking holes with water. was relieved at 4 P.M.and moved farther to the right relieving Prestons battery. rained day and night.
Desultory musket firing all day. Horses fed on black oak brush had no corn or oats for 4 days three days rations to last four or five days. wet night.
Steady firing all day.we fired one a.m. Saw GeneraIs Logan McPherson,Howard C.Osterhaus. wet day.
Rebs evacuated last night. we remained in same position getting green wheat for our horses from wheat fields which were between ours and the Rebel lines.
Harnessed up,went into park remained in same position,mail arrived. orders to move at 9 A.M. moved as per order going northward and camping near Akworth. very hot day.
Remained in camp to recruit a little. hot dreary day. pleasant night.
Remained in camp with orders to march daylight tomorrow, carrying nothing whatever on gun or caissons,
Remained in same position. sharp skirmishing towards night. heavy rain all day.
Moved to the front parking in an orchard about 4 P.M. heavy rain all day.
Moved forward at a.m.taking position within 1400 yds. from rebel works confronting Pine Mountain on which a rebel battery in position fired 8 rounds and of which is reported to have killed rebel General Polk. heavy showers.
Remained in same position. No musketry firing of any account. Remained till 3 P. M. Heavy cannonading on our left. Dreary night.
Fired 4 vollies moved at 4 P.M. Going farther to the left and parking in rear of battle line .
14th and 4th corps massed in order to turn hill in our front. We moved to our left that night.
Moved forward at a.m. parking in rear of battle line. Rebs driven 21 miles. Moved forward again at 7 p.m. taking position in front line. Worked till at night on breastworks. Slept without blanket two days and nights.
Fired 36 rounds. Desultory firing on our front. Heavy firing on our left. Moved forward at midnight taking our position in front line within 2oo yds of reb skirmish line. 7ooo yds of rebel line. Laid down 3 guns.
Rebs fell back last night changing their line north and south. Moved a short distance.fired 25 rounds preparatory to our charging.our division charged across an open field establishing our lines in the woods. Slept by gun
Moved in the night to having position in open field. Fired 23 rounds. Rebs replying. One shell exploded under our gun wounding Hender shot in thgh. Worked all night on works for our guns within 500 & 700 yds of 15 reb guns. Rainy night and day.
Rebs fell back 2 a.m. and our men were in their works before they left. Moved forward 8 A.M.skirmishing began 3/4 mile out. Took position in open field on skirmish line. Silenced reb battery. One man wounded. Heavy rain.
Monday June 20th.,1864.
Took position in uncompleated works. 2 batteries opened cross fire on us killing 9 horses and wounding one man in our squad. Maintained our fire silencing them. The enemy done good making very close call for me. Wet day.
Turned to the right relieveing 20 corps. Went into position and shelled Rebel Battery silencing it. Also shelled Rebel skirmish pits resulting in the advance of our lines. Genl.Howard sent his compliments to us for silencing above Battery which was killing our men at the rate of 100 every 5 minutes.
Moved forward parking till 3 P.m. when we took position on front line. Engaged Reb battery & shut them up. 2 men hit slightly. Capt. Spencer was drunk ,and ordered us to fire precious shells over our infantry.
Reveille at daylight. Quiet in a.m.heavy cannonading along entire lines in p.m. advanced lines on right of our division.number wounded or killed. bright clear day
Three Caissons went to Ackworth after ammunition.remained in same place. no firing by us. John Hammond arrived. Clear pleasant day.
Surgeon arrived for batteries of 2nd division. Reb Caisson exploded on Kenasaw mountin. Telgraph line extended just out camp. very hot day.
2nd Division 14th Corp. passed to the right. Caissons returned from Ackworth. No excitement today. Very hot.
Moved 1/2 mile to the right. 14th and 4 A.C. successful charge on Rebel works loss in wounded very heavy. Genl. Harker and Capt. McDowell killed. very hot day
Warm morning. Hitched up at daylight.had some close calls from Rebel shells. One struck within 10 feet of me. Parked farther to the left 11 P.M. Rebs charged Davis division.
