This information was regarded as entirely trustworthy, and hence the officers in charge of the different detachments afterward sent out were directed to dispose of their commands so as to have all roads and crossings vigilantly watched.
It was thought, at first, that — Davis
would call about him a select force.
and endeavor to escape by marching to the westward through the hilly country of Northern Georgia
To prevent this, Colonel Eggleston
was directed to watch the country in all directions from Atlanta
General A. J. Alexander
, with the Second Brigade of Upton
's Division, was directed by General Winslow
to scout the country to the northward as far as Dalton
, or until he should meet the troops under General Steedman
operating in that region.
Beginning his march from Macon
, General Alexander
, at his own request, was authorized to detach an officer and twenty picked men, disguised as rebel soldiers, for the purpose of obtaining definite information of Davis
This party was placed under the command of Lieutenant Joseph
, First Ohio Cavalry, and at the time acting inspector of the brigade.
Verbal instructions were also given to other brigade and division commanders to make similar detachments.
was directed to send a small party toward Talladega
, by the route upon which he had marched from that place; while Colonel Eggleston
was directed to send another party by rail to West Point
By these means it was believed that all considerable detachments of rebels would be apprehended, and that such information might be obtained as would enable us to secure the principal rebel leaders, if they should undertake to pass through the country under military escort.
It is, perhaps, proper to state, that in declaring the armistice of Sherman
void, the Secretary of War
had directed that my command should resume active operations and endeavor to arrest the fugitive rebel chiefs.
He sent numerous telegrams urging the greatest possible exertions, but as we had already anticipated orders, and disposed of our forces to the best possible advantage, there was nothing left but to notify him of what we had done, and to assure him that unless Davis
should undertake to escape as an individual fugitive, we had no doubt of securing him. After a rapid march toward the upper crossings of the Savannah river
, in Northeastern Georgia
with his detachment, looking as much like rebels as the rebels themselves, joined Davis
' party escorted by five small brigades of cavalry, and continued with them several days, watching for an opportunity to seize and carry off the rebel chief; but this daring purpose was frustrated by the vigilance of the rebel escort.