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Jasper. The skies had shown symptoms of rain since noon, and now it began to fall. It continued to rain during the whole night; Corps headquarters camped on the north bank of the stream. Jasper, through which we passed at noon, is a large village of from four to five thousand inhabitants; has a court-house and a jail. The road thence to Black Warrior was firm and good. On arriving at that stream we found that General Upton had already crossed it at the ford with all his troops and most of his wagons. This fork of the Black Warrior was at this point about one-eighth of a mile wide, with a depth ranging from one to three or four feet, and a very rapid current. The bottom was very rocky and uneven, and the banks on each side very precipitous.
March twenty-eighth. The weather was very damp and disagreeable. The greater part of the day was taken up in getting the troops and wagon trains over the river. Many horses lost their footing, and many men were dismount ed, but none were drowned. We crossed the Locust fork of the Black Warrior at the ford, at four o'clock P. M. This stream is deeper than the Mulberry fork, but not so wide nor so rapid. The distance between the two forks is eight and a half miles. The country between them is barren and thinly settled. The people are very ignorant and poor, but of Union proclivities. General Wilson camped at night on south bank of this fork.
March twenty-ninth. The day was occupied in getting the First and Second divisions over the Locust fork of the Black Warrior river. General Wilson remained in camp all day. Captain Brown, Acting Chief Quartermaster, was ordered to take charge of corps trains. Weather rainy.
March thirtieth. Started on the road to Elyton at half-past six, weather cloudy but cold, rain had ceased to fall. The main road was found to be very muddy. We arrived at Elyton at one o'clock P. M., a distance of twenty miles, having crossed Black creek on our way at Lamson's flour mills. These mills were burned. The country had now begun to assume a more fertile and cultivated appearance. Elyton is a very pretty village of from three to four thousand inhabitants. The route on which we had hitherto come since leaving Chickasaw had been south-easterly from Elyton until we arrived at Selma. We now advanced due south. The First brigade of the First division was detached from the command at this point, and ordered to proceed to Tuscaloosa and destroy the government works there. Large iron works six miles south of Elyton were burned. We arrived at night on the banks of the Cahawba river, fifteen miles from Elyton. The railroad bridge had fortunately been left uninjured, and was easily fixed to allow the crossing of trains. The last four miles of the road were very rough and muddy. March thirty-first. Fine drizzling rain fell early in the morning; weather cleared after sunrise. The railroad bridge across the Cahawba was VOL. XI.-Doc. 45
a quarter of a mile long, and had been planked the day before by General Upton. The Cahawba river is at this point an eighth of a mile broad and is quite deep. The crossing would have been troublesome had the bridge been burned. Large iron works half a mile from the river were burned. Arrived at Montevallo at eleven o'clock A. M., distance fourteen miles from Cahawba; road was good; the country was wooded, but the forests now different in character from those through which we had hitherto passed, there being some oak mixed with the pines. The soil, though still sandy, is now more fertile than that north of Elyton. Montevallo is a village of two thousand inhabitants, but was nearly deserted on our entrance. General Upton had his headquarters there, and was now awaiting our approach. The rebels were now reported for the first time to be in advance of us in some force. They were charged by the Third Iowa, and dispersed with the loss of twenty prisoners. Left Montevallo on road to Selma at three o'clock P. M. General Long advanced with the Second division on the road to Randolph to the right of the main road to Selma. General Upton kept the main road. There was continued skirmishing with the rebels, but they were unable to check our advance in the slightest degree. We went into camp twelve miles from Montevallo, at half-past seven o'clock P. M. There had been during the day several men wounded and one or two killed.
April first. Marched at an early hour at Randolph, a small village seventeen miles from Montevallo. General McCook was ordered with the Second brigade of the First division to take the road to Centerville, and to co-operate with General Croxton against Jackson, who was reported to be on Tuscaloosa and Centerville road with four thousand men. General Long on the right and Upton on the left had a brilliant fight with the rebels under Forrest in person, defeating them with severe loss. There were captured from the enemy three pieces of artillery and three hundred prisoners, and there were besides quite a number killed. The loss on our side was forty wounded and twelve killed. Arrived at Plantersville after a march of twenty. six miles, at six o'clock P. M. Headquarters of corps at house of Mrs. Discoe; a quantity of rebel "hard tack" and some forage bags were found in the depot.