Remained in camp all day cleaning up. Turned over left section guns retaining Caissons. Lieut.Flaskey started for Chatanooga in the night. Just enough firing to wake us up.
Took position in front line before breakfast. very quiet all day. Our men burying under flag of truce those who fell on the 27th. mustered for pay. shower in p.m. Firing renewed at night
Friday July 1,1864.
Quietness remained supreme till nightfall when we fired 4 rounds. No reply. very hot day clearing off fine shortly after night.
Saturday July 2rd.
Fired 10 rounds this morning receiving no reply. very little firing all day. moved 5 P.m. 1/2 mile to the left relieving one section of 6th Ohio Battery.
Sunday July 3rd
Awoke only to find the rebs had skedaddled last night. Started in pursuit 7 A.M. Passed through Marrietta. Skirmishing began about sundown quite a ------- of stragglers taken. very hot day.
Took position and remained till M Infantry advanced taking one line of works. Moved to the front. Fortified under fire. Relieved at and at dark took position in work on the extream left. Spent the nignt building an unnecessary traverse.
Tuesday July 5th, 1864
Our friends again took advantage of the darkness and left us. Started in pursuit 7 A.M. pushed them rapidly. Reached the Chattahoochee 2 P.M. Ascended Hangman's Hill taking view of Atlanta & Rock Mountain. At dark took position commanding river and pontoon. Reb works in view on south shore.
9 companies of Pioneers worked making works for our and Battery As guns. Finished works ouselves. Swept the side of the hill in rear of the guns and pitched our tents area drew rations.
Made an extra porthole for our gun to get extra range to the left. Fired 20 rounds after dark. It was a splendid night.
Our men and the Rebs bathing in the river having agreed not to fire on each other. Heavy cannonading on the right. Cass arrived. Cloudy night.
Rebs opened a battery on our front on a Battery to our right, 4 times. We gave them a round each time. Warm morning, showers in p.m. Warm night.
Woods division moved to the cannonading on the right. Warm in A.M. showers in the P.M.
Monday July 11.1864.
Fixed up our tents more comfortable making a good bunk out of chestnut bark. warm day.
Routed out 2 a.m. Drew rations. Went and dug laurel root & started a pipe. Ordered to march at daylight tomorrow.hot day.
Up at 3 A.M. struck tents. In limbering up no.4 gun ran down the ridge and capsized. Crossed river 3 miles to left of position.Established line and made works till night.
Went outside pickets in sight of reb cavalry and got after Joe Hensell. Went to Marrietta after horses. fixed up my tent. finished works. heavy thunder showers. Hensell got back with 8 horses.
Went out and got more apples.came back and cooked some for dinner.got some chestnut bark and bilt me a bunk in my tent.
Reveille at daylight. turned out cooked breakfast.policed camp. wrote to Eliza. all quiet along the line. warm day.
23rd Corp. adwanced with slight opposition am. hitched up ready for any emergency. Attended Divine Service in the evening. Warm day,beautiful moonlight night.
Reveille 2 1/2 A.M. Passed 23rd Corp.skirmishing began 2 miles out.Went into position with each time giving and receiving a few shells. Halted and established our lines at buck head. hot and dusty.
Woods (3) Division marched at 9 1/2 A.M. Pioneers began works for us heavy firing in front. we hitched up am and to the front.moved to the left of road. 1/2 mile in camped for the night. hot day.
Moved forward at daylight. Threw up works again. advanced 3 p.m.Rebs charged, dog-robbers run pell mell.Rebs advanced acrost our open field. we gave them canister. drove them back.charge repulsed,at old point. Enemy's loss heavy ours light. we lost one man.
Threw up works last night.remained in same position.Desultory fireing at intervilles.hot day chilly night.Our men buried the Rebels killed last night.
