Howard's men didn't have time to entrench. Federals simply threw up fence rails, rocks, fallen trees and anything else that came to hand. They took pews from the church to help fortify the angle in their line.
The only real entrenching took place after the battle when Federal soldiers prepared burial trenches for hundreds of Confederates left dead and dying on the field.
Can someone check Confederate rolls mentioned in these posts. Is "Ezra Church" the place named?
Note that Ferguson's Cavalry Brigade had been sent to the Confederate right. When the order arrived on July 27th, Ferguson and his men were operating with Kellys' Cavalry Division. Three of Wheeler's Brigades had just vacated the trenches on that side of Atlanta and gone east in pursuit of Stoneman's troopers. Ferguson's troopers were needed to cover this vulnerable sector. A dispatch from Hood's headquarters dated August 9th shows Ferguson and his men still in the trenches here.
Ferguson and Jackson didn't get along. To deal with the conflict, Ferguson's Brigade was exchanged for one of Wheeler's so that Ferguson would no longer need to report to Jackson. This temporary arrangement was made permanent on August 4th --
AUGUST 4, 1864--9.40 p.m.
Brigadier-General FERGUSON, Commanding, &c.:
The general directs me to say that in a short time he will place you permanently under the orders of General Wheeler. For a few days General W. will probably be absent, and, in the mean time, it will be necessary for you to be under the general command of General Jackson. When General W. returns, your affairs can be, it is hoped, satisfactorily arranged.
[F. A. SHOUP, Chief of Staff.]
BTW, Ezra Church is the Federal name for this battle.