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Atlanta Correspondence.

The Battle of July 22d — Gallant Conduct and heavy Losses of Illinois Troops — Incidents — Personal News, &c.

NEAR ATLANTA, GA., Aug. 10, 1864.

Editors State Journal:

Absence from the front to Nashville has prevented my sending you the account of the siege of Atlanta, yet I have no doubt, like the other papers, you have received a great many reports by telegraph and other sources that are entirely new to us in front. For this reason I may refer back to the attack of the enemy upon the 22d of July, in order to let our friends in Illinois know that there is an army in front besides the Army of the Cumberland, and that the Army of the Tennessee has maintained the reputation it achieved under Generals Grant and McPherson, but even after the death of its able commander, Gen. McPherson, in the battle of the 22d ult., when Gen. Logan assumed the command. No such fighting has been done in this campaign.

Previous to the assault, Gen. Hood in his address to his troops told them that all that was necessary to capture the entire 17th corps was to make the assault with vigor and all would be well. The corps was flanked by Hardee's entire corps and the 2d division of Cheatham's corps. On the afternoon of the 21st our forces had captured a hill, which the rebels tried twice to retake and were handsomely repulsed with a great loss of killed, wounded and prisoners. At night they threw up new works and before morning abandoned them, hoping to get the 17th to make an assault, but it did not win. Early in the morning Gen. McPherson sent out a brigade of cavalry, but they went too far to the left to discover the rebels. While our forces were in their works anxiously waiting an advance of the enemy, judge of their surprise at receiving a volley of infantry in the rear, and the enemy coming upon them drawing artillery with ropes. The heaviest fire was upon the 3d division, composed of the 20th Illinois, Lieut. Col. Bradley, 30th Illinois, Col. Warren Shedd, 31st Illinois, Lieut. Col. Robt. Pearson, 13th, 14th, 16th, and 17th Wisconsin, 20th, 32d, 68th and 78th Ohio, under command of Gen. Leggett. Our forces were obliged to about face and fire to the rear. The 1st brigade, under Gen. Force, composed of the three Illinois regiments, suffered very heavily, General McPherson being killed within a few paces of the 30th, and Gen. Force and his Adjutant General, Capt. Walker, both being seriously wounded. In less than an hour from the first fire, our left line had all fallen back. At this time the rebels came up five or six lines deep in an opposite direction from the one our works were made to defend. An open field, sixty or seventy yards wide, lay in our front as we were then faced. As they approached our line they were met with a heavy fire of grape and canister, and they were within ten paces of our works before they gave way in confusion. At this time Gen. Logan's corps, the 15th, passed to the left of the 17th, and was hotly engaged, driving them back and capturing a great many prisoners. The rebels then endeavored to capture the works left by General Logan's corps, but they were promptly met and repulsed with heavy loss. The 3d division, with the exception of the 30th Illinois, Colonel Shedd, and the 20th Illinois, Lieut. Col. Bradley. These two regiments were formed on a line perpendicular with the rebels. As the rebels advanced it was evident to all that they could not hold their position against such superior numbers. The suspense was of short duration. Company after company was obliged to give way with great loss. Here it was that Illinoisans suffered severely. The 30th lost 26 killed, including Lieut. John F. Cassity, of Co. B, (of Sangamon county,) 37 wounded and 106 men and 4 commissioned officers prisoners. Among the latter are Col. Warren Shedd, Capt. Henry W. Strong, Col. H, Lieut. William M. Adair, Co. C, and Lieut. Issac Mann, Co. D. Among the killed was John Murray, Co. H, well known to your readers and the Union ladies of Springfield as having had charge of the Soldiers' Home. He was killed instantly by the shell striking him on the head. Col. Shedd was ordered to hold his position at all hazards, and he fought them from noon until near dark, when he was overpowered and he and his men captured. The brigade did not cease fighting until near daylight on the morning of the 23d.

The 20th Illinois could only muster 10 men and 2 commissioned officers the next morning, and the 31st Illinois 3 commissioned officers and 125 men out of 300. The 30th went into the fight with 359 men, and lost 173 in killed, wounded and missing. Henry McDonald, color bearer, was killed instantly, and Sergt. Rogers then took the colors, when he received a wound and was captured.

When the regiment left Springfield for the field, on the 18th of April, they numbered 700 men. To-day, we have only about 160 for duty. As I write the "Johnnys" are firing within 20 feet of me. The brigade advanced last night about half a mile, and all of our artillery fired on Atlanta nearly the whole of yesterday, getting no reply. This morning they have opened from three forts, but they fire over us. A private of the 31st was shot through the heart this morning, while asleep in the works, and another one wounded.

Col. Bryant, of the 12th Illinois, assumed command of the brigade when Gen. Force was wounded, and continued in command as senior colonel. Lieut. Col. Wm. C. Rhoads commands the 30th. Major Robert Allen, of Springfield, and Capt. O. C. Richardson, formerly Provost Marshal of Springfield, have resigned on account of ill health. Capt. Alex. M. Wilson, of Company C, has been commissioned by the President as Commissary of Subsistence, and Capt. John L. Nichols, of Company K, has been appointed Brigade Inspector. Yesterday we received information from Marietta that Assistant Surgeon J. D. Marshall, of Macoupin county, died the day before at the hospital.

Thus far the campaign, since we left Springfield, has been more severe upon us than the battles of Belmont, Fort Donelson, Britton's Lane, Champion Hills, Raymond, sieges of Corinth, Vicksburg, and Sherman's raid, and another assault like that of the 22d of July, will nearly wipe them out of existence. Gen. E. G. Ransom, who was so severely wounded on the Red river, has assumed command of the 4th division of the 16th army corps, and General John McArthur has been placed in command at Marietta. Our artillery is now shelling the city of Atlanta, and there is no doubt but what we have driven them into their main works. Our forces advanced last night, and are throwing up new works this morning, without any opposition from the enemy.

Gen. Force was severely wounded through the head while tying up the thigh of his Adjt. General, Capt. Walker. He was wounded so that he could not speak, but at night he was able to write and ask how his brigade fought. When told by Col. Bryan that they fought well and held their position, he cried like a child. It is doughtful whether he will recover. In front of the 3d division over 1,000 dead rebels lay, and in two days over 1,300 wounded from the 17th army corps were carried to the hospital at Marietta. They are receiving all the care and attention that can be given them by Surgeons Ormsby of 45th Ills., Miller 11th Iowa, and Van Dyke of 31st Ills.

As the mail does not go to the river until two o'clock, I will keep this open as late as possible. We have had heavy artillery firing all the morning, but as yet no damage has been done to our forces. They reply quite sharply from Atlanta.

Chas. C. Williams, the able Quartermaster of the 3d division, has been relieved by Capt. Alex. McIntosh. "Logan's Charley," as all call him, entered as a private in the 17th Illinois, (Col. Ross, afterwards Brigadier General), and was elected 2d Lieutenant, and for meritorious conduct was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and Brigade Quartermaster when Gen. Logan was promoted. It is a source of pleasure to all to learn that after a short visit to Illinois he will again enter the service under Maj. Gen. John A. Logan.