Advanced 7 A.M. Took position 2 miles from Atlanta.charged under heavy fire of shells into position on right of Corps. 8A.M. Rebs charged and were repulsed. Worked all night on works. hot day. heavy fighting on left. McPherson killed.
We kept quiet all day. the rebs shelling at intervals but jve could not discern their battery.12 p.m. rebs charged and were repulsed. enemy opened at night when we discovered their position by the flash of heavy firing for 2 nights. hot day cool night.
Laid round all day long.Rebs shelled us occasionally but we paid no attention to them. rebs charged our pickets 11 p.m., repulsed. got up in our shirt tails to our guns. hot day.
Rebs still do the shelling busting but most of them are hunting the cooks. our works are good & we don't mind them. Placed sharpened sticks in front of our works. hot day.
Rebs shelled at intervals. 2 P.M. moved our Section farther to the left in good works. warm day cool night.
Rebs threw over some 32 pd. Shell. also the complement of some 12 pdrs. We fired a few rounds also. The other Batteries on the line received in p.m.I detailed men to join their Reg. 15th, 16th, 17th Corps. moved to the right.
Opened on Atlanta 5:15 P.M. firing one round every 2 1/2 minutes. Distance 1 1/4
miles.Napolean Batteries attending to Rebs. All rifled guns on the line concentrated on the city. heavy fighting on the right. Our loss 2000, Rebs lose 10,000 and several stands of collars. Genl.Stanley took command of the 4th Corps.
Right Section fired till 2 a.m. when we took it up firing till 8 a.m. Rebs opened as soon as we stopped. They threw over a shell weighing 6 1/2 lbs. most of their guns are smooth bore. hot day.
Rebs shelled us occasionally during the night. we advanced our picket line. Went to the picket line obtaining view of Rebel fort. strengthened our works a.m.
Rebs threw over a few shells. we remained quiet, Inspection 8 a.m. by Capt. on Otanley's staff. Hot day starlight night. Elder Raymond preached in the works.
Monday August 1st, 1864
Pioneers making works on left flank extending from Atlanta to Peach Tree creek. 22nd A.C. passed to right leaving our corps. the extream left of the Army. Rebs shelled us furiously in p.m. doing no damage.
All remained quiet today. Rebs not firing a single shot at us.
Heavy firing on the right 11 a.m. Our battery ordered to hitch up ready to move 5 p.m. Our skirmish line advanced charging 2 lines of rifle pits.
Wed. 3rd cont.
Rebs Shelling us heavily killing 2 horses. piece of shell went clost to my head. showers p.m. clear starlight night.
Wm.G. Murphy received 2nd lieuts. Commission. hot day clear night. heavy fighting on the right.
heavy fighting on the right in p.m. Shelled Atlanta from 2 p.m. till sundown one shell every 6& 15 minutes. Advanced our picket lines which obliged to fall back on account of Rebel Artillary. Rebs threw shell pretty close to us.
Heavy fighting on the right. Opened on Atlanta 2 p.m. the rebs did not reply. hot day.
Elder Raymond preached in the trench. no firing today during Divine service. warm day starlight night.
With the exception of occasional picket firing all remained quiet today. rainy afternoon and night. 64tth Ohio relieved 51st Ill. taking position on our right.
Shelled Atlanta from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.One shell every 3 minutes.Our Battery fired 200 rounds.rained day and night.Pionears making works on Gookes left wing for heavy guns.one shell oassed through a tent of 64th Ohio.several exploded in front of works.
Three 30 pound Rodmans placed in position to right of our right section.
They fire one gun every few minutes at Rebel Battery firing on our right wing. Rainy day Made Chess men and played three games with J.C. Scales. drew rations for three days all fresh beef, no pork
Finished shade for horses. played chess etc. warm showery day clear night. The 30 pd. Rodman fired every 5 minutes day and night. heavy firing on the right about 10 p.m
About 2 p.m. made demonstration in our front. Rebs opened with Artilliary throwing shell very close. One went through Joe Ralph's tent. hot day clear night.
