NEAR ATLANTA, GA., July 21, 1864-8.30 p.m.
(Received 11 a. m. 22d.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: Yesterday at 4 p. m. the enemy sallied from his entrenchments and fell suddenly and heavily on our line in the direction of Buck Head. The blow fell upon General Newton’s division, of General Howard’s corps, and on General Ward’s, Geary’s, and Williams’ divisions, of General Hooker’s corps, and General Johnson’s of General Palmer’s. For two hours the fighting was close severe, resulting in the complete repulse of the enemy with heavy loss in dead and wounded. He left his dead and many wounded in our possession, we retaining undisputed possession of all the ground fought over. General Newton reports he has buried 200 of the enemy’s lead, and is satisfied he wounded at least 1,200. His entire loss is only 100, as his men were partially covered by a rail barricade. At the time of the attack General Hooker was in the chief was in the act of advancing his lines, so that he fought his corps uncovered, in comparatively open ground and on fair terms with the enemy. The contest was very severe. He has buried about 400 of the rebel dead, took 7 colors, and has collected many of the wounded and other prisoners. Hooker thinks the rebel wounded in his front fully equal to 4,000; but I don’t like to make guesses in such matters. His own loss will be covered by 1,500. On the whole the result is most favorable to us. To-day we have gained important positions, so that General McPherson and Schofield, on the east, have batteries in position that will easily reach the heart of the city, and General Howard, on the north, also has advanced his lines about two miles, being within easy cannon-range of the buildings in Atlanta. He compelled the enemy to give up a long line of parapets, which constituted and advance line of entrenchments. The city seems to have a line all found it, at an average distance from the center of the town of the mile a half, but our shot passing over this line will destroy the town, and I doubt if General Hood will stand a bombardment; still he has fought hard at all points all day. I will open on the town from the east and northeast to-morrow, and General Thomas will advance his right from the mouth of Peach Tree Creek so as to cross the railroad to the northwest of the town. I have sent General Garrard’s cavalry eastward to Covington to break railroad and destroy the bridges on Yellow River and the Ulcofauhachee Creek. In the action yesterday the rebel generals O’Branan [?] and Stevens were killed, and among the dead were 3 colonels and many officers. Brigadier-General Gresham was severely, but is in no danger of life or limb.