« PreviousContinue »
was resumed, until the enemy's works were reached in front of Savannah, when I took up a position with the brigade in line of battle, about three quarters of a mile from the enemy's outer line of works. Distance marched this day, ten miles.
and destroyed a portion of the road. The march turned over to Corps Quartermaster, and the balance of the stores were used in subsisting the negroes, and otherwise disposed of by the Corps Quartermaster. In addition to the above, about two thousand bushels of rice were threshed, and left in the mill on the island.
December fifteenth, in compliance with preDecember eleventh, at three o'clock, by your vious orders from Brigadier-General commandorder, I reported to Brigadier-General command-ing corps, I crossed five companies of my regiing corps, from whom I received instructions to ment to the South Carolina shore, driving the take my command to Argyle Island, in the Sa- enemy from the plantation known as Izard's, vannah River, secure the rice and other public and made a reconnoissance in the country for property there, and to make a reconnoissance on about two miles, gaining much valuable inforthe South-Carolina shore. I succeeded in cross-mation respecting the country and roads. After ing two companies that night. a stay of about one hour, the enemy made their appearance in my front in strong force. Being entirely isolated from the balance of the army, with limited means of transportation, I deemed it prudent to withdraw my small force, and return to the island. This I accomplished successfully, although vigorously pressed by the enemy. I immediately reported to the BrigadierGeneral commanding corps, and applied for a force sufficient to enable me to recross to the South-Carolina shore in safety, and to occupy the plantation, if thought necessary or desirable. The Second Massachusetts infantry was sent me; but before I could effect a recrossing, the boats were ordered to the Georgia shore, to transport your entire brigade to the island and SouthCarolina shore. The arrival of the balance of the brigade, with the Colonel commanding, relieved me of the command and responsibility of the expedition.
December twelfth, crossed the balance of my command this morning. While crossing, I discovered three rebel steamers coming down the river. Two of them proved to be gunboats, by almost immediately becoming engaged with our battery on shore. I immediately deployed two companies to intercept them, if possible, and pick off their gunners. Before the skirmishers could reach a position where their fire could be effective, the two gunboats had retreated, making their escape up the river. While changing their positions, the two gunboats had both run into the third vessel, which afterward proved to be the armed tender Resolute, which had so disabled her, that her wheels could not revolve. When my troops came up to her, the officers and crew had lowered the small boats, and were busily engaged in getting in their baggage and other personal property, and would have succeeded in making their escape in a few minutes more. After one volley from my men, resulting in the wounding of the executive officer of the boat, the vessel was surrendered, immediately boarded by my troops, and brought to the Georgia shore. The following is a list of the arms and supplies found on board, which, with the boat, were turned over to Captain Whittlesey, Corps Quartermaster, by order of BrigadierGeneral Williams, commanding corps: ten short Whitney rifled muskets, sabre bayonets, accoutrements complete; ten Whitney rifled muskets with bayonets and accoutrements; five barrels of flour, six barrels of beef, half a barrel of molasses, half a barrel of vinegar, half a barrel of rice, six bags of coffee, three boxes of bread, one box of candles, five hundred pounds of bacon. The prisoners, except the wounded officer, who was left on board in care of the surgeon of the boat, consisting of five officers and nineteen men, I beg leave to report, in conclusion, that so were turned over to Major W. Parks, Provost- excellent have been the arrangements, adopted Marshal of corps, by order of Brigadier-General by the Colonel commanding brigade, for foraging, commanding corps. December thirteenth and and so ample the facilities given the men, while fourteenth, the entire time was occupied in on the road, to gather potatoes, turnips, and collecting boats, reconnoitring the island, and other vegetables at the resting places, that I securing the rice and such other property as have experienced no difficulty, during the entire could be found, of which the following is a par- march, in subsisting my men and animals on tial list five large barge-loads of rice in sheaf, the country, obtaining all that was needed, extwo hundred and sixty bushels of threshed rice, cepting coffee and sugar. nine barrels of syrup, fourteen mules and two horses. The mules, horses, and sheaf rice were
December twenty-second, crossed from the island to the main Georgia shore. Marched seven miles, and went into camp in my present position. My casualties in this expedition were one man killed, and three wounded.
The total number of casualties during the campaign is as follows: one man killed, one officer wounded, three men wounded.
I beg leave also to report that on the march, twelve bales of cotton were discovered, which
December nineteenth, I recrossed my regiment with the balance of the brigade, under the orders of the Colonel commanding, to the South-Carolina shore, and occupied my original position.
December twentieth, skirmished all day with the enemy.
