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Ferguson's brigades of cavalry presented a bold front on the east bank, and with artillery opened upon our column to dispute its crossing. Kilpatrick promptly ordered all his artillery into position, and in a very few minutes Lieutenant Bennett's section of the Board of Trade battery had "dried up" the rebel artillery most effectually. Quickly dismounting the First, Third and Fourth Ohio, and Fourth Michigan cavalry, by order of Kilpatrick, Minty formed in line of battle, when our artillery discharged four destructive volleys of grape and canister into the rebel rifle-pits, and instantly the men rushed forward upon the double-quick, with a cheer, to the bank of the river, where a deadly fire was poured into the rebels at short range, dislodging their sharpshooters. Our column at once crossed the river on the stringers of the burned bridge.
Station, the First brigade being in the advance, and the Second brigade (Long's), bringing up the rear. A few minutes before our rear skir mishers were withdrawn from the town, another infantry force arrived from toward Griffin. Resting for the night some distance from Lovejoy's Station, at daybreak of the following moining, our flight from Jonesboro' was discovered by the enemy, who started in pursuit with their cavalry.
At one and a half miles from Lovejoy's, the dirt road upon which our column moved, forks -one branch leading direct to the station, the other crossing the railroad a quarter of a mile north of it. At this time the Second division had the advance, Minty's brigade leading, followed by Long's. The Fourth Michigan was detached from the command, on the northern branch, and succeeded in gaining and tearing
the main column that was moving down the direct road to the station, encountered the enemy's mounted pickets, which were driven by the Seventh Pennsylvania in a fine style. Skirmishing with the rebels continued, and when within a quarter of a mile of the station, a report was received that the Fourth Michigan had struck the railroad. Our forces were pushed rapidly forward, and at once received a fire from the enemy, when one battalion of the Fourth United States were dismounted and deployed, and brought up to the support of the Fourth Michigan, swelling the number who were engaged in tearing up the track to one hundred and fifty men. Before their line was fairly formed, a whole rebel infantry brigade, which was lying in ambush, with no skirmishers out, poured into the ranks of the working party, a terrific volley, and with wild yells that made the forests ring, rushed madly over the track-burners, killing, wounding, and taking prisoners nearly the entire detachment, who fought bravely until their arms were wrested from them.
Leaving the Seventh Pennsylvania, one sec-up some distance of the track. About this time tion of artillery, and all the led horses on the west side of the river, Minty advanced with his brigades on Jonesboro', a town on the Atlanta and Macon railroad, twenty-one miles south of Atlanta the Fourth Michigan being deployed as skirmishers, with the First Ohio, Colonel Eggleston, and Fourth United States, in line of ❘ battle, with one section of artillery in the centre, and the Third Ohio, Colonel Sidell, and Fourth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Robie, following in column. With this formation, Minty at once advanced and drove the rebels before him into the town, from the houses of which the rebels opened a sharp but not very destructive fire upon our lines. Not wishing to unnecessarily sacrifice the lives of his men, Minty ordered forward his artillery to the skirmish line by hand, to within a very short distance of the buildings in which the rebels had taken lodgment. While he was preparing to riddle the buildings with his grape and canister, the rebels, deeming "discretion the better part of valor," retreated, mounted their horses, and evacuated in disorder. Our men charged after them into the town. Reporting the possession of the town to Kilpatrick, the Third division was quickly brought up, and then commenced the destruction of the town.
This was just before dark. The men went to work with a will, put the torch to the railway buildings, court-house, and public property; details from the command tore up and burned about three miles of the Macon railway. A brisk wind sprung up, and very soon the flames spread to stores and other buildings, and over two thirds of the town was burned to the ground, together with considerable public property and effects of the citizens.
