It has been said that Johnston inflicted greater harm on Sherman's army in retreating than he did in the pitched battles, which I dare say was true. It has also been said of General Johnston that he excelled any general in the Confederate Army in taking care of his troops and equipments of war on a retreat. It became a byword among the men of the line that Johnston never left as much as a wagon wheel behind on his retreat.
We were kept so busy marching and fighting that we hardly had time to cook what little rations we had, much less to wash our clothes. So extremely engaged were we, that we often lost the day of the week and would forget which day was Sunday.
When Johnston left the
Kenesaw line, we fell back to near Chattahoochee River within 8 or 10
miles of Atlanta, where we were joined by the Georgia Militia. Known
by us then as Governor Joe Brown's Pets.
Governor Brown had soon after the war began organized the State Militia
or State Troops and had kept a good large force within the state line
and I remember that President Davis
and the Confederate Authorities at Richmond had quite a contention with
Governor Brown about keeping such a large force of troops at home. The
Governor had agreed however, that if the Federal troops should invade
the State, that his troops would join the Confederate forces, but which
the federal army had been in Georgia since early in the spring Governor
Brown's troops did not join us till we were in a few miles of Atlanta.
I remember when they met us just west of Chattahoochee River and turned over to General Johnston, the contrast in their appearance and the men of the regular army was very great. The Pets
as we called them were well dressed, clean and tidy. While our men,
many of them had not changed clothing for more than a month. And by
this time the service was so hard, that these new men soon played out, many of them sickened and died, a large percent of them were over the military age.
One evening just before we fell back across the
river, a force of the enemy attacked our left flank and our Brigade was
ordered to double quick down there to support the line and off
we went. When we arrived in rear of the line attacked and were marching
by the right flank to join in the fight. The firing was quite brisk
and bullets were whizing by. I was marching at the head of the company
and just to my right and a little to the rear, I heard something pop.
Which could have been heard 40 yards. I looked around just as one of
my men (Henry Roper)
had fallen over killed as I supposed. I saw the blood oozing out from
a gun shot near the eye. The litter bearers were ordered to take
charge of him and we hurried on into the fight. This was just before
night and after the firing had ceased about dark, we went into camp and
I remarked to some of the men of the company that we would have to see
that Henry Roper was buried that night and someone replied that Henry
was not dead and I told them that they were mistaken. For I had seen
him fall with a bullet through his head and that he must be dead.
Someone then said; No I have just been down to the Doctor's quarters and Henry is there and will get well.
The bullet had struck him on the bone at the left
hand corner of the left eye and instead of turning in, the ball ran
around just under the skin and was cut out by the doctor from the
neck. This man soon got well and in now living near Trussville, east
It was but a few days after this, that we crossed
the river. A pontoon bridge had been thrown across the stream and that
night we went over on this bridge. By some means a Yankee battery had
got the range and had opened fire on the bridge, which made our
crossing rather ticklish. If I remember correctly we had very little fighting from the river to Atlanta.
Just about this time, General Johnston was relieved of the command of the Army of Tennessee and General John B. Hood
succeeded him. This change had a very unsolutary effect on the whole
army. They had the most unbounded confidence in the wisdom and
generalship of Joseph E. Johnston and were slow to accept the change.
General Hood had the reputation of being a bull dog fighter and every soldier knew now that under him, it would be Shoot Luke or give up your gun and the result showed that we were not mistaken in our apprehensions.
The army was was soon in position around Atlanta.
On the 20th of July, part of our army had a considerable fight on
Peachtree Creek, north of the city. And on the night of the 21st, our
division (General Hindman's)
took position in the trenches east of the city. The enemy had during
the night advanced within sight of Atlanta and just after dawn next
morning, they caught site of the church spires and other tall buildings
of the city. And such a cheer as they sent up, I never heard.
For three months and from Dalton, their battle cry had been On to Atlanta
and while hundreds and I might say, thousands had bit the dust, a
larger force had survived to have in sight of thin goal. They advanced
toward our line and threw up breastworks.
Sometime before 12 o'clock on 22nd of July 1864, we
charged their line and drove them out of their works, but at great loss
in killed and wounded. I remember there was a little plank house just
in front of their works and their fire was so heavy that the men would
naturally close in behind that little building for protection and their
balls would go though the house and three men were killed and fell so
near together that they could have been covered with a bed quilt. My
only brother with me was badly wounded and a nephew killed.
We had driven them from their works and pursued them
to their next works when our regiment having suffered so severly, was
relieved by a Georgia regiment. And as we marched out for that
regiment to take our place I met another older brother whose home was
in Georgia and I stopped just a moment to speak to him, and knowing he
was going into great danger, I bade him goodbye. He went on with his
regiment into the fight and came out unhurt, but a minie ball struck
his gun and busted the stock to splinters. 
We remained on the battlefield that night and next day. And in a day or two General Sherman
moved part of his army around west of the city. Where, on the 28th
July we had another terrible battle, in which were many killed and
wounded, among them was Colonel Hart of the 22nd Alabama Regiment.
