Major General John A. Logan’s Report on the Army of the Tennessee at the Battle of Atlanta
In mid July 1864, Major General William T. Sherman’s Union Army was closing in on Atlanta. Dissatisfied with General Joseph E. Johnston’s tactics emphasizing maneuver, Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaced Johnston with the ever aggressive General John Bell Hood. Hood attacked the Union Army of the Cumberland north of Atlanta on July 20th, and was defeated at the Battle of Peachtree Creek. Undeterred, Hood ordered on attack on Major General James B. McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee, located east of the city, for July 22nd.
Hood’s plan was to have Lieutenant William Hardee’s Corps swing around some 15 miles and attack McPherson’s left and rear, while Major General Benjamin Cheatham’s Corps
struck the Union center and right. General McPherson’s command included the 15th (under command of Major General John A. Logan) and 17th Corps (under Major General Frank P. Blair) plus two divisions of the 16th Corps under Major General Grenville Dodge. The 15th and 17th Corps were arranged in a line roughly north to south, with the 15th Corp on the north, or right flank, and the 17th on the left of the 15th. The Federal left was in the air, and Hood wanted to take advantage of that. But the march of Hardee’s Corps took longer than expected, delaying the attack until the afternoon. Meanwhile, McPherson, seeing the vulnerability of his left, ordered his 16th Corps divisions there to strengthen that flank.
It was a good move. The 16th Corps divisions were attacked by Hardee’s Corps, and Dodge was able to keep the Confederates from getting into the rear of the line. But Hardee did push the 16th and left brigades of the 17th Corps back, which began to open a gap between the two. McPherson, who was on the field to view the action for himself, sent a brigade from the 15th Corps to help plug the gap and shore up his left flank. Shortly after that, McPherson was killed while riding to check on another position. Upon hearing of McPherson’s death, Sherman ordered Logan, the senior corps commander present on the field, to assume temporary command of the Army of the Tennessee, and the 15th’s 2nd Division commander, Brigadier General Morgan L. Smith, was given command of the 15th Corps.
Although John A. Logan was not a West Point graduate, he had both talent and ability in military command. An Illinois native, ” Black Jack” Logan as he was nicknamed, had served in the Mexican War and was a congressman when the Civil War began. He helped raise the 31st Illinois Infantry and was its Colonel, and had advanced to the rank of Major General of Volunteers in less than two years, and was at least arguably the best of the non West Point generals on the Federal side (and was better than many who did attend the academy).
With Hardee having some success on the Union left, Hood ordered Cheatham to attack the line of the 15th Corps and right side of the 17th. Two brigades are able to open a breach in the 15th’s line; observing this, Sherman called for artillery to be massed near his headquarters. He personally took command of the 20 guns assembled, while two more batteries from Brigadier General Charles Wood’s division of the 15th, north of the breach, also shelled the Confederates. The 15th Corps launched a successful five brigade counterattack, led by Logan himself, driving out the Confederates and returning the 15th to its original line.
Intense fighting, some of it hand to hand, along the entire line continued until dark. The Confederates were unable to achieve a lasting breakthrough or cave in the left flank and withdrew from the field.
General Logan filed this detailed after action report on the Battle of Atlanta:
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near East Point, Ga., September 10, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of so much of the battle of July 22, in front of Atlanta, as took place after the command of the Army of the Tennessee devolved upon me, in consequence of the unfortunate death of Major-General McPherson. To properly understand the action after I assumed command, the disposition of the troops, together with the occurrences up to that time, are essential. I may, therefore, not improperly state them:
On the morning of July 22 the Army of the Tennessee was the left of the army, and occupied a position extending across the Atlanta and Augusta- Railroad, about a mile and a half from the enemy’s works on that side of Atlanta. The troops were disposed as follows: The Second Division of the Sixteenth Corps was in position on the extreme right, connecting with the left of the Twenty-third Corps. The Fifteenth Army Corps, connecting with Sweeny’s division, was in position with the First Division, Brig. Gen. C. R. Woods, on the right, the Second Division, General M. L. Smith, in the center, and the Fourth Division, General Harrow, on the left. The extreme left of the line was held by the Seventeenth Corps, disposed as follows: The Third Division, General Leggett, on the right, and