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[573] Lane and sixty men to remain at Dublin, and to scout the country in all directions, particularly toward the sea-coast, Colonel Harnden and the rest of his party, not exceeding, in all, seventy-five men, took to horse, at an early hour in the morning, and began the pursuit of the party just mentioned. Five miles south of Dublin, he obtained information, from a woman of the country, living in a cabin by the roadside, which left him no room to doubt that he was on the track of Davis in person. He dispatched a messenger to inform General Croxton of his good fortune, and pushed rapidly in pursuit; but the courier lost his way, and did not succeed in reaching Macon till some time after the news of Davis' capture had been received. The trail on which the fugitives were traveling led southward through an almost trackless region of pine forests, intersected by swamps and sluggish streams, with here and there, at rare intervals, the cabin of a family of “poor white folks” or fugitive negroes, and, therefore, affording but little food for either man or beast. The rain began to fall toward noon, and, as there was no road entitled to the name, the tracks of the wagon wheels upon the sandy soil were soon obliterated; but, after a long search, a citizen was impressed, and compelled to act as guide till the trail was again discovered. The pursuit was continued with renewed vigor; but, as the wagon tracks were again lost in the swamps of Alligator creek, the pursuing party were again delayed till another unwilling citizen could be found to guide them to the path upon which the trail was again visible. Colonel Harnden reports this day to have been one of great toil to both men and horses, as they had marched forty miles through an almost unbroken forest, most of the time under a beating rain, or in the water up to their saddle girths. They bivouacked, after dark, on the borders of a dark and gloomy swamp, and sleeping on the ground, without tents, during the night, they were again drenched with rain.

Before daylight of the 9th, they renewed their march, their route leading almost southwest through swamp and wilderness to Brown's ferry, where they crossed to the south side of the Ocmulgee river. The bed of the river was too treacherous and its banks too steep to permit the crossing to be made by swimming, which would have been most expeditious, so the impatient colonel had to use the ferry-boat; and, in his hurry to ferry his command over rapidly, the boat was overloaded, and a plank near the bow sprung loose, causing the boat to leak badly. No means were at hand with which to make repairs, and hence lighter boat loads had to be carried. This prolonged the crossing nearly two hours. During this delay, Colonel

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