After this fight, General Sherman
seemed to have abandoned the idea of taking Atlanta by direct assault
and laid siege to the city. And for more than a month, artillery and
picket firing was kept up night and day. Many of the cannon shots went
into the city.  Our brigade
was posted on an elevation and the position of the enemy, was across a
little valley on another ridge some 9 or 10 hundred yards. While the
picket lines were very near each other in the valley, half of the
regiment went on picket duty at a time, being relieved every 24 hours
and the relief force had to go on picket duty before daybreak, as our
line was so near the Yankee line.
I remember after having been on picket duty for 24
hours, we were relieved one Sunday morning before day and returned to
the main line on the hill. And it being Sunday morning, I washed
myself and put on clean clothing. I think I put on a white shirt and
just as I was walking out to a cool place to lie down and rest (this was in August)
and being in plain view of the main line of the enemy a 1,000 yards
away, I was struck with a minie ball in my left shoulder. A flesh
wound from which I soon recovered.
My white shirt had attracted the attention of one of
their sharpshooters on their main line and had taken a bead on the
white shirt and was a fine shot for the distance.
I will here record another incident while on this
line. We had gone out in the picket line to serve our tour. I believe
we went out after dark that time, and it rained some that night and the
next morning. Just at daylight, a man of my company Robert Clark
and one of the best soldiers in the company, was spreading out his
blanket to dry and showed his head above the works and a Yankee bullet
went through the back of his head. He lived a day or two, but his
sense of sight was gone and he seemed to be entirely unconscious, but
Among the killed on the Yankee side in the battle of 22nd July, was General McPherson, the favorite Corps General of their Army and the man after whom the U.S. Military Post now in Atlanta is named.
in his autobiography gives an account of his tragic death and that
account is very pathetic. Having read, a few years ago, Sherman's own
account of the Georgia Campaign, he says: (I quote him from memory)
General McPherson was engaged to marry a lady in
Baltimore, Maryland and sometime before we reached Atlanta, he had
asked and obtained leave of absence to go there and marry the lady. I
suggested to him that we would have some hard fighting when reached
Atlanta and I would be glad if he would postpone his trip till after
that anticipated battle and he very readily consented to do so. And on
reaching Atlanta, we sure enough had the fearful conflict of 22nd July,
as we expected, in which General McPherson was killed. My headquarters
was at a farmhouse east of the city and his body was brought there. And
soon as I could find time and quiet, I wrote the young lady of
Baltimore of the tragic death of this gallant officer, her own
We remained in the trenches around Atlanta till about the 1st of September, when Sherman vacated (it was August 26th)
one morning just before day. We observed that everything had gotten
unusually quiet along the picket line and at daylight our picket line
advanced, and we found their picket line had been abandoned. And on a
further advance, we found that their main line had also been vacated
and their whole army had moved somewhere.
I never shall forget that morning when we got into
their main camp and especially where they had kept their army horses
and mules. They had been there the entire month of August and their
leaving camp at night had left the flies behind. Millions of these
ball faced stinging flies had accumulated where the stock were kept and
there being nothing else to bite, lit on the rebel soldiers and we had
to fight them like we were in a yellow jacket nest.
Their army had moved around to our rear and we
immediately were hurried on a forced march down the railroad toward
Macon and at Jonesboro, 15 or 20 miles below Atlanta. We encountered
the enemy and had a severe battle. Thus, Atlanta was given up and Sherman's whole army occupied that city for some time. The Battle of Jonesboro was fought by Hardee and Lee, under very unfavorable circumstances. 
 Bragg was succeeded the last days of November and held until December 27th, when General Joseph E. Johnston assumed the command. See General Orders No. 1 (Official Records, Serial 56, page 873).
 There must be a mistake in the memory of the writer for there was only skirmishing and cannonading, and, not severe, on the Cassville (not Calhoun line, as there was none at Calhoun) line. There had been heavy fighting at times from the 13th to 15th of May at Resaca, along Deas' front. At Cassville where the first general line was formed after Resaca, the skirmishing was the introduction to what was expected to be a severe and decisive battle on May 20th. The battle order had been read to the different commands of the army on the evening of the 19th, and was received with cheers and enthusiasm. In the night, orders came to fall in, and the retreat across the Etowah commenced. Nothing during the campaign so dampened the ardor of the army, or produced so much confusion. It was afterward learned from Johnston's report, that the designed battle was frustrated by Hood and Polk, in a council after night declaring they could not maintain their position. Johnston expressed regret that he did not fight anyway. (Official Records, Serial 74, pages 612-621)
The organizations given from the time of reaching Dalton to the removal of General J. E. Johnston were as follows; on December 10th, 1863 (Official Records, Serial 56, page 805), Breckenridge commanded the corps; Anderson the division; and the brigade was as before except that Capt. Harry T. Toulmin commanded the 22nd Alabama and Major Colin McSwean the 39th. Page 825, shows the 25th Alabama had effectives present on December 14th, 1863, 272, and total present 304 and had only 174 guns, showing many had been thrown away in the retreat.