the Fourth Division, General Giles A. Smith, on the left. The Third Division, General Leggert, occupied a hill, a military position of great importance, and the Fourth Division was in position on a continuation of the ridge along the McDonough road, with its left flank refused toward the east. The First Brigade, Fourth Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, General Fuller, was in reserve to the Seventeenth Corps. The Second Cavalry Division, General Garrard, which had been covering the left flank and the trains of the command at Decatur, having been sent on an expedition to Covington, the Second Brigade of the Fourth Division of the Sixteenth Army Corps, commanded by Colonel Sprague, was posted at Decatur, three miles to our rear and right, to cover the supply trains. The position occupied by the army was intrenched, and crossed the Augusta railroad at the connection of the First and Second Divisions of the Fifteenth Corps. At an early hour in the morning it was discovered that the enemy had abandoned their line of works in our front, and fallen back to their main intrenchments about Atlanta. Our lines were at once advanced, the rebel pickets readily driven in, and the line which the rebels had held the evening before was occupied. By order of General McPherson, the troops at once commenced to reverse the works. The Fifteenth Corps was moved up to the rebel line in the same position, by divisions, as it held the previous day. Of the Seventeenth Corps only the skirmish line was advanced. The main force remained on the hill and the ridge along the McDonough road, a prolongation of the line of the Fifteenth Corps, two regiments of Colonel Hall’s brigade, the extreme left of General Smith’s division, being refused. Soon after the occupation of this line, General McPherson ordered General Dodge to withdraw General Sweeny’s division, of the Sixteenth Corps, from the right and mass it in the rear of a new position, to be selected for the Seventeenth Corps. The division moved along a road parallel to the railroad, and bivouacked about three-quarters of a mile in rear of the Seventeenth Corps. General McPherson also ordered General Dodge to put a brigade of his Fourth Division or the left of the position assigned to the Seventeenth Corps. The brigade had not yet moved when the attack was made.
The interval between the Fifteenth and Twenty-third Corps, made by the withdrawal of Sweeny’s division, was filled by moving up the right of the Fifteenth and left of
the Twenty-third Corps. Very soon after 12 o’clock the pickets of General Giles A. Smith’s division, of the Seventeenth Corps, which had been thrown out a mile and a half in rear of his line and in front of General Sweeny’s division, of the Sixteenth Corps, were attacked. Skirmishers were thrown out by General Sweeny, who at once found the enemy advancing toward the Sixteenth Corps. The enemy had moved a heavy force into the woods on the left flank and rear of the Seventeenth Corps, with the evident intention of striking the left of the Seventeenth Corps, and at the same time throwing a heavy column in its rear. At the time the firing commenced General McPherson was near the Fifteenth Corps. Upon hearing the fire he rode rapidly toward the left of the army. I rode at the same time in that direction, but learning from an officer, whom I met, that an attack was being made in force, I returned to my corps. A short time afterward Lieutenant-Colonel Strong brought me an order from General McPherson to send a brigade to fill the interval between the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Corps. I sent the Third Brigade, of the First Division, Colonel Wangelin commanding. In the mean time General McPherson had reached the field of operations. In riding across the interval to Giles A. Smith’s division, General McPherson was killed by the enemy’s skirmishers. The rebel force, Hardee’s corps, advancing rapidly, forced back the pickets of Giles A. Smith’s division, and struck the left flank exactly perpendicularly to his line of battle. At the same time a heavy fire was opened from batteries posted on a ridge in their rear, the fire being- directed upon the rear of the Seventeenth Corps. Simultaneously with this attack the enemy emerged from the timber, in front and to the right of the Sixteenth Corps, in three columns. It was evident that the movement was intended to strike the Seventeenth Corps on the flank and rear at the same time, and that the rebel commander was not aware of the presence of General Sweeny’s division in that part of the field. General Dodge had at the first skirmishing put his Second Division, with two batteries of artillery, into line of battle, with Fuller’s brigade on its right. The enemy moved upon the rear and right of the command of General Dodge. This movement exposed the flank of the enemy’s column. General Dodge at once pushed forward two regiments, the Twelfth Illinois and Eighty-first Ohio, that delivered so destructive a fire on the enemy’s flank that his column gave way. A charge was made, and the enemy fell back to the