Opened on Atlanta 8 p.m. and fired one shot every minute all nignt. Every rifled gun on the line. Ditto our Section.fired 450 rounds. guns got very warm. Large fire in the city. Rebs opened rapidly on the left.
Heavy firing on the left in p.m.result not known.hot day.
All remained quiet today warm and showery.
Tuesday, August 16th,
John Amberg went out in charge of foraging wagons got some green corn and apples.
No mail for several days. The usual amount of demonstrations an cannonading.
We fired a few shots. Hot day moonlight night.
Desultory firing as usual. No mail yet. Rail road being cut. showery night.
Furious cannionading at 4 a.m. along our front. Rebs shelled us. we replied with a few shots. hot day heavy showers at night.
Joe Hansel ,went out after forage. got some corn. Rebs fired a few shells at us. We replied 4 times. rainy day and night.
All quiet today. nothing of interest transpired hot day cloudy night.
Monday August 22nd.
Rebs fired 4 shots. we returned one. Lieut. Murphy gave Stephen Lissenden 3 days extra duty for going to the Caissons without leave. Drew 2 days rations. Pork. rainy day and night.
All quiet along the lines. On guard duty The Rebs yelled and fired incessantly. hot day. Beautiful moonlight night.
Very little firing today. Drew 3 days rations..hot day clear night.Preparations for a big move of some kind are going on.
All Arty. in the Corps.marching at 1 p.m. leaving infantry on the line.
Passed to the right parking in rear of 20th Corps. Hot day with heavy showers.
Inftry.of the Corps.came up in the night. Rebs opened on us at sunrise. Marched at 8 a.m. Rebs followed our skirmishers. Artillary firing during the nignt.
Pulled out 10 a.m. Main course south detailed as pioneers in advance of arty.
Brigade. Slight skirmishing in p.m. 3 p.m. formed lines. threw up works remaining along a ridge running north and south. Saw General Sherman. hot day cold night.
Sunday 28th ,
Parked in orchard for 14th Corps.to pass.moved 21/2 p.m. marching till 9 P.,M. parking between lines which were --- both ways. hot day.
Monday August 29th,1864.
Remained in same position.Woods Div. went out and tore up Macon R.R. returning at dusk. hot day cool night.
Moved forward 9 a.m. crossing Macon R.R. and marching eastward.2 p.m. light skirmishing begun.Infantry threw up works. we took position at dusk. hot day clear night.
Cannonading in our right front 8 a.m. threw up works.moved 11 1/2 a.m. parked on Macon R.R.
Thursday September lst,1864.
Cannonading on right at dawn.Marched at sunrise going along the R.R. burning as we went. At dusk found the enemy and had a heavy skirmish. 14th Corps suffered serverly. Captared 500 prisoners and some cannons.Parked in rear of battle line. cold night.
Marched at 8 a.m. following the R.R. Pulled through Jonesborro 10 a.m. Marched very rapidly coming up with the enemy 3 p.m. Gave and received a few shell. Hot day clear night.
Mustered for pay. remained in same position. fired 4 rounds solid shot. rainy afternoon pleasant night.
Remained in same position.Our Battery in 15th Corps (which is on the west side of R.R.) kept up a steady fire all day from a commanding position on the right.warm day cool night.
All Caissons of the Corps moved to the rear 4 P.M. Corps. Batteries move in same direction.At dusk very heavy rain and the roads very bad.Passed through Jonesborro and camped one mile north in an old cotton field about 11 p.m. I slept in the mud on a tarpaulin and slept sound despite my wet clothes.
Marched 9 a.m. going northward following the R.R. went into camp at ---near a good spring in a pleasant location.Grated corn and made some corn cakes. put up tarpaulin and slept till midnight.
Reveille at midnight. hitched up and marched at 2 a.m. Got cut out by 14th Corps train. Made our road.Camped in an old cotton field.The R.R. is destroyed as we have come.