Ferguson and Ross, while the town was being razed, were reinforced by one infantry brigade, and took position immediately south of our forces, intrenching themselves by felling timber, &c., &c. As Kilpatrick's object was not to whip the enemy, but to destroy the railway, the same night he struck east from the railway about five miles, and then marched direct for Lovejoy's
Long's brigade was immediately formed, artillery placed in position, and the rebels were quickly repulsed, with severe loss from the effect of our grape, canister and bullets.
Scarcely had the roar of artillery and the sharp musket's crack died away, as the rebel infantry fell back, broken and demoralized, when a new danger presented itself. With wild yells a whole division of rebel cavalry (Jackson's), five thousand strong, composed of Armstrong's, Ferguson's and Ross' brigades, were seen coming down on the keen run, accompanied by ten pieces of artillery.
Ere Kilpatrick had time to learn what was coming, a spirited attack was made upon the rear, the shells came tearing across the fields, and bursting over our columns. Kilpatrick's keen eye soon comprehended the situation. Minty's brigade was instantly withdrawn and hastily formed on the right (or south) of the road in line of regimental column. The Seventh Pennsylvania, Major Jennings, on the right, Fourth Michigan, Major West, on the centre, and the
stained with human blood. Among the cases of daring vouched for are the following:
An orderly of Major Jennings, Samuel Walters, Company F, Seventh Pennsylvania, rode upon a rebel cavalryman, who threw up his hand to guard the blow. The sabre came down, sev
Fourth United States, Captain McIntyre, on the left. Long's brigade was formed in the rear of the first. The Third division was ordered to form in the same manner on the left of the road, and to charge simultaneously with Minty's, but it is said for some reason failed to do so. While the various regiments were being man-ering the hand from the arm. Another blow œuvred into position to meet the onslaught of the rebels, who were sweeping down upon them, the men had time to comprehend the danger that surrounded them-rebels to the right of them, rebels to the left of them, rebels in the rear of them, rebels in front of them-surround-or ed, there was no salvation but to cut their way out. Visions of Libby Prison and starvation flitted across their minds, and they saw that the deadly conflict could not be avoided. Placing himself at the head of his brigade, the gallant and fearless Minty drew his sabre and his voice rung out clear and loud, “Attention, column-forward, trot-regulate by the centre regiment-Regulars." march-gallop-march!" and away the brigade went with a yell that echoed far across the valleys.
The ground from which the start was made, and over which they charged, was a plantation of about two square miles, thickly strewn with patches of woods, deep water-cuts, fences ditches, and morasses. At the word, away went the bold dragoons, at the height of their speed. Fences were jumped, ditches were no impediment. The rattle of the sabres mingled with that of the mess-kettles and frying-pans that jingled at the sides of the pack-mule brigade, which was madly pushed forward by the frightened darkies who straddled them. Charging for their lives, and yelling like devils, Minty and his troopers encountered the rebels behind a hastily-erected barricade of rails. Pressing their rowels deep into their horses' flanks, and raising their sabres aloft, on, on, on, nearer and nearer to the rebels, they plunged. The terror-stricken enemy could not withstand the thunderous wave of men and horse that threatened to engulf them. They broke and ran, just as Minty and his troopers were urging their horses for the decisive blow. In an instant, all was confusion. The yells of the horsemen were drowned in the clashing of steel and the groans of the dying. On pressed Minty in pursuit, his men's sabres striking right and left, and cutting down every thing in their path. Tho rebel horsemen were seen to reel and pitch headlong to the earth, while their frightened steeds rushed pell-mell over their bodies. Many of the rebels defended themselves with almost superhuman strength, yet it was all in vain. The charge of Federal steel was irresistible. The heads and limbs of some of the rebels were actually severed from the bodies the head of the rider falling on one side of the horse, the lifeless trunk upon the other.