April second. A hospital was established in the village church for the reception of the sick and wounded. Assistant Surgeon J. A McGraw, United States volunteers, was ordered to remain in charge with Assistant Surgeon Done, Seventeenth Indiana mounted infantry, and Assistant Surgeon Maxwell of the Third Iowa cavalry, as assistants. There were left in the hospital forty wounded and eighteen sick, together with a sufficient number of nurses. The depot was burned, together with a storehouse containing cotton. The command then moved on toward Selma, twenty-one miles distant. The Fourth and Second divisions arrived
in front of Selma at two o'clock in the afternoon, and at sundown a simultaneous attack was made along the whole line. Forrest was in command of the rebels in person, and endeavored to defend the city, but without success. Our troops took the breastworks by assault and entered the city. In the confusion resulting from the night attack, a large number of stores were plundered and burned. In the morning, however, order was again restored. Our loss was killed, four officers and thirty-five enlisted men, wounded twenty-four officers and twenty-two enlisted men. Among the killed .was Colonel Dobb; Brigadier-General Long was severely wounded in the head while leading the assault; we captured twenty-three hundred prisoners, a large number of small arms and cannon, and the workshops and arsenals which supplied the armies of the West with ammunition of all kinds. Forrest escaped with his escort of one hundred men, and retreated toward Plantersvilie. On his way he came across a party of Federals asleep in a neighboring field under command of Lieutenant Roys, of the Fourth United States cavalry and Lieutenant Mullen. He charged on them in their sleep, and refusing to listen to their cries of surrender, killed or wounded the entire party, numbering twenty-five men.
April third. The day was spent in restoring order in Selma. The Second brigade of the First division, which had been unsuccessful in its attempts to unite with the First brigade, was ordered back to protect the wagon trains. Forrest arrived at Plantersville on his retreat, and captured the hospital, which had been left without a guard. He paroled all the nurses and slightly wounded men, and left the surgeons and patients unmolested. A corps hospital was established in Selma for our wounded.
April fifth. A party of the Second division went to Cahawba and recaptured several of our prisoners confined there.
April sixth. Wagon train arrived at Selma. Arsenals and government warehouses destroyed by fire.
April seventh. Negroes gathered together to be organized into three regiments, one for each division. Sick and wounded were brought in ambulances from Plantersville and put in corps hospital. General Wilson met Forrest on the Cahawba river under a flag of truce. It was determined to take along on the march all the sick and wounded whose situation would permit of it, and to leave only such as were very ill or badly wounded. Engineers were busily engaged in building a pontoon bridge over the Alabama river. The Alabama river is at this point about five hundred yards wide. It has a very rapid current, and a depth that admits of navigation by steamboats of considerable size. Selma is situated on its north bank. It is or was a beautiful city of fifteen thousand inhabitants, containing many fine residences and large government workshops. Its loss to the rebels can hardly be estimated.
April ninth. It had been determined to move to-day toward Montgomery, but the pontoon bridge broke for the second time, and prevented the whole command from crossing until late in the night. Camped on the south side of the river. Left in hospital at Selma sixty-eight patients under charge of Surgeon Larkins and Assistant Surgeon Raley, Tenth Missouri cavalry. Rations for forty days were left with them, as also plenty of medicines and other supplies.
April tenth. Began our march to Montgomery. Forrest had refused to acknowledge any paroles, and General Wilson accordingly ordered all prisoners to be brought along under guard. The citizens, however, and some of the militia were paroled. Weather was good, although the roads were muddy from recent rains. Surgeon Carter, Third Iowa cavalry, was ordered to take charge of the hospital train. This train was composed of the ambulances belonging to the corps, together with a number of wagons properly fitted up with beds and blankets. We marched fifteen miles to the village of Benton, and camped there during the night. Benton is a small village of no particular importance.
April eleventh. Began to march at six o'clock A. M.; skies cloudy and threatening rain. Our route since leaving Selma has been due east on the road to Montgomery, south of the Alabama river; one mile from Benton we passed through a swamp a mile long. The road was very bad, and almost impassable for wagons. After leaving the swamp, however, we found the roads to be smooth and dry, leading over a rolling country. Thirteen miles from Benton the columns passed through the village of Lawnsboro. This village is one of the most beautiful that we have yet passed through. It is built up of large, elegant mansions, and is inhabited by rich planters. It has a population of about one thousand five hundred. Small-pox was raging furiously, and in some families had attacked all the members. We here received news of the fall of Richmond. Went into camp eighteen miles from Montgomery after a march of eighteen miles.
April twelfth. Started from camp at five A. M.: weather very pleasant and roads good. General McCook with the First division led the advance. The city was capitulated to General McCook early in the morning, and a provost guard having been stationed in it, the troops marched through and camped outside. The inhabitants received the troops if without manifestations of joy, at least without any evidences of dislike. Private property was everywhere respected. The rebel troops before our entrance had burned eighty-five thousand bales of cotton, valued at forty millions of dollars in gold. The citizens expressed a great deal of anger at the occurrence. Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, is a beautiful city, and contains a large number of elegant residences. It is situated on the south side of the Alabama river. This river is navigable to the city by small steamers.
April thirteenth. Hospital train came into the city at five o'clock P. M., and was unloaded at St.
Mary's hospital. The transportation of so many
April seventeenth. The women and children who had been employed in the factories and arsenals turned out with one accord to pillage the stores and the government warehouses. The government buildings were burned, with the exception of the hospitals. It was determined to leave our sick and wounded, with a proper amount of stores of all kinds, in the hosSur-pitals of the city; Assistant-Surgeon Whetton, Third Iowa cavalry, was detailed to take charge of them. In all, thirty-five patients were left at Columbus.
