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pressed forward and encamped near Horse Creek at forty-five minutes past four P.M. The distance marched on this day was about fifteen miles.
On the fourth, my brigade, having in charge the entire division train, the pontoon train, the corps supply train, and the artillery ammunition train, marched at nine A.M. The column crossed a number of small swampy streams and passed through a sterile, sandy country, bountifully timbered with groves of pine. At half-past twelve P.M., it crossed Little Horse Creek, and at five P.M., Little Ogeechee Creek. At six P.M., my troops encamped one mile beyond the Little Ogeechee, having marched thirteen miles.
On the fifth, the First division, which had previously been in advance, dropped to the rear, allowing the other two divisions to go ahead. This consumed most of the day. My brigade marched at five P.M. The road was very sloughy, greatly detaining the trains. The column advanced only about three and a half miles, when it encamped at half-past ten P.M.
On the sixth, my brigade, with a battery of artillery, was detailed as a rear-guard for the corps. It marched at half-past nine A.M., unencumbered with wagons. The line of march pursued, the Springfield road, through a moderately fertile country. My foraging parties, which were now kept out daily, were enabled to obtain a considerable quantity of sweet potatoes and fresh meat. Ample supplies of forage were also obtained along the road. My command marched on this day about twelve miles, and encamped at a point about six miles from the Ogeechee River, six from the Savannah and sixteen from Springfield.
On the seventh, our march was resumed at eight A.M. My brigade had charge of about three hundred wagons, consisting of the division and the cavalry trains. The road soon entered the Cowpens Branch Swamp, a low, flat, boggy surface, about three miles in width. The wagons easily cut through the surface, and many of them became completely mired. In the mean time a drizzling rain set in, which had no tendency to improve the roads. In many instances the animals had to be entirely removed from the wagons, and the vehicles drawn out of the slough by the troops.
By half-past one P.M., the trains were all gotten safely through the swamp, and the column moved slowly on. At eight P.M., it reached Turkey Creek and Swamp, and at ten P. M., encamped one mile above Springfield. The distance marched on this day was fifteen miles.
At eight o'clock A.M., on the morning of the eighth, my brigade crossed Jack's Creek, and arrived at Springfield. My command was now unencumbered, and marched in advance of the division, following the Second division. Our course followed the Monteith road about nine miles, then turned to the right and pursued a southwesterly direction for a distance of six miles, which brought us to our encampment, having marched in the aggregate fifteen miles.
The march was resumed at half-past eight A.M.
on the ninth. My brigade followed the Second, the First being in the advance. At ten A.M., the column struck the main road leading to Savannah. Cannonading and musketry were now occasionally heard in the advance. It began to be evident that a considerable force of the enemy had gathered in our front, and meant to oppose our onward march to Savannah.
At three P.M., my brigade reached Monteith Swamp, where the First and Second brigades had already encountered a considerable force of the enemy. The rebel forces were so disposed as to completely command the only practicable passage of the swamp, which was by the main road. Their artillery, which they were disposed to use freely, was so posted as to completely sweep the road and was covered by earthworks.
The advance of the First brigade against the enemy's front, together with that of the Second brigade against his left flank, having failed to dislodge him, I was instructed by the General commanding division to send two regiments around the left with directions to push through the swamp if possible and turn the enemy's right. I immediately despatched the Thirty-first Wisconsin and Sixty-first Ohio veteran volunteers, the whole commanded by Colonel West, of the Thirty-first Wisconsin volunteers, to whom I gave the instructions above repeated. Making a detour of about one mile to the left, Colonel West formed his command in line of battle, and plunged into the almost impenetrable swamp. It was found impossible to get a horse over the miry surface, and officers and men were alike compelled to go on foot. The swamp, which was about four hundred yards in width, was finally passed, and the troops emerged into an open field skirted on the farther side by timber, in which the enemy lay concealed. The point at which he was struck was far in the rear of his main position, which was completely turned, yet he was not wholly unprepared to meet Colonel West's forces, upon whom he opened fire at their first appearance. The fire was returned with a good will, but only three volleys were needed to complete the overthrow and effect precipitate retreat of the enemy. Colonel West now cautiously advanced his line, fearing an ambush. He soon discovered that the rebel forces were all gone, and quietly occupied two fine redoubts, containing about eighty abandoned knapsacks, well packed with clothing, etc. The remainder of my brigade, except the Eighty-second Ohio veteran volunteer infantry, which had been sent to the support of Colonel West, now crossed the swamp by the main road, and the whole encamped near the rebel redoubts.
