, the rebel authorities heard that Atlanta
was occupied by our troops, and that they could not pass that point without a fight.
They halted, and for a short time acted with irresolution in regard to their future course.
The cavalry force which had remained true to Davis
, probably numbering two thousand men, now became mutinous and declined to go any further.
They were disbanded and partially paid off in coin which had been brought to that point in wagons.
lost sight of Davis
at this time, but dividing his party into three or four detachments, sought again to obtain definite information of the fallen chieftain's movements, but for twenty-four hours was unsuccessful.
Persevering in his efforts, however, he became convinced that Davis
had relinquished his idea of going into Alabama
, and would probably try to reach the Gulf
or South Atlantic
coast, and escape by sea. This was a correct conclusion, and, as has been shown, was the identical plan adopted before leaving Richmond
Relying upon his judgment, Yoeman
sent couriers with this information to General Alexander
, and by him it was duly transmitted to me at Macon
The same conclusion had already been forced upon me by information derived from various other sources.
With railroad communication through most of Northern Georgia
, and with a division of four thousand National cavalry operating about Atlanta
, it would have been next to impossible for a party of fugitives, however small, to traverse that region by the ordinary roads; and from the nature of the case this must have been clear, even to Davis
After carefully considering all the circumstances, I, therefore, became convinced that he would either flee in disguise, unattended, or endeavor to work his way southward into Florida
With the view of frustrating this plan, I now directed all the crossings of the Ocmulgee river
, from Atlanta
, to be watched with renewed vigilance.
On the evening of May 6th, having received the intelligence sent in by Yoeman
, I directed General Croxton
to select the best regiment in his division and to send it under its best officer, with orders to march eastward, by the way of Jeffersonville
, to Dublin
, on the Oconee river
, with the greatest possible speed, scouting the country well to the northward, and leaving detachments at the most important cross-roads, with instructions to keep a sharp look out for all detachments of rebels.
By these means it was hoped that Davis
' line of march would be intercepted and his movements discovered, in which event the commanding officer
was instructed to follow it, wherever it might lead, until the fugitives should be overtaken and captured.
selected for this purpose the First