Long to assault the defenses by a diagonal movement across the road whereon he was posted; while Upton
, with 300 picked men, was to penetrate a dense, miry swamp on Long
's left, break through the line covered by it, and turn the Rebel
right — his whole division participating in the turning movement.
But, before our preparations had been completed, word reached Long that Chalmers
's Rebel cavalry from Marion
were at work on his rear, where his horses and train were under guard; whereupon, sending a regiment to reenforce the six companies guarding his rear, he gave his men the order to follow him in a charge; and in 15 minutes, without a halt or a waver, they had swept over the Rebel
intrenchments, and driven their defenders pell-mell toward the city.
Long himself had fallen, shot through the head; Cols. Miller
, and Briggs
, leading their respective regiments, had each been severely wounded; but Selma
The Rebels rallied on a new line, but partially constructed, in the edge of the city; where they repulsed a gallant charge of the 4th regular cavalry; and, as it was now dark, they evidently hoped to hold.
But the impetuosity of our men could not be restrained.
's entire division advanced, supporting a charge of the 4th cavalry, 4th Ohio, and 17th Indiana; while the Chicago
Board of Trade battery, from a commanding position, replied to the Rebel
guns, dismounting two of them; and the city was soon taken, with 32 guns, 2,700 prisoners, and vast stores of all kinds.
, and perhaps 3,000 of their followers, had escaped under cover of tie darkness.
Our total loss here was less than 500.
The Rebel arsenal, great guns, warehouses, factories, founderies, &c., were thoroughly destroyed, and the town sacked without mercy by our soldiers.
The Rebels had just burned 25,000 bales of cotton; Wilson
found 10,000 more, and burned them.
Several days elapsed before the bridge, 870 feet long, over the swollen Alabama
, after being thrice swept away by the flood, was rebuilt, and our army crossed1
--all but Cuxton
's brigade, which was away south, and had had a fight with Wirt Adams
several days before.
Horses had been obtained in and around Selma
to mount our last man; many of the negroes following our columns had been enlisted — the rest were forbidden to follow farther — the trains, including the pontoon, were reduced to their lowest dimensions; so that Wilson
, rebuilding the bridges, now moved rapidly, in spite of the sodden earth; reaching, at 7 A. M. of the 12th, Montgomery
, the capital of Alabama
, which Wirt Adams
had just evacuated, after burning 125,000 bales of cotton.
The city promptly surrendered.
Several steamboats, with great quantities of army supplies, were here destroyed.
eastward from Montgomery
and West Point, Georgia
's brigade soon striking a Rebel force under Buford
, routing it, and taking 150 prisoners. Reaching3
, near Columbus, Ga.
, the lower bridge was found in flames.
Accident preventing the arrival of Col. Winslow
's brigade till