Newton, Ga., July 15, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit a report of the part taken by my command in crossing the Chattahoochee River, near Roswell, Ga., on the 9th instant:
In compliance with orders received from the general commanding on the previous evening my command was up and ready to move at 3.30 a. m., and at the first dawn of day I moved out in foot. After passing through the town of Roswell, I moved the Seventeenth Indiana Volunteers, Major Vail, and the Ninety-eighth Illinois Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Kitchell, forward on the main road leading to the ford of the river, and the Seventy-second Indiana, Captain Pinkerton, and One hundred and twenty-third Illinois Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Biggs, on a road to the left, so as to strike the river about 200 yards above the main road. As soon as the advance reached the river two companies of the Seventy-second Indiana were deployed on the left and two companies of the Seventeenth Indiana on the right, forming a line of skirmishers extending along the bank of the river for 300 yards. At the same time one company from the Seventy-second and two from the Seventeenth were deployed as sharpshooters on the bluffs on this side, to engage the attention of the enemy and protect my skirmishers while crossing. During these arrangements the enemy’s sharpshooters on the opposite shore were very active, shooting whenever our men exposed themselves. The main column having been moved as close to the river as possible, and everything being in readiness, I ordered the skirmishers forward, and every man moved promptly into the water, when the enemy opened with a heavy fire, which was vigorously replied to by our sharpshooters from this side, and which attracted their attention from the men in the water. The river was running very swift, with a rough bottom, and in some places, up to the arms in depth, but the skirmishers moved steadily forward, keeping a good line, and before they reached the opposite shore the enemy fled in confusion, with the exception of a few who were captured before they could escape. The main column was at once moved forward to support our gallant skirmishers, but before it had crossed the advance had gained the crest of the ridge, 300 yards from the river. The object of the movement being accomplished, I formed my brigade in line of battle upon this ridge, Colonel Minty (the First Brigade) crossing immediately and forming upon my left. We remained in this position all day, protecting the crossing, and at dark were relieved by a division of infantry, under command of General Newton, when we recrossed the river and returned to camp.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Division Cavalry.