This little affair, in my judgment, reflects great credit upon those concerned in it, and I take this occasion to express my appreciation of the skill and promptitude with which Colonel West han dled his troops. I regret to say, however, that this affair cost us one man kilied and four wounded.
My brigade marched again at seven A.M., on the tenth, in the centre of the division, the Second
brigade leading. The road was excellent and ing expedition, consisting of twelve companies devoid of all obstructions. My brigade struck of infantry, two from each regiment, and eight the Charleston and Savannah Railroad at Mon- wagons. My instructions to Lieutenant-Colonel teith Station at ten A.M., and soon afterward com- Le Sage, commanding the detachment, were to menced destroying the track. By half-past proceed about four miles north of Monteith Staeleven A.M., one half-mile of the track was tho- tion, to obtain all the forage and supplies he roughly destroyed by the brigade, and the col- could, and to develop the strength and position umn resumed its march, now on the direct road of a hostile force reported to be in that neighborto the city of Savannah. hood. The party returned at three P.M., without having obtained either provisions or forage. It had encountered the enemy's outposts, and driven them back to within one and a half miles of his main camp, capturing one prisoner.
During the night of the twentieth, according to direction, I detailed a regiment, the One Hundred and Forty-third New-York volunteers, to cross the Argyle Island and there going into position, covering the flank of the Second brigade, which had crossed to the South-Carolina shore. On the morning of the twenty-first, it was discovered that the enemy had evacuated the city and defences of Savannah. The One Hundred and Forty-third New-York volunteers therefore rejoined the brigade on the morning of the twenty-second.
By half-past two P.M., my command reached the fifth mile-post from the city. About one mile in advance of this, the enemy had already been encountered, strongly intrenched with artillery in position. It was evident that this was the main line of the defences of the city.
My brigade immediately went into position on the left of the Second brigade, which had already formed in the dense forest on the left of the road. My left flank joined the right of the First brigade. Pickets covering the line were at once thrown forward, but no demonstration was made upon the enemy. My troops encamped in the position thus taken.
On the eleventh, my command was thrown forward and to the left about four hundred yards, and the troops again encamped in their position. At eleven P.M., by direction of the General commanding division, I detached the One Hundred and First and Eighty-second Illinois and Sixty-first Ohio veteran volunteers, the whole under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Le Sage, of the One Hundred and First Illinois volunteers, and sent them to the rear, to be used in guarding the trains of the corps.
On the twenty-third, my command moved back toward the city, and encamped on McAlpin's plantation, on the right bank of the Savannah River. The position assigned me was on the right of the Second brigade, and one mile above the city of Savannah. Here my troops erected comfortable quarters, in which they still remain.
On the thirteenth, I was directed to move the remainder of my brigade to the rear, to cover the approaches to the trains. At three P.M., my entire command was posted covering the different roads coming from the rear. My line was about three miles in extent, joining the pickets of the Twenty-second Wisconsin volunteers on the right near the Savannah River, and those of the Fourteenth army corps on the left. The One Hundred and Forty-third New-York volunteers was placed near the junction of the Tweedside, the Potter's Plantation, and the Savannah roads. The Eighty-second Ohio veteran volunteers was placed about three quarters of a mile farther to the right, on the Potter's Plantation road. The One Hundred and First Illinois volunteers and Sixty-first Ohio veteran volunteers covered the Savannah road near Cherokee Hill. The Eightysecond Illinois volunteers covered the line of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. The Thirtyfirst Wisconsin volunteers was placed three quarters of a mile south of Cherokee Hill, on a road leading in that direction. The positions I take pleasure in expressing my hearty comthus chosen, excepting those of the two regi-mendation of the soldierly behavior of the offiments first named, were covered by substantial cers and men of my command during this long breastworks. A section of artillery, which re- and arduous campaign. The fatigues and privaported to me on the fourteenth, was posted on tions of the march were borne with cheerfulness, the Savannah road and was covered by a redoubt. The heavy labor of assisting trains, destroying My brigade remained in the position just de-railroads, building bridges, repairing roads, etc., scribed without note worthy of incident until the was performed with alacrity, and when the voice nineteenth. On that date, by permission of the of danger summoned, every soldier sprang to his General commanding division, I sent out a forag-post with enthusiasm. The commanders of my
During the extraordinary campaign which has terminated, my command marched over three hundred and fifty miles, completely destroyed nine miles of railroad track, burned a station-house, several water-tanks, and a large quantity of wood and railroad lumber, burned twelve cotton-gins and presses, and two hundred and fifty bales of cotton; captured five serviceable horses, fortytwo serviceable mules, four hundred and sixty head of cattle, two hundred sheep, five hundred hogs, twelve barrels of molasses, one barrel of whiskey, fifty thousand pounds of sweet potatoes, ten thousand eight hundred pounds of rice, besides a vast quantity of flour, meal, bacon, poultry, and other promiscuous kinds of provisions. The quantity of forage captured it is difficult to estimate, but it is safe to say that it amounted to not less than one hundred and thirty thousand pounds. Excepting the articles of bread, coffee, and sugar, my troops subsisted almost entirely from the country. The animals also were fed almost exclusively upon what was obtained from the same source.