December twenty-first, the brigade recrossed to the island, my regiment guarding the rear. The enemy pressed my regiment hard at times, but we finally succeeded in gaining the island late at night, without loss.
had been secreted in the woods, and were burn-
COLONEL ROBINSON'S REPORT.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the services and operations of this brigade from the occupation of the city of Atlanta down to the capture and occupation of Savannah.
On the fifth of September, the entire brigade was encamped near Atlanta, Georgia, having marched to that place from Montgomery Ferry, on the Chattahoochee River, on the day previous. At this time and up to the twenty-seventh, at which date I rejoined the brigade from sick-leave, it was commanded by Colonel Horace Boughton, of the One Hundred and Forty-third New-York volunteers. From this officer I have received no report, and shall therefore limit myself to the time of actual command.
tions of artillery in charge of about four hundred
On the twenty-eighth, by order of BrigadierGeneral A. S. Williams, commanding division, I formally resumed command of the brigade. found the troops at this time in good health, with tidy, well-policed camp, and well supplied with clothing, arms, and food. Daily drills in company and battalion tactics had been established, under which exercise the troops seemed to be rapidly improving in discipline and efficiency.
On the twenty-first, the work on the fortifications was resumed by my brigade, which furnished a detail of two hundred men for that purpose. On the twenty-fourth, this detail was reduced to one hundred men. On the twenty-fifth, I received an order to join with my brigade a foraging exOn the fourth of October, the Twentieth corps, pedition to be sent out on the following day having been charged with the sole occupation under the command of Brigadier-General Geary. and defence of Atlanta, a new chain of defences According to directions my command reported to around the city was commenced. A detail of General Geary on the Decatur road at six A.M., seven officers and three hundred and fifty men on the twenty-sixth, and was assigned, in connecto work upon these fortifications was now re- tion with a battery of artillery, to the duty of quired from and daily furnished by my brigade. covering the rear of the column. Passing through This work was continued with but little inter- Decatur at eleven A.M., my command reached ruption on the part of my command down to the Stone Mountain at half-past nine P.M. Early on fifteenth. On that date the brigade was desig- the twenty-seventh, by General Geary's direction, nated to accompany a foraging expedition, consist- I sent out two regiments, the One Hundred and ing of three brigades of infantry, a division of First Illinois and Eighty-second Ohio veteran volcavalry, a battery of artillery, and seven hundred unteers, to assist in loading wagons with corn. and thirty-three wagons, sent out on the follow- They returned to camp at half-past six P.M., having day, and to the command of which I had the ing succeeded, in spite of the very inclement honor to be appointed. The infantry, the Third weather and prowling detachments of hostile cavbrigade, First division; the Second brigade, Se-alry, in loading one hundred and ninety-six wacond division, and the Second brigade, third di- gons. vision; the artillery, Captain Sloan's battery; On the twenty-eighth, by direction of General and the train under charge of Captain E. A. | Geary, I proceeded with my brigade, a section of Graves, Assistant Quartermaster, rendezvoused artillery, a battalion of cavalry, and about three on the Decatur road at six o'clock A.M. The ex- hundred wagons, across Yellow River, in the dipedition marched at half-past six A.M., and was rection of Lawrenceville. I found here a projoined at one P.M. by Colonel Garrard's division of ductive country, and had no difficulty in loading cavalry at Avery's Cross-Roads. The head of the entire train. My command returned toward the column encamped at Flat Shoals at seven Buckshin at three P.M., crossing Yellow River P.M., and by ten P.M. was joined by all the troops upon a bridge, which, though partly burned by and trains. On the seventeenth, leaving the the enemy the day previous, was nevertheless Third brigade of the First division and two sec- easily rendered passable for the train. The col
umn reached Buckshin at sundown, and pushed forward, following the remainder of the expedition, which had already preceded us on its return march. Reached Stone Mountain at half-past ten P.M., and encamped three miles beyond Stone Mountain Station at about midnight. On the following day my brigade formed the van-guard of the expedition, and returned without accident to its encampment at Atlanta.
country, containing no organized army, yet thoroughly infested with enemies, clear to its natural boundaries, the ocean. There was nothing left for us to rely upon but ourselves, our leader, and the God of battles.
Moving out on the Decatur road, my brigade passed the village of Decatur at two P.M. Our first day's march terminated near Stone Mountain, about fifteen miles from Atlanta.
During this expedition my brigade secured about (6000) six thousand bushels of corn, be-directed by General Jackson, commanding divisides the usual amount of provisions, and other promiscuous articles.
