Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/167

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Sketch of M'ljor-General Patrick R. Cleburne. 159

and a half, repulsed it. Cleburne's troops were not only greatly out- numbered, but were outnumbered by resolute soldiers. At the end of the combat, about 700 Federal dead lay within thirty or forty feet of his line. During the action a Federal color-bearer planted his colors within ten paces of Cleburne's line. He was instantly killed; a second, who took his* place, shared his fate; so with the third and fourth; the fifth bore off the colors.

We read of little more effective fighting than that of Cheatham's and Cleburne's Divisions in repelling an assault made upon them by Blair's Corps of the Federal army, on the morning of the 2jth of June, at Kenesaw. The conduct of the Federal troops on that oc- casion was as resolute as in the instance above. When they fell back, more than 300 dead bodies were counted within a few yards of the entrenchments, some of them lying against it. His loss was two killed and nine wounded, certainly less than i to 100 of the enemy. On the i8th of July General Johnson was removed from the Western army, and General Hood promoted to its command.

On the 2ist, while the army was occupying a line encircling .the northern front of Atlanta, Cleburne's Division was detached to op- pose an attempt of a corps of the enemy to turn the Confederate right, and penetrate to Atlanta at an undefended point. His troops, newly arrived at the point of attack, had no protection other than that the men provided themselves in the brief time allowed for prep- aration. They were attacked by large odds, in front aud on both flanks. At one time Cleburne's line was so completely enfiladed that a single shot of the enemy killed nineteen men in one company. The position was maintained, the enemy repulsed, and Atlanta pre- served. Cleburne described this as the " bitterest fight" of his life. On the 22d of July, in carrying out a plan of general attack, my corps, consisting then of Cleburne's and three other divisions, as- saulted and carried the entrenched left of the Federal army. The troops opposed to us were McPherson's army, of which Blair's Corps formed a part. On the 2yth of June, Cleburne had repelled an assault of these troops with a loss slightly disproportionate. It bears strong testimony to the soldierly quality of the Confederate troops that on the 22d of July, they, in position exactly reversed, carried works equally strong, manned by the same troops. The loss of twenty-seven of about thirty field-officers in Cleburne's Division in this action attests the gallantry of the officer and the severity of the conflict.

On the 26th of August, the Federal commander, General Sher-