In conclusion, I have the honor to add the following list of the regiments composing my brigade and the officers commanding them during the campaign:
Thirty-first Wisconsin volunteers, Colonel Francis H. West; Eighty-second Ohio veteran Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel David Thomson; One Hundred and Forty-third New-York volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Hezekiah Watkins; One Hundred and First Illinois volunteers, Licutenant-Colonel John B. Le Sage; Eighty-second Illinois volunteers, Major F. H. Rolshausen; Sixty-first Ohio veteran volunteers, Captain John Garrett.
HEADQUARTERS THIRTY-FIRST WISCONSIN VOLUNTEERS,
Captain A. E. Lee, Acting Assistant Adjutant-
The officers of my staff were as follows: Captain A. E. Lee, Acting Assistant Adjutant- There was much appearance of wealth among General; Captain Benj. Reynolds, Acting As- nearly all the inhabitants living on the line of our sistant Inspector-General; Captain F. S. Wal- march, and we found great abundance of corn, beef, lace, Topographical Engineer; Captain Charles mutton, sweet potatoes, poultry, molasses, and Salamann, Acting Commissary Subsistence; honey along the whole route, upon which the regiCaptain W. T. George, Acting Assistant Quar- ment subsisted entirely, with the exception of about termaster; Surgeon H. K. Spooner, Surgeon-in- ten days' rations of hard bread and full rations Chief; Captain Cyrus Herrick, Acting Aid-de- of sugar, coffee, and salt, which were issued imCamp; Captain Myron H. Lamb, Acting Aid-de-mediately previous to and during the march. We Camp; Lieutenant Charles M. Lockwood, Acting also captured ten very large fine mules and about Assistant Provost-Marshal. thirty inferior mules and horses, which were used in packing supplies, and were subsisted, as were our private and public animals, from forage we obtained from the inhabitants.
The following casualties and losses occurred in my brigade during the campaign:
One (1) enlisted man killed in action, four (4) deserted, one (1) missing in action, four (4) in- During the march we, in company with the jured in destroying railroad, two (2) captured balance of the brigade, assisted in destroying a while foraging, making an aggregate loss of six-large amount of the Georgia Central Railroad, in teen enlisted men. Respectfully your obedient the vicinity of Stone Mountain, Spiers Station, servant, J. S. ROBINSON, and Jonesboro, and also of the Charleston RailColonel Commanding Eighty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry. road at and near Monteith. The amount de. COLONEL F. H. WEST'S REPORT. stroyed by my regiment I am unable to give.
Great attempts were made by the enemy to impede our progress by destroying bridges, felling timber in the road, etc., but this caused but little delay, as our efficient pioneer corps soon cleared away all obstructions and rebuilt the bridges. We met with no resistance in force until we arrived at Turkey Roost Swamp, fifteen miles from Savannah. This is an almost impenetrable morass, many miles in extent, densely covered with brush and vines interspersed with deep sloughs. Across this, the road has been built. On a little elevation on the opposite side, at a place known as Harrison's Field, and immediately commanding the road across the morass, which is about five hundred yards wide, and which had been very heavily obstructed, the enemy had built two strong redoubts, which were defended by artillery and about five hundred infantry, with which they resolutely disputed our farther progress. The First and Se
During the occupation of Atlanta nothing of especial interest occurred in the regiment. It was engaged in the ordinary guard-duty and in drilling and preparing for a new campaign, and also furnishing heavy details to work on fortifications. It twice during the time accompanied foraging expeditions to the vicinity of Stone Mountain and Yellow River, once under command of Colonel Robinson, commanding Third brigade, and once under command of General
Geary, commanding Second division, Twentieth corps. On each of these occasions some eight hundred wagon-loads of forage were obtained.