Early on the morning of the sixteenth, I was sion, to take my brigade and commence destroying the Georgia Railroad at a point about half a On the thirtieth, orders were issued to send mile beyond my encampment. Extending my all surplus baggage to the rear, and such pre-brigade along the track, I succeeded in thoroughparations began to be made as clearly indicated the approach of a great movement. No farther work was done on the fortifications, and all attention was given to putting the command in the best possible condition to march. On the fifth of November, at one P.M., I received an unexpected order to move my brigade immediately. In a very short space of time the column was moving out the McDonough road, every one supposing this to be the initial step of the campaign, but the sequel proved otherwise. Proceeding about three miles, the troops bivouacked for the night, and on the following day marched back to their camps near the city. The payinent of my command, which had been but partially completed, was now continued.
On the eighth, the Presidential election was held in those regiments entitled by law to vote.
ly destroying about two miles of it by ten A.M. After this was accomplished, having been assigned as rear-guard of the corps, my command awaited the passage of the troops and trains. This was not completed until five P.M., at which hour my brigade marched from Stone Mountain. My column crossed Stone Mountain Creek at ten, and Yellow River at half-past eleven P.M. It encamped on the left bank of Yellow River, near Rock Bridge Post-Office about midnight, having marched about seven miles.
My brigade, still the rear-guard of the corps, marched from its camp near Rock Bridge at noon on the seventeenth. It crossed No Business Creek at one, Big Haynes Creek at five, and Little Haynes Creek, at Summer's Mills, at seven P.M. My column was greatly detained by the trains, which moved very slowly, owing to the heavy loads carried in the wagons, and the difficult places in the road. My command did not into camp until one hour after midnight, when it reached a point near Flat Creek. The distance marched on this day was about thirteen miles.
On the ninth, at daybreak, a violent cannonade broke suddenly out on the south-eastern side of the city. The cause of this was hardly comprehend-get ed, but it soon became apparent, that a hostile force, either great or small, had appeared in front of our works. The firing soon shifted to our right, in front of General Geary's division, and began to be mingled with musketry. My brigade was soon afterward ordered to move to the support of General Geary, whose lines were reported as being dangerously threatened. In a few minutes my column was in motion down Whitehall street, the troops keeping step to their martial bands, and the colors floating in the breeze. I had hardly reached the suburbs of the town, however, when I was informed by Major-General Slocum, that the enemy, about in number, under the rebel General Iverson, had been driven off, and that my brigade would not be needed, and might return to its camps. I thereupon countermarched my column and moved it back to its old position.
My brigade marched, following the Second brigade of the First division, and charged with the protection of about one hundred wagons, at eight A.M., on the eighteenth. It passed Alcooy Mountain at eleven, and crossed Alcooy or Alcofauhatchie River at half-past eleven A.M. At halfpast one P.M., it reached Social Circle, on the Georgia Railroad. Here it emerged into a fine, level, open country with a good road, which enabled us to move along briskly. At eight P.M., my command passed through Rutledge Station, and at ten P.M. encamped five miles west of Madison.
passed through the village of Madison, and marched in a southward course on the Eatonton road. At twelve M., it encamped three miles south of Madison. The aggregate distance marched on this and the preceding day was about twenty-five miles.
My brigade marched at forty-five minutes past seven A. M., on the ensuing morning, November nineteenth, leading the division and corps, and Excepting the changes incident to the reorgan-unencumbered with wagons. At ten A.M., it ization of the army, no further event of importance transpired until the fourteenth, when the final marching orders were received. On the fifteenth, at seven A. M., my brigade filed out of its encampments and made its final exit from the city of Atlanta. Behind us all means of communication and supply had been utterly destroy- On the twentieth, my command resumed its ed, and the town itself was a blazing ruin, aban-march at a quarter past seven A.M. It moved in doned alike by citizens and soldiers to the harsh rear of the division, and was charged with the fortunes of war. Before us lay a vast stretch of protection of about three hundred wagons, in
the ridge beyond. The distance marched on this day was about fifteen miles.