The individual instances of heroism were many. Hardly a man flinched, and when the brigade came out more than half the sabres were
followed quickly after upon the neck, and over the rebel rolled out of his saddle, the head only clinging to the body by a thin fibre. Private Douglas and Captain McIntyre, of the Fourth United States, charged side by side, killed four five with the sabre, captured a captain and lieutenant and thirteen men, who were turned over to Douglas by the Captain, who rushed forward into the fray. After the charge was over Douglas rode up to Colonel Minty, saluted him, turned over his fifteen prisoners, and remarked, "Here Colonel, are fifteen Johnnies, the trophies of Captain McIntyre and Private Douglas, Fourth
It was, all admit, one of the finest charges of the war. Fully one hundred men fell under the keen sabres of Minty's brigade. The praises of Minty and his command are upon every tongue. The Fourth United States, Fourth Michigan, First, Third, and Fourth Ohio regiments charged over a rebel battery of three guns on the left of the road; but no sooner had our men passed than the rebels again seized the cannon and, reversing them, poured grape and canister into the charging columns. General Kilpatrick, seeing this, with his staff and others, about thirty in all, moved forward to capture the guns, but found a high staked and ridered fence between hin and the battery. Seeing the predicament in which the General was, private William Bailey, Company I, Fourth Michigan, an orderly to Colonel Minty, coolly rode up to the fence, dismounted in the face of a severe fire, tore down the fence, remounted, rode up to the battery, shot the Captain, took possession of the horse and arms, and rode out. He was immediately followed by a party of men who captured the battery and spiked the guns. In the charge, Minty's brigade captured three stands of colors the Fourth United States taking two, and the Fourth Michigan one.
Long's brigade, being in the rear, were not able to participate generally in the charge; but they fought, when they had an opportunity, like Spartans. The General, who learned of his promotion on his return, was, I regret to say, wounded severely in the leg and arm while gallantly leading the brigade.
Colonel Minty, whose soldierly form was conspicuous in the charge, urging the men to follow him, had his horse shot under him, an orderly was shot by his side, and his Inspector, Captain Thompson, captured. General Kilpatrick is loud in his praise of Long and Minty, and the nameless heroes who fought by them.
Leaving the rebel dead and wounded on the field, preparations were made for the return. The Third division was ordered to move on the
McDonough road, the Second division to cover the movement. Before the leading brigade had moved, Pat Cleburne's division of infantry advanced and attacked Long's brigade, which fought splendidly, and although forced to fall back, they did so so slowly that the Third division had time to move. It was in this engagement that General Long received one of his two wounds. His men fought with splendid pluck, and kept at bay one of the best divisions of rebel infantry. The Seventh Pennsylvania and Fourth Michigan were dismounted to cover the retreat of their gallant comrades of the Second brigade, when the Fourth United States got out of ammunition and were sent back with the Third division. Bennett's section of the Board of Trade battery was put in position with the Seventh Pennsylvania and Fourth Michigan. Cleburne was held in check until our led horses had been moved out upon the road. The artillery had been so busily engaged that one of our guns burst, breaking into a thousand pieces, but fortunately injuring nobody.
The night of the twentieth was consumed in marching through the rain and darkness. At one A. M. of the twenty-first, Cotton river was reached and crossed, and the fatigued men and animals bivouacked until daybreak, when they were moved forward again, encountering no enemy. At six A. M. South river was reached by the advance, but the bridge had been destroyed and the river flooded by the rains. The entire column was compelled to swim the stream-one man and about fifty horses and mules were drowned. General Kilpatrick's ambulance was lost in the rapid current of the river, and two wagons that had carried ammunition were destroyed, as the mules were required to remount the men. These were our only losses in crossing, after which the men were once more in the saddle. Lithonia, on the Georgia railroad, left of our lines, was reached that evening, where the first night's rest was obtained, and yesterday the worn-out men and horses returned to camp in rear of our infantry line.
During the first three days and nights no officer or man had an hour's sleep. From the time the command left the rear of our left, on the eighteenth, until it returned to the same point on the night of the twenty-second (four days), the men partook of but three meals-of coffee and hard bread-nothing more. The horses subsisted on the country.