Of the campaign from Atlanta to Savannah, the history of the regiment is so inseparably connected with that of the brigade to which it belongs, that it is difficult to make a special report of its operations. Leaving Atlanta at seven o'clock A. M., November fifteenth, with effective enlisted men and officers, our march was continuous, triumphant, and almost uninterrupted through the rich and well-settled districts of Georgia by the way of Decatur, Social Circle, Madison, Milledgeville, Eatonton, Sandersville, Millen, Louisville, and Springfield, to within five miles of Savannah, where we arrived on the tenth instant, followed by a large number of negroes, which had been gradually accumulating as we advanced through the country; but as none of them were especial followers of my regiment, I cannot claim to have brought in any certain number. It was noticeable that they were all very much delighted at the approach of the army, although but few of them had ever seen a "Yank" before.
cond brigades of our division having been sent city, and are now engaged in preparing for future around to the right (which seemed the most feas-operations. Since arriving near Savannah, we ible way of crossing the morass) with instruc- have had but very limited supplies of rations or tions, if possible, to flank the enemy and dislodge forage, and we are now suffering much for subor capture them; finding that they were not sistence, the men receiving little else than small likely to be immediately successful, I was direct-rations of rice, and our public and private anied by Colonel Robinson, commanding brigade, mals almost nothing at all. It is probable that to take my regiment, numbering five hundred this is owing to the difficulty of landing supplies present, the immediate command of which de- from the fleet. volved upon Lieutenant-Colonel Rogers and the Sixty-first Ohio, numbering about one hundred men, under command of Captain Garrett, and make a similar attempt by way of the left. Quickly moving around about a half-mile to the left and on to the border of the morass, the line was formed for attack by placing the Sixty-first enemy, and three captured while foraging, two Ohio on the right and the Thirty-first Wisconsin of whom have since escaped and returned to on the left, with instructions to dash through the regiment. No sick were left on the road. the swamp by the right of companies, coming Very respectfully your obedient servant, into line the moment they emerged on the open ground in vicinity of the fort. This the men did with great spirit and determination, struggling through to within about three hundred yards of the forts, where an open swamp extended down to within fifty yards of the forts, the last fifty yards being heavily covered with abattis. Emerging into this opening, they formed instantly under a heavy fire from the enemy, and delivering a steady volley upon the enemy, they dashed upon the works with such impetuosity, that the enemy, becoming panic-stricken, fled in great confusion, abandoning much of their camp and garrison equipage and clothing. The colors of the Thirty-first Wisconsin were almost instantly flying from the parapets of the fort. Shortly after, the brigades that had gone to the right succeeded in passing the morass and came up; also the balance of our brigade, which Colonel Robinson promptly sent to my support on hearing the firing.
F. H. WEST, Colonel Commanding Regiment.
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL THOMSON'S REPORT.
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTY-SECOND REGIMENT OHIO
Captain A. E. Lee, Acting Assistant Adjutant-
CAPTAIN: In compliance with circular from headquarters First division Twentieth corps, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the various foraging expeditions sent out from Atlanta, and also in the recent campaign.
The Eighty-second regiment formed a part of the advance force which occupied Atlanta on the second day of September, and at that time was temporarily attached to the command of BrigadierGeneral Knipe. The First division, of which the Eighty-second regiment formed a part, remained encamped in Atlanta from the time of its occupation by our forces until the fifteenth November. The enemy, having interrupted our line of communication with the rear, various foraging expeditions were sent out south of Atlanta, for the purpose of procuring forage and provisions. The brigade to which the regiment is attached was sent out on two of these expeditions; the first expedition under command of Colonel Robinson, commanding Third brigade, First division, and the second under command of Brigadier-General Geary.
Through me the regiment, together with the Sixty-first Ohio, received the public thanks of Major-General Slocum, commanding left wing, army of Georgia; of General Williams, commanding Twentieth army corps; and of Colonel Robinson, commanding brigade, for the handsome manner in which they executed the affair. As all in the command behaved equally well, I can mention On these expeditions, the regiment loaded five no names; I, however, here wish to make men-hundred and forty wagons of corn and provender. tion of the gallant conduct and efficient service In addition, the following supplies: Fifty bushels rendered on this occasion by Captains Wallace potatoes, twenty-five head of hogs, fifteen head of and Herrick of Colonel Robinson's staff, who were sheep, six head of cattle, and twenty gallons of detailed to assist me in the enterprise. molasses.