cluding the pontoon and a large portion of the Second division train. Considerable rain had fallen, which rendered the road heavy and re- On the twenty-fifth, at six A.M., my brigade tarded the movement of the column. It crossed continued its march, again being the van-guard Sugar Creek at half-past eleven A.M., and Clark's of the division and corps. Bluff Creek was passFork at one P.M. The country now being tra- ed at seven, and the column reached Hebron versed was quite fertile, and afforded an abun- Post-Office at eight and Buffalo Creek at nine dance of all kinds of supplies. A considerable | A.M. Over Buffalo Creek, a wide swamp stream, number of fine horses and mules were also was a series of bridges, nine in number, all of brought in. By this means the transportation which had been destroyed by the enemy. Acof my brigade was greatly improved. At seven cording to directions, I detailed a regiment, the P.M., my command reached a point about four One Hundred and First Illinois volunteers, to and a half miles from Eatonton, and encamped. assist in their reconstruction. While this work The distance marched this day was about twelve was going on, the rebel cavalry made a demonmiles. stration on the pickets on the left bank of the stream. At the instance of the General com
On the twenty-first, the morning dawned dark and lowering, with occasional gusts of rain. My manding division, I at once despatched five combrigade was again assigned to duty as rear-guard panies of the One Hundred and First Illinois of the corps. A battery of artillery accompanied volunteers to reenforce the picket-line. The enmy command, which was unencumbered with emy at once withdrew, and the bridges were wagons. Our march commenced at eleven A.M. completed without further annoyance. The reAt one P.M., the column being temporarily de- mainder of my brigade crossed Buffalo Creek at layed by the breaking of a tongue in an artillery half-past three P.M., and the entire command, excarriage, the rebel cavalry appeared in our rear cepting the five companies of the One Hundred and made a slight demonstration. It was driven and First Illinois volunteers, left to cover a sideoff precipitately by the Sixty-first Ohio veteran road, pursued its march toward Sandersville. volunteers, which constituted my rear-guard. Having ascended a plateau three miles from the At four P.M., my command marched through the creek, lively skirmishing was overheard toward village of Eatonton. At nine P.M., the column the front, which proved to be the cavalry adhaving been tediously delayed, I discovered upon vance engaging the rebel force under Wheeler. investigation, that about sixty wagons had be- As the enemy appeared to be charging down the come almost hopelessly stalled in a sort of quag- road, I was directed by the General commanding mire. My troops were at once put to work light- division, to throw my command immediately forening out these wagons, and were thus employed ward into line, extending across and covering the for about two hours, when the march was re- road. My troops came up promptly on the sumed. My brigade encamped six miles from double-quick, and were in a very short space of Eatonton at midnight, having marched ten and a time advancing in a steady line of battle. Conhalf miles. temporaneously with this movement, a line of skirmishers, consisting of two companies from the Thirty-first Wisconsin yolunteers, and two from the Eighty-second Ohio veteran volunteers, had been thrown forward, covering the front of the brigade. My line of battle had not advanced but a short distance, when, it not being deemed necessary to push it any farther, it was, by direction of the General commanding division, halted, and the troops put in camp. My skirmish line, however, under direction of two officers of my staff, Captain A. E. Lee, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, and Captain Cyrus Hearrick, Acting Aid-de-Camp, steadily advanced, and without hesitation and without loss drove the enemy from a commanding position, from which he had charged our cavalry half an hour previously. Not content with this, my skirmish line pursued the enemy and drove him through woods and open fields one mile farther, when it was by my order halted and withdrawn. On the ensu
At a quarter past seven A.M., on the twentysecond, my march was continued. My command moved in the rear of the division, and was charged with the protection of about four hundred wagons. The weather had now cleared up, but the column still moved slowly. My brigade did not cross Little River until half-past twelve P.M. From that point the march was resumed again at three PM., on the direct road to Milledgeville. My brigade marched into Milledgeville at half-past seven P.M. Passing through the town and crossing the Oconee River on a wooden bridge, it encamped on the left bank at nine P.M., having marched seventeen miles. On the twenty-third, my brigade remained in camp near the Oconee Bridge. This day's rest enabled the foraging parties to collect a considerable quantity of provisions and a number of horses and mules. At six A.M., on the twenty-fourth, my brigade resumed its march, leading the division and corps. Being charged with the duty of advance- ing day, the twenty-sixth, my brigade resumed. guard, it was unencumbered by the trains. Our the march at a quarter past six A.M., following: line of march pursued the Oconee through a the Second brigade, which was in advance of the sparsely settled, broken, piney country. My division and corps. This brigade, at seven A.M., column crossed Beaver Run at eleven A.M., and commenced skirmishing with the enemy's cavat a quarter past twelve P.M. crossed Town alry at the point where it had been left by my Creek. At three P.M., my brigade crossed Geem skirmishers on the evening previous. Soon afterCreek, and at half-past four P.M. encamped on ward, a detachment of rebels having been dis