On December 31st (Official Records, Serial 56, page 887), Hindman commanded the corps; Anderson the division, nearly all the regiments had other commanders than at last report, but Colonel Johnston was in command of the 25th Alabama.
On April 30th, 1864, at the opening of campaign (Official Records, Serial 74, page 140), Lt. General John B. Hood was in command of corps; Hindman of the division; Deas of the brigade; Colonel Johnston of the 25th Alabama.
On June 30th, 1864 (Official Records, Serial 74, page 648), it was the same except that Colonel Coltart was in command of the brigade.
On July 10th, 1864, the same except that Brig. General John C. Brown commanded the division (Official Records, Serial 74, page 656). The strength is given only by divisions. The strength of the division of which the 25th Alabama was a part, on April 30th was, present for duty, 547 officers and 6,213 men. On July 10th there were 496 officers and 4,931 men present for duty (Official Records, Serial 74, pages 676 & 679).
Deas' Brigade had lost from May 7th, the commencement of the campaign to May 20th, when it crossed the Etowah, 17 killed, 91 wounded (Official Records, Serial 74, page 686). It lost near New Hope, 9 killed and 84 wounded (page 687). It's other casualties are not given until after July 20th.
 Deas' brigade was not in Polk's, but Hood's Corps.
 In the report of Captain Napoleon B. Rouse (Official Records, Serial 74, page 778), he says of the battle of the 22nd of July, The works were carried at a heavy loss to the left wing of the regiment, as there were no troops between our left and the railroad and the fire received being both from the front and oblique. Two elegant stand of colors and a large number of prisoners captured ... Carried into the fight 273 men. Killed, wounded and missing 113, including 2 color-bearers.
On page 496 of Brewer's Alabama, he says: After the fall of Colonel Loomis at Shiloh, and from that day, he (Colonel George D. Johnston) led the regiment in every encounter till promoted to Brig. General. This was for gallantry at Atlanta, July 22nd, 1864, where he forced the enemy's line with his regiment, and captured more men than he led, with two flags, 350 stand of arms.
A few days after this on the 28th of July, the day he received his commission as Brig. General, General Deas being absent, General Johnston was placed in command of the brigade, and in a short time had his leg bone fractured by a bullet, but continued to command until exhausted. When he returned to duty in the Nashville Campaign he was placed in command of Quarles' Brigade after the Battle of Franklin, leading it until the second day of the Battle of Bentonville, when he was put in command of Wathall's division until the reorganization at Smithfield. He was a member of the House of Representatives from Perry County, Alabama in the session of 1857-1858. He was born in 1832 and died in 1911.
 The writer has entirely omitted the Battle of Ezra Church on the Lick Skillet Road fought July 28th, 1864. In N. B. Rouse's report (Official Records, Serial 74, page 779), he says: On the 28th the regiment with the brigade having commenced the advance, after passing the road in its front and getting into the field beyond the road, was halted, lines rectified, and again moved forward. With the exception of the two left companies, the regiment had to advance through dense woods and undergrowth - almost an abatis by nature. It succeeded in getting within about fifty or sixty yards of the enemy's works, when the left commenced giving way, and a general giving way of the lines commenced in some confusion. The regiment was reformed with the brigade as soon as all could be done, and went forward with the brigade, taking part in all that the rest of the brigade was ordered to do. Carried into the fight, 173 men. Killed, wounded and missing, 23, including 2 color-bearers.
General Johnston was in command of the brigade, having that morning received his commission as Brig. General. He was soon wounded, and Colonel Coltart succeeded in command, but he also was soon wounded, and then the command fell upon Lt. Colonel Toulmin.
After this battle on the 28th of July, Lt. General S. D. Lee coming into command of Hood's former corps on the day before, the 27th of July, was left on the left of the Confederate line to confront this force with which they had been fighting, a force that had been sent out by Sherman to turn the Confederate left. It was here they entrenched, and the two lines were so near together, and the scenes took place described by the writer.
Lee's report (Official Records, Serial 74, pages 762-765), compliments the line highly, and says for a week it was almost equal to a battle. On pages 706-707 there is a congratulatory order issued to Deas', Brantley's, Gibson's, and Baker's skirmishers for heroic bravery and endurance.
General Anderson in his report (Official Records, Serial 74, page 770), says: With this, however, he threatened to do us much damage, and, but for the courage and skill of Deas' skirmishers backed by the indomitable energy and perseverance of the officers in charge of the line, would doubtless have compelled us to retire to a position nearer our main line.
 The troops marched from about East Point in the night, sometimes roads obstructed, sometimes no roads, and by men without exercise for six weeks, unfit to march, there was straggling, weariness, hunger, and sleepiness, it was a wonder they fought as well as they did. See Anderson's report (Official Records, Serial 74, pages 773-775).