The results of this raid are not as complete as we should wish. While nearly a thousand prisoners were captured, and quite a number of horses, only about seventy-five of the former were retained while cutting through the heavy force of rebel infantry, cavalry, and artillery. The damage to the railway can be repaired in two or three days. A train of loaded cars was destroyed below Jonesboro', by Colonel Kline's command, which was sent out on a detached raid further south. A vast amount of damage
was done at Jonesboro' to public property. Considering that Kilpatrick's five thousand men had, probably, twelve thousand surrounding them, all must admit that this is a brilliant, if not a highly successful raid.
Colonel Minty estimates the rebel killed alone greater than our entire loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Our loss in Minty's and Long's brigades and the battery was two hundred and twenty; that of the Third brigade, about ninetyfour; total, three hundred and fourteen. The rebel loss cannot be less than one thousand in all.
THE CLOSING DAYS OF THE SIEGE.
August 25.-The multitudinous preparations for the grand coup have been made quickly and thoroughly. Superfluous wagons with baggage have been sent to the rear to be parked at the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee. Hospital trains conveyed the sick and wounded to the rear. Fifteen days' supplies have been brought up. Rations for three days are placed in the haversacks of the men-the remaining twelve are loaded on the supply trains, and gathered near Vining's Station, on the north bank of the Chattahoochee river. Regiments are cut down to a single baggage wagon. Sixty rounds of ammunition have been issued to each man carrying a musket, and the ammunition wagons are replenished. When the sun goes down on Wednesday, the twenty-fifth of August, everything will be in readiness. What a felicitous moment for a proclamatory General! What a gushing bulletin might have been issued to the troops, asking much in enthusiastic language, promising much in florid periods! Sherman has simply published an order, "You will march at such and such an hour." He asked nothing, promised nothing; but no troops know better than those he commands, how much is asked and how much is to be achieved under his leadership.
In one continuous line, in order of march, the six corps accompanying Sherman, with their trains, will make a line fifty miles long. The wagons alone, over three thousand in number, reach, on the march, for thirty miles. From this may be seen the immense labor required to perfect the details of the movement. Sherman, evidently, will be compelled to move troops and trains by parallel roads, and he must, therefore, know not only every public avenue in the country into which he moves, but be conversant with its minute topography, and able to tell where roads might be cut in localities where none existed. It is almost essential that the army have five parallel roads. It would cover that number for ten miles completely.
The public animals are in fair, not prime, condition. Many teams are cut down from their complement of six mules to five and four. This partial defection in the grand military motorthe mule-will not, however, cripple the transportation. The moiety of an ass is capable of bearing up under much lankiness gracefully.
He becomes attenuated and gaunt, and his hip-gers of a massive attack from the enemy are bones grow as long and peering as his ears, greatly lessened. but he waxes ethereal in flesh alone. He tugs at his chains with redoubled muscularity. True, he dies sometimes (a dead mule is no longer a myth), but he does it quickly. He refuses food, wanders around disconsolately for an hour, lies quietly down and expires.
7 P. M.-The movement has commenced. Several batteries were quietly withdrawn from the trenches this afternoon. The troops on our left are just moving to the rear, so silently that even their equipments seem to have a subdued clank. The enemy is firing briskly on the skirmish line. Were these new troops gliding dimly through the forest, they would feel guilty at every shot, but they have sounded war's every depth, and construe nothing to mean attack until the columns come pouring down upon them. We shall test Hood's sagacity within a week pretty severely.
What a momentous thing a night march seems!
August 26.-At seven o'clock last evening, the Fourth corps, occupying the left of our line, north and north-east of Atlanta, withdrew from their trenches and marched west to the rear of the Army of the Tennessee, leaving their pickets behind until midnight. The Twentieth corps, on the right of the Fourth corps, fell back about nine P. M., to the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee, which position -a very strong one-they will intrench and defend, while the rest of the army moves around Hood's left flank.
