Kenesaw GeorgiaFrom the 76th Regiment
Kenesaw Ridge, Georgia - June 20, 1864
To the editors of the True American:
After a sojourn of a month in the General Field Hospital at Resaca, I have recovered sufficiently, from the effects of my wound to enable me to report to the regiment which I joined on the 17th inst., and found facing the enemy, our pickets and theirs being within talking distance of each other. The regiment is in good health, in high spirits, and confident of success. There is not an officer present with the regiment who is not fit for duty. I left Capt. Morrison at Resaca, recovering, rapidly, and in good spirits. He will be sent to Lookout Mountain or Nashville in a few days, but it will probably be several months before he can return to duty.
I found the regiment in Kenesaw valley in open fields, and behind riflepits which they had made a day or two previous to the advance to Big Shanty. On the 18th inst., about 12 o’clock at night, the rebels left our front, and yesterday we advanced to their line of works on Kenesaw Mountain, where we now are. Between us and Kenesaw Mountain is a densely wooded valley which our forces occupy and appear to be driving the rebels from the side of the mountain.
The railroad is between us and the mountain, and last evening, as if to taunt the Johnny Rebs, the locomotive ran down to within a quarter of a mile of the rebel line and gave a loud, long and defiant whistle, as much as to say, ‘Johnnies, plenty of hard tack and ammunition on hand.’ The general impression prevailing is that the main body of the rebel army is retreating, and only a strong rear guard remains to keep us back as long as possible to enable Johnston’s army to cross the Chattahoochee.
The rebel pickets informed ours that they are under marching orders the night they left our front. They were very anxious to exchange papers. They agreed with our pickets that they would not fire on each other, and several met ours half way and conversed freely. Three of the rebs came over and give themselves up to Colonel Woods. A Captain Forester of the Fourth Louisiana sent me his name, saying he formerly lived in Coshocton and knew me, and was anxious to talk with me, but as they left the next night I heard nothing more of him.
The rebel works we now occupy are on the summit of a high ridge, and very strong, and could not have been taken without great loss of life, as we would have had to approach them through open fields for half a mile, but our flank movements smoked them out. We have a beautiful view from our present position. Away to our right, several miles distant, we see Lost Mountain, which takes its name from its isolated location. In our rear we look down on the Kenesaw valley with its extended fields far to our right and left with occasional woodland, about which our wagon trains are collected, the white covers of the wagons being visible all though the valley. The rebels must have had a nice view of our army from this ridge when we were in the valley. Perhaps they saw so many Yankees that it ‘pit a flea in their ears.’
Presuming that other correspondents have kept you posted on the casualties in our regiment during my absence, I will only give you those that have occurred since my return, which are as follows:
Eli Shuts, co. K, killed; Silas Drake, co. A, mortally wounded; (since died;) S. M. Wiseman, co. I, wounded in hand, amputated; Wm. Wiley, co. A, killed; James Devoll, co. D, severely wounded in head.
On the 18th inst., James Clunk, of co. K, and John Cummins, of co. B, were severely wounded in the legs by the explosion of a shell, making amputation of one leg necessary in both cases. It was an accident, and occurred under the following circumstances. It was a rainy day, and some of the boys had built a fire against a log to dry themselves by. The shell was under the log and had escaped their notice. Three others were slightly wounded by the explosion, whose names I have not learned, but so slight that they are doing duty.
A rebel regiment is just now marching to the rear along the railroad, that has just taken prisoners. There has been considerable artillery practice this morning, but little musketry. I think the front must be a mile in advance of the present position of our regiment. We have been on the front line for several days, but we are now on the reserve.
R. W. BURT
From: Newark True American. Friday. July 15, 1864. Newark, Ohio
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