April fourteenth. Started for Columbus at eight A. M.; weather pleasant and roads excellent. Marched due east twenty miles and then camped.
April fifteenth. Started at half-past seven o'clock, A. M., Upton way ahead; weather cloudy and threatening rain. Arrived at Tuskeegee, forty-two miles from Montgomery, at two o'clock P. M. Tuskeegee is a village of three thousand inhabitants, a county seat. It has a jail, court house, and young ladies' seminary. Left Tuskeegee at five o'clock. It began to rain just as we left Tuskeegee, and continued to do so for two hours. Camped at last at seven o'clock at a farm house forty-eight miles from Montgomery, and thirty-six from Columbus.
April eighteenth. Bridges over the Chattahoochie were burned, together with such public buildings as had escaped the day before. Commenced to move at nine o'clock on the road to Macon, via Thomaston; marched twenty-one miles and camped. The weather was pleasant, and the roads good. The character of the soil differs from that of Alabama. It consists of red clay, beneath which is a layer of limestone. Several cannon and a large number of wagons deserted on the road, showed that the cuemy had fled in the greatest confusion.
April nineteenth. The command marched at an early hour, the Second division in the advance. The weather was very windy, and the roads dry and dusty. The forests presented a somewhat different appearance to those by which we rode yesterday, having oak mixed with the pines. Our advance, consisting of the Fourth Michigan cavalry, had captured, by forced marches, the double bridges over the Flint river, forty four miles from Columbia. We arrived there at twelve м. The Flint river here is very rapid, and not easily fordable. A further march of ten miles brought us to Thomaston, a village of about fifteen hundred inhabitants; after having crossed Big Potato creek, camped at six P. M. at Thomaston.
April sixteenth. Commenced our march at seven o'clock. The country passed over is not so fertile as in the immediate vicinity of Selma, and has been worn out by the defective system of agriculture. We passed through Society Hill and two other small villages on our route. General Upton again led the advance; weather was fine and the roads were in good order. We arrived opposite Columbus at three P. M., and found General Upton preparing to attack the works. The attack began at seven o'clock, P. M., and notwithstanding the resistance of the enemy, who were intrenched on the neighboring hills, our forces drove them from their breastworks, and captured the bridges leading over the Chattahoochie river to the city The attack was made exclusively by the Fourth division; our loss was but twenty-eight wounded and five killed. There were captured from the enemy nearly two thousand prisoners, a large quantity of arms and ammunition, and all the government stores, shops, and arsenals in the city itself. Columbus was a city of nearly twenty thousand inhabitants, and is situated on the east bank of the Chattahoochie river. It was connected with the Alabama bank by three bridges at the time of its occupation by our forces. It was a place of considerable importance as a manufacturing town, having a number of mills and workshops of different kinds. While the main body of troops were thus engaged Colonel La Grange had been detached at Opelika, and ordered to destroy the railroad and the depots at West Point. Arriving It had been intended to render this report there on April sixteenth he attacked and more complete, and give the points of interest carried the fortifications, built to defend the more in detail. The reports, however, from place, though not until after a severe strug-surgeons in charge of subordinate commands gle, in which we lost in killed and wounded are not so explicit as to permit the execution of thirty-nine men, of whom seven were killed. this intention. One or two points I desire to
April twentieth. Corps headquarters began their march at six A. M.; weather was good, the roads were very dry and dusty; our course, which from Columbus to Thomaston had been to the north-east, now directed to the southeast. Thomaston is forty-seven miles from Macon. Our advance was met by a flag of truce, announcing that Sherman had entered into an armistice with Johnston, and demanding that we should "halt" where we were. The officer commanding the advance, however, had no authority to stop his march; and by the time the letter had reached General Wilson, the city of Macon had been already captured.
Thus imperfectly are the main incidents of the march of General Wilson's command from Chickasaw, Alabama, to Macon, Georgia, recorded and reported for the information of the Medical Director, Army and Department of the Cumberland, Surgeon George E. Cooper, U. S. A.
present to the Medical Director, Department of the Cumberland:
in one instance, the magazine was in the pouch in the other, in the stock of the carbine. The First: That the ambulance corps organization tin tubes or magazines which contain the fixed operated as successfully in the cavalry as in the ammunition-metallic cartridges-should be infantry corps. therefore kept filled, four inches of play on a hot Secondly: No patients were left on the road-day may explode them, as evidenced in those side in the rear of the advancing forces, and all were provided for in regularly-furnished hospitals.
Two accidents arose from the magazines of the Spencer carbines exploding from being half-filled while on hot-march from concussion
The greatest energy and assiduity on the part of all the medical officers was observable throughout the campaign.
Surgeon United States Volunteers, Medical Director Cavalry Corps, M. D. M.
Names of Officers and Men of the Cavalry Corps, M. D. M., mentioned by their respective commanders for bravery and efficiency shown in the late campaign from Chickasaw, Alabama, to Macon, Georgia.