woods. General Dodge then withdrew his line a short distance to the rear. Colonel Wangelin’s brigade, of the Fifteenth Corps, about this time came up on the double-quick, and was at once engaged with the head of a column of the enemy through the interval between the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Corps, with the evident intention of striking the Seventeenth Corps in the rear of Leggett’s division. Wangelin, although his brigade was small, threw it into line of battle, and, moving under a heavy fire, steadily pushed the enemy back and gained a slight elevation of ground, and constructed a breast-work of rails. The Second Brigade, of the Fourth Division, Fifteenth Corps, was on the right of General Leggett’s division, of the Seventeenth Corps. Being satisfied, from the direction of the firing, that the enemy was pushing a column through the interval before mentioned, as well as by the movement of wagons and artillery from that direction, General Walcutt, commanding the brigade, changed his front to the left rear. The brigade was scarcely in position when a force of the enemy appeared in its front. The brigade became at once engaged, and repulsed the advancing line. The enemy reformed and attacked the division of General Leggett. This gave General Walcutt an enfilading fire upon them, which he made very effective by opening fire from a section of 24-pounder howitzers, belonging to the Seventeenth Corps. A 20-pounder Parrott, belonging to the Seventeenth Corps, which had been abandoned, was retaken by the Forty-sixth Ohio, under heavy fire. The division of Gen. Giles A. Smith, attacked on the flank and rear, was at once moved to the opposite side of their works. Its flank was partially driven in, and the enemy, by the rapidity of his assault and the heavy force with which it was made, swept away 2 guns and several hundred prisoners. General Smith, although his flank was developed by the rebel mass thrown upon it, and in great danger from the heavy columns thrown upon his rear, succeeded in forming his men on the reverse of his works, and, in conjunction with the operations of General Dodge, General Walcutt, and Colonel Wangelin, in checking the advance of the enemy. The attacking columns of the enemy advanced as far around as the rear of General Leggett’s line. The division was at once placed on the outside of the works, and received and checked the assault successfully.
About this time, 1 o’clock, I received information of the death of Major-General McPherson, and an order from General Sherman, whose headquarters were at the
Howard house, to assume command of the Army of the Tennessee. This order was verbal, and accompanied by the assurance that I could call upon General Schofield for so many re-enforcements as might be needed. Turning over the command of the Fifteenth Corps, which was not then engaged, to Brig. Gen. Morgan L. Smith, I rode rapidly in the direction of the firing to our left and its rear. When I reached that part of the field the firing had considerably diminished, the enemy having fallen back a short distance to reform his lines. General Leggett’s division, of the Seventeenth Corps, held the Bald Hill. General Giles A. Smith also held the greater part of his position on the extreme left. Both divisions had been attacked from the rear, and had fought from the outside of their works, and were at that time busily engaged in reversing them in anticipation of another attack from the same direction. Between the left of the Seventeenth Corps and the right of the brigade of the Fourth Division, Sixteenth Corps, General Dodge’s right, there was an interval of fully a mile in width. The greater portion of this interval was heavily timbered, and afforded an excellent cover for the movements of the enemy’s troops. It was occupied by no troops whatever, except Colonel Wangelin’s brigade, of the Fifteenth Corps which I moved, as I came into the field, to an elevated position in the rear of the center of the Fourth Division, of the Seventeenth Corps, about midway between Bald Hill and General Dodge’s command. It was partly covered by the brigade of General Walcutt. After repulsing the first rebel attack General Dodge had retired his position somewhat, had thrown back his right and left flanks, and sent an urgent request for re-enforcements to cover his left flank. I ordered General M. L. Smith to send him Colonel Martin’s brigade, of the Second Division, of the Fifteenth Corps. His position was in rear of Leggett’s division, facing at right angles to his line of battle, and with both flanks refused. The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Corps had already suffered considerably, 2 guns of the Seventeenth Corps and 6 guns of the Sixteenth Corps and several hundred prisoners having been captured. They had received the attack of the heavy determined columns of Hardee’s corps, made under the most unfortunate and dangerous circumstances, but had, by the unsurpassed bravery of the men and the great skill and resources of their immediate commanders, main-rained the integrity of their lines.