The loss of my regiment in this affair was one killed and three wounded. We escaped with so small a loss on account of the enemy firing too high. Loss of the enemy unknown, said to have been fourteen.
The health and spirits of the men were never better than during the past campaign, the average daily number requiring medical attendance being about ten. The casualties during the campaign were one man severely injured while destroying railroad, one killed and three wounded by the
During the siege of Savannah, from the tenth to the twenty-first of December, at which time the enemy evacuated Savannah, the regiment was engaged in the ordinary siege duties, building works, etc., without any engagement with the enemy or casualties therefrom. On the twentythird, we moved in and took position on the bank of the Savannah River, about two miles above the
Early on the morning of the ninth of November, the enemy, in small force, made an attack on our picket-line south of Atlanta. The Third brigade was sent to the attacked point, but before getting into position, the enemy were repulsed, and the brigade returned to its encampment.
On the fifteenth day of November, the regiment left its camp in Atlanta, and entered upon the
campaign which ended with the capture and oc-
first Wisconsin on the right, and the One Hundred and Forty-third New-York on the left. On the eleventh, the brigade was moved a short distance to the left, the regiments occupying the same positions in line.
On the sixteenth, we reached and commenced On the thirteenth, the brigade was moved about destroying the railroad near Stone Mountain. My three miles to the rear, where a second or rearregiment here destroyed about two miles of the line was formed, for the purpose of protecting road. But small forces of the enemy were met, the rear. The Eighty-second occupied the right and until our arrival before Savannah, it was ne- of this line, my pickets connecting with those of cessary for the regiment to take a position in line the One Hundred and Forty-third New-York on of battle but twice. The first time was near San- my left. My command occupied this position dersville, on November twenty-fifth. We met the until the surrender of Savannah and its occupaenemy late in the afternoon. The fighting (which tion by our forces. The regiment entered its prewas nothing more than skirmishing) was princi- sent encampment on the twenty-third December, pally done by our advance cavalry. The Third connecting on the right with the One Hundred brigade was in advance, and formed in line of and Forty-third New-York, and on the left with battle. We encamped in line, and the next morn- the Thirty-first Wisconsin. During this caming the Second brigade took the advance, the paign, my command has captured thirteen head of Third brigade following. The enemy made but horses, twenty-five head of mules, thirty head of very little opposition, and we had no difficulty in cattle, one hundred and fifty head of hogs, thirtyOccupying Sandersville. From this place, we five head of sheep, two hundred pounds sugar, moved to Tennille Station, (November thirteenth,) fodder four tons, two hundred bushels of corn, and destroyed about half a mile of the railroad. two hundred bushels of potatoes, one hundred On the twenty-seventh, we reached Davisboro and twenty-five bushels of corn-meal, one thouStation, on the Georgia Central Railroad, and sand pounds of flour, one hundred and sixty galearly on the morning of the twenty-eighth com- lons of molasses, and chickens and turkeys inmenced destroying the railroad. We destroyed numerable. My command also captured thirty about three miles of the road, and at night went negroes, and destroyed, in all, six miles of railinto camp at Station No. Eleven. The Third bri-road and one hundred and fifty bales of cotton, gade, at this point, was detached from the corps, for the purpose of guarding the corps train. On the thirtieth, we crossed the Little Ogeechee, several miles above the railroad, in consequence of the destruction of the bridge, and encamped near the east bank of the river.
and burned two cotton-gins.
I am, Captain, very respectfully,
D. THOMSON, Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding Regiment.
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL WATKINS'S REPORT.
We marched and crossed the Augusta Branch
NEAR SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, December 26, 1864. CAPTAIN: I have the honor to forward the following report of operations of this regiment from the occupation of Atlanta to the present time.
After the possession of Atlanta by our forces, the regiment went into camp on the east side of the city. While in this camp, company and battalion drills were held, estimates forwarded for clothing, equipage, and stores, to furnish the command for the "fine winter campaign," as or|dered.
The effective force at this time was nineteen
The same day, having reached the enemy's lines commissioned officers and two hundred and fortyin front of Savannah, the brigade took up a po- four muskets; also fourteen unarmed recruits, sition with three regiments in line of battle, with for whom arms could not be procured previous to the Second brigade on the right. My regiment starting. The effective force at present, nineteen was on the front line, connecting with the Thirty- | (19) commissioned officers and two hundred and