None of the rest of our army left their trenches last night. The Fourteenth corps and Army of the Tennessee were in their old works at daybreak. The Sixteenth corps, now on the extreme left, refused their left flank considerably, and threw up works on the new line.
The enemy discovered our absence on the left early this morning, and he has made demonstrations all day along our front, winding up this evening by a strong one on General Ward's division of the Twentieth corps, now in position at the river. Wherever their skirmishers have become too bold, they have been driven off by well-delivered volleys, and in no instance has their curiosity led them into danger at the same point the second time. They reconnoitered our right in the morning, and found it unchanged.
The day has been insufferably warm. Many. hundred men, exhausted by marching all night, have fallen by the way, but at this hour, ten P. M., they have all come up. This will be another sleepless night.
The Army of the Tennessee is withdrawing. To-morrow our old trenches around Atlanta will be deserted, save those held by the Twentythird corps, on the extreme right, near East Point.
August 27.-Every road one crosses to day is filled with troops. Turbid streams of men and wagons pour along their respective roads, and are fed by tributaries from open fields and forests It all looks like endless, inextricable confusion; but let the enemy strike any of the thousand feelers we have out, and how suddenly the columns would be fronted, the lines dressed and the charges rammed home. Even to the most accustomed eye, the motley mingle-mangle of a march like this seems to be without beginning or end. But there is method in it. By midnight, perhaps sooner, every division will be sleeping behind trenches, the turf whereof has never yet felt the footfall of a Yankee soldier.
The Twenty-third corps seems to have been selected to cover the rear during the marchesthat is, the rear of the marching columns-we have no base of supplies, no real rear now. Garrard's splendid division of cavalry follows the Twenty-third corps, lingering along after the infantry is in motion, and spreading out like a fan, to protect its left flank when encamped. Kilpatrick's cavalry division covers the right flank, held to-night by the Army of the Tennessee.
The day is warm, but lovely. None have fallen out to-day, from exhaustion. The country grows open and rolling, and, as we near the West Point railroad, excellent foraging-country appears. The roads are excellent-equal, to all intents and purposes, to the best turnpikes.
10 P. M.-The troops are in line, intrenched and asleep. We are within four miles of the West Point railroad. General Sherman's headquarters are at Mount Gilead Church. No enemy yet. Is this silence ominous? Two days have elapsed, and nearly one hundred thousand prophets are wrong in their forecast. Hood lacks either discernment or pugnacity. Not the latter, perhaps. If he permits us to go During the afternoon the rest of the army unmolested for another day, he will have lost his prepared to move. The Army of the Tennessee chance, and we shall have gained-but we will will leave its trenches to-night, and the Twenty-not flatter ourselves. Suppose a heavy and perthird corps will follow. The Fourteenth corps sistent rain should set in upon us. Carrambo! is already on the march. I hear to-night of a wagon and a straggler or two picked up in our rear. The enemy's cavalry is following us closely. Perhaps they consider this another cavalry expedition. It will, certainly, require some ingenuity to surThe army is moving, corps by corps, shutting round this little raiding party-to place around up like a telescope, each corps that withdraws it what one of our East Tennessee Generals demoving to the rear of those on the right, which nominates a "ring guard." Brass band in the maintain a bold front. By this means the dan-distance-(why were they brought along, to VOL. XI.-Doc. 18
The columns already in motion have been headed, during the day, for Sandtown, on the Chattahoochee river, fourteen miles below the railroad bridge.
The supply trains for the expedition are now all up, and will move hereafter with the troops —that is, on parallel roads, which, though they have no existence now, will be well beaten tomorrow night.
With all these things-necessities of a light march, and peculiarly the necessities of this march-you might not be prepared to find any room left for the transportation of luxuries. I have seen, however, a number of articles that might be safely classed under that head-the most striking one being a cane-bottomed chair, which a captain of infantry carries dangling from his sword thrown across his shoulder. A bystander suggests it would be the height of politeness for him to carry the chair and offer it to a friend during the halts.