The character and strength of the first assault upon our position had fully developed the tactics of General Hood. The most important position in the then field of operations was the Bald Hill, occupied by the Third Division, of the Seventeenth Corps. It commanded the whole field occupied by the lines, and covered all ground on which were the trains of the Army of the Tennessee. I therefore gave General Blair, commanding the Seventeenth Corps, the most positive and emphatic orders to hold the hill at whatever cost. It was apparent, also, that our most imminent danger was from the great interval between the Seventeenth and Sixteenth Corps. In order to close it, and at the same time adjust our lines in such manner that the Bald Hill might be held, I ordered General Blair, as soon as it could be done with safety, to bring his Fourth Division back to such a line that its right should connect with Leggett’s left, and the left of the division with Colonel Wangelin’s brigade. I also ordered General Dodge to swing his right, or refused line, up, so as to connect with the left of Wangelin’s brigade. Before these movements could be executed the enemy had reformed, under cover of the woods and in the rear of the works which the Seventeenth Corps had constructed the day before, and made a second assault upon the Seventeenth Corps, which, after a severe struggle, was repulsed. Repeated attempts were made to drive the Seventeenth Corps from the position it held in the rear of the works, but each was repulsed. Another attack was made upon the Third Division by a fresh column, moving from the southeast in such direction as to threaten General Smith’s right and rear as he then faced. Smith formed two lines perpendicular to his works to receive the assault. The enemy struck Colonel Hall’s line on the front and right, in a solid column, three lines deep, and forced him back into the works. Colonel Potts’ brigade, however, held its ground, and the enemy finally fell back in considerable disorder. It was now about 3 in the afternoon, as I recollect. For two hours the different assaults upon the position of the Seventeenth Corps, principally made upon General Giles A. Smith’s division, had been unsuccessful in so far as carrying it. The enemy, however, was in possession of the flank, and, perhaps, 200 yards of the main line, and it had been impossible to move the Fourth Division as I had ordered. Up to this time the Fifteenth Corps had not been attacked; the whole efforts of the enemy had been directed against the left of the Army of the Tennessee. At 3:30 the enemy made an attack upon the Second Division of the Fifteenth Corps. It was ascertained by the provost-marshals from prisoners captured, and Confederate reports subsequently made, that the attack upon the front of the Fifteenth Corps, and, shortly afterward, upon the front of the Seventeenth Corps, was made by the corps heretofore commanded by General Hood, and at that time under command of General Cheatham. The enemy advanced from the direction of their main works about Atlanta in columns of regiments. The attacking columns moved rapidly upon the Second Division, commanded by General Lightburn. The first assault was repulsed. Their lines, however, were rapidly reformed, and the assault renewed repeatedly, but without success. The withdrawal of Colonel Martin’s brigade from the Second Division, to re-enforce the Sixteenth Corps, made an interval between the right of the Second and left of the First Division, which was held by a thin line of skirmishers. Wangelin’s brigade had been withdrawn from the First Division, so that there were no reserves to the corps. At this point was a deep cut of the railroad, on the right of which four guns of Battery A, First Illinois Artillery, were in position, and firing by the right oblique at the broken line of the enemy. Under the smoke of Battery A a rebel column marched rapidly by the flank up the main dirt road and through the deep cut of the railroad and were in rear of our lines before the officers or men were aware of their intention. The division at once fell back, the greater part halting in a ravine between the two lines, some, however, retreating to the old line. Battery A and the 20-pounder guns of Battery H, First Illinois Artillery, were left in the hands of the enemy. The officers and men of both batteries fought with the greatest gallantry, serving their guns while they were surrounded by the enemy. At that time I was giving orders to General Dodge, having just ridden to his left, where General Cox’s division, of the Twenty-third Corps, for which I had asked, had gone into position, covering the Decatur road. The command of General Dodge was not engaged. Captain Wheeler, of my staff, informed me of the disaster to the Fifteenth Corps. I ordered Colonel Martin to move at double-quick back to his division, and also ordered General Dodge to send a brigade of the Sixteenth Corps to the assistance of the right of our line, at the same time directing
him that in the event he needed support, to call upon General Cox, commanding the division of the Twenty-third Corps on his left. The Second Brigade of the Second Division of the Sixteenth Corps, Colonel Mersy commanding, moved promptly out, and I conducted it to the rear of the old works of the Second Division of the Fifteenth Army Corps, where it deployed on the right of the railroad. When I arrived, General Morgan L. Smith and General Lightburn were reforming the lines of the Second Division, in a ravine between the two lines of works. I ordered General Smith, so soon as he could reform his lines, to retake the position and the batteries which had been lost. General Woods, commanding the First Division, which was on the right of the Second Division, finding his position untenable, the enemy occupying a position 300 or 400 yards to his left and rear, threw back his left and rear, forming a line facing the enemy’s flank, his right resting at the Howard house. At the same time, Major Landgraeber, chief of artillery of the First Division, who had six guns in position, moved them into the open field and opened fire upon the enemy, compelling him to seek shelter, killing the horses of De Gress’ battery, and preventing the enemy from removing the guns. General Woods then moved his First Brigade forward, attacking the enemy in flank and rear, and his Second Brigade attacking in flank and front. At the same time the Second Division, followed at a short distance by Colonel Mersy’s brigade, advanced upon the enemy’s front. The movement was successful. Woods’ division striking the enemy’s flank, it began to break, and soon afterward the Second Division charging his front, the line of works, De Gress’ battery, and 2 guns of Battery A were recaptured. General Woods swung his left around, and the whole line of the First and Second Divisions was reoccupied with no opposition, except a fierce assault upon the Fourth Iowa, which was repulsed.
