Near Kenesaw Mountain, June 28, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in pursuance of orders from corps headquarters, I moved my division yesterday morning to the left and to the front into line of battle, the left resting on a hill about 100 yards from the Bell’s Ferry road, and connecting by a line of skirmishers with the cavalry division, General Garrard, which was refused on my left.
During the night previous I advanced my pickets, and made a road from my camp to the place where I formed my line of battle, a distance of nearly one mile. The character of the ground over which I was obliged to pass to get into line was rocky hills, densely wooded. I placed a battery of regulation guns, Company H, First Michigan, in position on my extreme left, where they were in full view of the rebel works. My order of formation was a double line, with skirmishers in front, the First Brigade, Brigadier General M. F. Force commanding, on the right; the Second Brigade, Colonel R. K. Scott commanding, on the left, and the Third Brigade, Colonel A. G. Malloy commanding, in the center. At 8 a. m. I moved forward, and met the enemy in considerable force at once, but drove them rapidly into their main works, and took possession of their advanced works, across the whole front of my division. Being enfiladed by sharpshooters upon hills to my right and also at the left, I reduced my formation to a single line, and thereby extended my front. At this point we were brought under a cross-fire from three rebel batteries, one on our left, one in front, and one on our right. We held this position for two hours, it not being possible to advance farther without entering their main works, which we could not have held with so small a force and both our flanks so greatly exposed. I was then directed to withdraw my division and make another demonstration farther to the right, which I did, but the position was such that but one brigade, the Second, became actively engaged. We were here met by a heavy infantry force, and could make but little advance. The design of my operations being to hold the force in my front from being taken to oppose our right wing, where the real attack was to be made, I think we fully accomplished our object, for I am informed that we not only held those who were in our front in the morning, but caused them to be largely re-enforced during the day.
The casualties of the day were, killed, 10; wounded, 76.
A detailed account of killed and wounded has already been forwarded.
The officers and men of my division behaved well, and did bravely and uncomplainingly all that was asked of them, and expressed great eagerness to go into the rebel works.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel A. J. ALEXANDER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Seventeenth Army Corps.