The men are hardy and strong. The regiments are not so long as they were when the campaign opened last May, but their experience in what a rebel journal calls the great battles of June, July, and August is, perhaps, rich compensation for August 28.-The army moved this morning at the difference in numbers. Every man who about eight o'clock. The Army of the Tennes-passes you has fought in countless skirmishes, see marched on a northerly road, and before strained every nerve in the deadly assault, and dark struck the Atlanta and West Point rail-coolly rolled back the impetuous attacks of the road near Fairburn, a station eighteen miles enemy. He knows better than the statistician from Atlanta. The rebel cavalry-a brigade how much lead it takes to kill a man; how much commanded by General Ross-retreated slowly harmless bluster there is in a flight of shells, and as we neared the railroad. He was evidently what chances he has in his favor, if hit at all, of impressed with the notion that we outnumbered the wound being slight or severe. He has grown him. familiar with missiles, explodent and non-explodent. He knows, from the sounds that reach him, when, during any given passage at arms, the precise moment arrives when he is justified in pricking up his ears and getting ready to fall into line. The shrill sweep of a whole volley affects him less now than the hateful solitary whistle of a single bullet did before he had passed the ordeal of danger, hardship, and denial that have made up his life during the campaign. Our trust grows stronger and stronger as the column sweeps on, and we become certain that the present critical movement must succeed, or, in failure, inflict such damage upon the enemy, that to foil us just once more would ruin him irremediably.
The Army of the Cumberland has bivouacked at and near Red Oak, a flag-station on the West Point and Atlanta railroad, twelve miles from Atlanta. The Twenty-third corps has moved with the column, and to-night our whole army has cast loose from its old base, and is operating, as it were, in the air.
This morning a locomotive passed over the West Point railroad, whistling shrilly as it flirted by the stations which we were nearing. It is the last, we hope, that will be driven by a rebel engineer.
We begin to believe that Hood has been outwitted. We can hear nothing of his having sent any troops away from Atlanta; neither have any symptoms of attack been discovered.
The army has bivouacked in line, and thrown up trenches as usual. The wagon trains are coming up, and it will probably be morning fore they all arrive.
While I was watching to-day the endless line of troops shifting by, an officer with a modest escort rode up to the fence near which I was be-standing and dismounted. He was rather tall and slender, and his quick movements denoted The troops move light very light. What a good muscle added to absolute leanness-not contrast between the steady, pouring columns of thinness. His uniform was neither new nor old, veterans, and the unskilled and unsettled marches but bordering on a hazy mellowness of gloss, of '61 and '62? Who, in those years of lumber- while the elbows and knees were a little accenting marches and still more lumbering battles, ed from the continuous agitation of those joints. saw line officers harnessed up with knapsacks; The face was one I should never rest upon in a or dreamed that the day would come when the crowd, simply because to my eye there was soldier, in addition to carrying food, shelter, and nothing remarkable in it, save the nose, which equipments, would still find room for an intrench-organ was high, thin, and planted with a curve ing tool-the last feather, though one not endangering his vertebra, for his swing is bold, and, in a martial sense, graceful. Here are spades, and picks, and coffee-pots, and kettles, giving the column a tinkerish aspect, but assuring for the cause that celerity in movement which is one of the first conditions of victory, and for the men themselves the speediest method of obtaining refection and repose, and the grateful content ment that follows.
as vehement as the curl of a Malay cutlass. The face and neck were rough, and covered with reddish hair, the eye light in color and animated, but though restless, and bounding like a ball from one object to another, neither piercing nor brilliant; the mouth well closed but common, the ears large, the hands and feet long and thin, the gait a little rolling, but firm and active. In dress and manner there was not the slightest trace of pretension. He spoke rapidly, and gen