While this was occurring on the center and right of the Fifteenth Corps, the enemy appeared in the rear of Colonel Williams’ (First) brigade, of the Fourth Division. Being threatened in front and rear, Colonel Williams retired his brigade to the lines held in the morning. Colonel Oliver withdrew the Third Brigade. Major Hotaling, of my staff, ordered General Harrow to retake the position which had been abandoned. The line was reoccupied about the same time with the reoccupation of the works of the Second Division. It was now nearly 5 o’clock, and, with the exception of two regiments’ front on the extreme left, the whole of the main line of the Army of the Tennessee was in its possession, notwithstanding the repeated and desperate assaults of the enemy. His last and final efforts were made upon the Fourth Division of the Seventeenth Corps. His assault is described by the officers engaged as the fiercest and most persistent engagement of the day. The attack was made from the east. The enemy formed in, and moved through, the woods, which covered their approach at some points within twenty yards of our breast-works. The men again fought from the reverse of their works. Under a most destructive fire from the Fourth Division and two detached regiments from the Third Division, the enemy moved directly up to our works, and a deadly battle took place. Regimental commanders, with their colors, with such men as would follow them, would not infrequently occupy one side of the works, and our men the other. Many individual acts of heroism occurred. The flags of opposing regiments would meet on the opposite sides of the same work, and would be flaunted by their respective bearers in each other’s faces: men were bayoneted across the works, and officers, with their swords, fought hand to hand with men with bayonets. The colonel of the Forty-fifth Alabama was pulled by his coat collar over the works and made a prisoner. This terrible contest lasted for three-quarters of an hour, and the division still held nearly the whole of its ground. About 6 another force advanced from the direction of Atlanta. General Smith had scarcely changed position to the east side of his works, when the enemy opened upon his left and rear a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, and he was compelled to abandon another portion of his works. Falling back a short distance, he formed a line perpendicular to his line of works. The column moving from the west enfiladed this line, and he was compelled to swing his right still farther back. General Leggett moved out his Second Brigade in a line parallel to that which General Smith then held. Colonel Wangelin’s brigade, of the First Division of the Fifteenth Corps, moved forward, and a new line was formed with the Second Brigade of the Third Division, Seventeenth Corps, on the right, the Fourth Division of the Seventeenth Corps the center, and the Third Brigade of the First Division of the Fifteenth Corps on the left. This was the line which I had indicated in my orders to General Blair. It extended to the crest of Bald Hill, which two regiments of the Seventeenth Corps, the Eleventh Iowa and Sixteenth Wisconsin, held behind an angle of the works, the enemy holding the same works a little below, four of their colors planted within a stone’s throw of the colors of the Eleventh Iowa. Upon this line the enemy made an attack in very heavy force. The battle was very severe. Colonel Wangelin moved his left around, advanced upon the enemy’s flank, and gave the enemy a decided check. The battle at this point closed after dark, and our troops held the field. The enemy retired in the night, after removing the greater part of their wounded. Their dead were left on the field.
General Hood’s tactics seem to have been to concentrate during the afternoon and night of the 21st the corps of Hardee and Cheatham near the position of the Army of the Tennessee, and at an early hour in the morning to withdraw from the works in its front to his main intrenchments, and, while the Army of the Tennessee was being advanced to his abandoned line, and before the works could be reversed, to attack our left and rear with one corps, and with the other one right from the front. That he did not succeed was due, in my judgment, to the lateness of the hour at which the attack was made, a lack of concert in his movements, the opportune presence of a portion of the Sixteenth Corps in the rear of the left of our line, but more than all these to the splendid bravery and tenacity of the men and the ability and skill of the officers of the Army of the Tennessee.
Very soon after the battle commenced Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson was killed by the enemy’s infantry. General McPherson fell in command of the Army of the Tennessee on the field of battle. He was an earnest patriot, a brave and accomplished officer, in all his intercourse with others a true gentleman, and held in the highest degree the confidence and esteem of the officers and men of his command. He met the death of a patriot soldier, universally lamented by those he commanded and by the nation whose Government and flag he gave his life to defend.