covered observing our movements on a side-road cumbered. My column crossed Great Coat leading to our right, I was directed to send a Creek at half-past twelve, and arrived at Bethregiment to drive them off. I immediately des-any at half-past one P.M. At half-past three P.M., patched the One Hundred and First Illinois vol- it crossed Boggy Girt Creek, and at nightfall enunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Le Sage. This regi- camped two and a half miles from the Ogeechee ment charged the enemy and drove him precipi- River. By direction of the General commanding tately to the woods, capturing one prisoner and division, I sent forward a regiment, the Eightydiscovering about one hundred bales of cotton, second Ohio veteran volunteers, with orders to which was burned, including the cotton-gin. proceed as far as the Ogeechee, and then encamp The regiment then rejoined the brigade, which for the night, picketing well the bank of the had by this time resumed its march toward San- river. dersville. My column reached that village with- On the morning of the thirtieth, the regiment out any further opposition at eleven A.M. Here, sent forward to the river was withdrawn and rethe train being left in charge of the Third divi- joined the brigade, which marched up the right sion, the troops of the First division, including bank at half-past eight A.M. At one P.M., the my brigade, marched unencumbered toward the column crossed Mill Creek, and halted for dinner Georgia Central Railroad, three miles distant. on Blake's plantation. At half-past four P.M., My command struck the road at Tennille Station | my command crossed the Ogeechee River at a at half-past three P.M., and immediately began point two miles below Louisville. The bridge the destruction of the track. About one mile here had been ineffectually destroyed by the enwas thoroughly destroyed by my brigade by sun-emy, and was repaired by my pioneer corps. down. My troops were then encamped near the My brigade pushed forward and encamped two station. The entire distance marched on this miles beyond the river at nightfall. It marched day was nine miles. on this day about fifteen miles.
On the twenty-seventh, my brigade marched On the morning of December first, the march in the centre of the division at seven A.M. The was resumed in the direction of Birdsville. My route from Tennille pursued a secluded, untrav-brigade moved in the centre of the division, and elled road on the south side of the railroad. The in charge of the division train. However, it did troops being unencumbered, marched rapidly, not leave its encampment near Louisville until and made Jackson's Church by eleven A. M. noon. During the afternoon it crossed Big Dry half-past four P.M., my command crossed William- Spring and Buck Camp Creeks, all small swampy son's Swamp Creek, and arrived at Davisboro. streams of clear water. The march was very Here the troops were encamped for the night, much retarded by the boggy places in the road. having marched about seventeen miles. My command did not get into camp until half an hour after midnight, when it reached a point about four miles from Birdsville, having marched thirteen miles.
At daylight the next morning, November twenty-eighth, my brigade marched down the railroad track three miles, and commenced its destruction. Inasmuch as the track led for the most part ran through a difficult swamp, much of it was composed of trestle-work and bridges, all of which were effectually destroyed. Where the track was laid upon a road-bed, the rail upon one side, with the stringer attached, was unfastened by means of levers, and lifted over against the rail on the other side. Rails and dry wood were then piled on top, and the whole set on fire. The heat would soon spring the rails, still attached to the wooden stringers, into a variety of contortions, and the work of destruction was completed. Thus my brigade, in connection with the other brigades of the division, and alternating with them, proceeded down the track, destroying mile after mile. At nightfall my command reached Spiers's Turnout, and there encamped, having marched eleven miles and destroyed four miles of track during the day.
At seven A.M., on the twenty-ninth, my brigade returned about two miles up the track and completed its destruction down as far as Spiers's. The station-house and other railroad fixtures were then burned or otherwise effectually destroyed. At eleven A.M., my command marched singly on the wagon-road from Spiers's. The corps and division headquarter trains were placed in its charge, but it was otherwise unen
On the second, my brigade resumed its march at forty-five minutes past nine A.M., leading its division and following the Second division, which was in advance. At noon it reached Birdsville, and at eight P.M. crossed Buck Head Creek at Buck Head Church, and there encamped. The distance marched on this day was about fifteen miles.
Shortly after passing Birdsville, having received reliable information that a planter named Bullard, living in that neighborhood, had made himself conspicuous for his zeal in recapturing and securing prisoners from our army escaped from the rebel authorities, I despatched an officer with authority to destroy his outbuildings and cotton. He accordingly set fire to the corn-cribs, cotton-gin, cotton-presses, and a warehouse containing fifty thousand dollars' worth of cotton. These were all consumed, and the owner admonished that a repetition of his offence would bring a similar fate upon his dwelling at the next visitation of our army.
On the third, my brigade marched at seven A. M. on the Sylvania road. My command occupied the centre of the division and was unencumbered with wagons. My brigade crossed the Augusta branch of the Central Railroad at noon. The Michigan Engineers having been charged with the destruction of this road, my command