Report of Captain Moses
Thirty-third Mississippi Infantry, of
operations July 20.
IN THE TRENCHES, Atlanta, July 23, 1864.
SIR: Permit me to make a report of the part taken in the battle by the
Thirty-third Mississippi Regiment on the 20th instant, commanded by
Colonel J. L. Drake.
The regiment formed in front of the works in line of battle about 3 p.
m. preparatory to advancing upon the enemy. The regiment moved forward
to an old field about 300 yards, halted and, moved by the left about 100
yards across a ravine, where the line was rectified. The command then
moved forward, crossing the ravine again, which ran in front of the
regiment, in full view of the enemy through an open field of about 600
yards. The evening was very sultry. The charge was made immediately. The
regiment moved through the open field under a galling fire from the
enemy's works in front, with a heavy enfilading fire from the enemy's
batteries on the left with shell, grape and canister. The enemy's works
were temporarily constructed of rails situated on an old road, which was
soon carried. The command halted a short time, firing upon the enemy.
The men were so completely exhausted and overcome with heat it was
difficult for them to load and fire their pieces. The command soon moved
forward beyond the enemy's works about 100 yards in a ravine, where a
halt was again made and fighting very stubborn. They seemed to be massed
in our front, as they could be seen just over the turn of the hill. Our
regiment was at this time on the extreme right of the brigade. The
battalion had been thrown forward as skirmishers. Not being supported on
the right, which rested on the edge of the woods, seeing a heavy column
in front of us, and hearing commands given by the enemy to flank us on
the right, they advanced, their left swinging around us, with a charge
and a heavy cross-fire. Seeing our perilous condition, I being on the
right at my post, I immediately ordered a retreat. About this time the
whole command was in full retreat. After retreating about a quarter of a
mile we saw Wright's brigade in a line of battle in the woods at a halt,
which should have engaged the enemy on our right. The failure in this
caused our defeat. The men were rallied opposite this point and formed a
line, and held it until they were withdrawn after 9 p.m., placing out
pickets, which were withdrawn after 11 p.m. After night-fall every means
were used in getting off the field the dead and wounded. All were taken
except those too near the enemy's line.
We regret to report the death of many valiant soldiers. Among the
officers our lamented Colonel Drake, Captain Sharkey, Captain Lamkin,
Captain Herring, Lieutenant Kennedy, and Lieutenant West.
Number killed, missing, and wounded: 15 officers, 144 men. [33rd
Captain, Commanding Thirty-third Regiment.
Source: Official Records:
Series I, Vol. 38, Part III, Pg. 889-890