During the progress of the battle the Second Brigade of the Fourth Division of the Sixteenth Corps, commanded by Col. J. W. Sprague,
which had been stationed at Decatur to protect the trains of the army, was attacked by a considerable force of the enemy. The brigade made a successful fight against great odds of numbers, and saved the trains. As I was not upon the ground, I beg leave to refer to the report of Colonel Sprague, herewith forwarded, for the details of his operations. To the general officers in command of the different corps I am very greatly indebted. They all fought their troops with signal ability and skill.
After I had assumed command of the army the officers of General McPherson’s staff reported to me for duty. I am under very great obligations to them. They gave me valuable information as to the position of the troops, and rendered important assistance.
The losses of the army amounted in the aggregate to 3,722, as follows:
Fifteenth Army Corps: 118 killed 414 wounded 535 missing 1,067 total
Sixteenth Army Corps 103 killed 584 wounded 167 missing 854 total
Seventeenth Army Corps 209 killed 561 wounded 1,031 missing 1,801 total
Total 430 killed 1,559 wounded 1,733 missing 3,722 total
The discrepancy between this aggregate of casualties and that which was transmitted immediately after the battle is explained by the fact that the loss of Colonel Sprague’s brigade, of the Sixteenth, was not included in the reported loss of the Sixteenth Army Corps. We also lost 12 pieces of artillery, viz: Fifteenth Army Corps, 4 guns; Sixteenth Army Corps, 6 guns; Seventeenth Army Corps, 2 guns. The discrepancy of 2 guns between this number and that reported after the battle is accounted for by the 2 guns lost by the Seventeenth Corps which were not reported to me at that time. For other and fuller details of the casualties, I beg leave to refer to the reports of corps commanders, herewith forwarded.
The loss of the enemy was very severe, including a general officer, Major-General Walker, and a number of field and line officers. We captured 18 stand of colors, something over 5,000 stand of small [arms], and in addition to a large number of wounded left on the field, including 33 officers of rank, 1,017 prisoners. The corps commanders reported, by my orders, the dead in their respective fronts. We have buried and delivered to the enemy, under a flag of truce sent in by them, in front of the Seventeenth Corps, 1,000. The number of their dead in front of the Fourth Division of the same corps, not then occupied by our troops, General Blair reported, would swell the number of their dead on-his front to 2,000. The number of dead buried in front of the Fifteenth Corps at the time the report was made was 460, and the commanding officer reported at least as many more yet unburied. The number of dead buried in front of the Sixteenth Corps was 422. They also reported in the hands of the corps over 1,000 wounded. Accompanying this report is a sketch of the field of battle, showing the principal positions. During the night I re-enforced that portion of the Seventeenth Corps which occupied Bald Hill. Before morning the enemy withdrew from the small part of the field which they held on our left.
General Cox’s division, of the Twenty-third Corps, which was stationed on the Decatur road, was relieved in the morning. Although the division was not engaged, I am under obligations to General Schofield for the promptness with which he responded to my request for re-enforcements. Subsequently, by order of General Sherman, the Augusta railroad, from Decatur to our picket-line, was thoroughly destroyed by the First Division of the Fifteenth Army Corps; a refused intrenched line was constructed by the pioneers of the Fifteenth Corps, extending from the left of the line, held by the Twenty-third Corps, and, in pursuance of orders from headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, I withdrew the Army of the Tennessee the night of the 26th, and moved it along the rear of the center and right of the army to a position across Proctor’s Creek. After putting the army in position that night I was relieved by Maj. Gen. O. O. Howard. I call your attention to the accompanying map of the field of battle, and the consolidated report of casualties.
I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. LOGAN,
Major-General, Comdg. Dept. and Army of the Tennessee.
Capt. L. M. DAYTON,
As he mentioned at the end of his report, Logan’s stint as commander of the Army of the Tennessee was brief. Sherman and Major General George Thomas, commander of the Army of the Cumberland (which was also part of Sherman’s army) wanted a West Point educated officer in charge of the Army of Tennessee, so Major General Oliver Howard was assigned to permanent command of the Army of the Tennessee. Logan was returned to command of the 15th Corps, a position he continued in until the end of the war.
Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864 by Albert Castel
Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies in the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume XXXVIII, Part 3.
Sherman’s Battle For Atlanta by Jacob D. Cox
The Struggle for Atlanta by Oliver O. Howard. In Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Volume IV. Edited by Robert U. Underwood and Clarence C. Buel