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Report of Brigadier-General A. S. Williams.

headquarter Twentieth corps, Savannah, Georgia, January 9, 1865.
Lieutenant-Colonel H. C. Rodgers, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Colonel: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations and movements of the Twentieth corps, from date of the occupation of Atlanta (September second) to the entrance into this city on twenty-first December ultimo.

The several divisions of the corps were encamped in Atlanta mainly within the circuit of the enemy's original line of defences; one brigade of the Third division was on duty at Montgomery Ferry, on the Chattahoochee River. The command of the post was committed to Colonel Wm. Cogswell, Second Massachusetts infantry, who discharged the perplexing duties well and faithfully. His report, forwarded herewith, will furnish interesting details of the multifarious labors and services of himself and his subordinate officers.

The supplies for man and beast were sufficient until the railroad was cut about the first of October by Hood's army moving northward. The several army corps, following in pursuit, left behind large detachments of convalescents and unarmed men, and a good part of their trains. Of these detachments and trains, great and small, there were reported to the post commander, twelve thousand seven hundred (12,700) officers and men, and to the Chief Quartermaster, four hundred and five (405) horses and three thousand five hundred and sixty-four (3564) mules. A force of men and animals almost equal in numbers to the Twentieth corps, left in guard of Atlanta and its vicinity. From the fifth of October, for quite a month, large details were made from the corps for work on the inner line of fortifications, constructed under the directions of Captain O. M. Poe, Chief Engineer. The works were never fully completed. The detachments in the city furnished but small details.

Measures were early taken to graze the animals, as the forage supply was very limited; and soon, under direction of Major-General Slocum commanding, large foraging parties were organized and sent out under strong guards to the neighborhood of Yellow and South Rivers. They were eminently successful. The four expeditions brought back on an average, each, of over six hundred and fifty wagon-loads of corn and fodder, besides considerable subsistence supplies of cattle, sheep, poultry, sweet potatoes, honey, syrup, and the like.

The Chief Quartermaster of the corps reports as turned over to him from these expeditions: Corn, 1,932,468 pounds; fodder, 138,200 pounds.

Some little show of opposition was made to these parties by the enemy's cavalry; but not a wagon of the long trains was lost. Credit is due to the commanders of the several escorts; Brigadier-General Geary, Colonels Robinson, Dustin, and Carman, and to Colonel Garrard, commanding cavalry brigade, who went out with each expedition.

On the morning of ninth November, the enemy's cavalry (reported to be two brigades of Wheeler's command) approached the city, and opened with artillery from positions a little south of Decatur road, and from elevations down the McDonough road. Along the latter road, they undertook, with dismounted men, an assault on the lines of Geary's division, probably under the idea that we were evacuating Atlanta. The affair was feeble. The enemy left a few dead and wounded in front of our lines, without inflicting a single casualty on us. Carman's brigade of First division was sent out in the hope of intercepting his movement; but the enemy, learning his mistake, had fled in great haste toward Jonesboro.

On eleventh November, Major-General Slocum having been assigned to the command of the left wing, army of Georgia, I was placed by Special Order No. 1, headquarters, left wing, in command of the corps.

November 13.

A brigade from each division was sent to destroy the railroad between Atlanta and the Chattahoochee River, which was reported the next morning as effectually done.

Changes in the principal commands of the corps since the last campaign,. left the organization as follows:

First division, Brigadier-General A. J. Jackson commanding. The brigades commanded respectively by Colonels Selfridge, Carman, and Robinson.

Second division, Brigadier-General J. W. Geary commanding. Three brigades, commanded by Colonels Pardee, Jones, and Barnum.

Third division, Brigadier-General W. T. Ward commanding. Three brigades, commanded by Colonels F. C. Smith, Dustin, and Ross.

A list of regiments composing the brigades will be found in reports of subordinate commanders.

The artillery was reduced to four batteries of four guns each; two of three-inch Rodmans, and two of twelve-pounder Napoleons, under charge of Major J. A. Reynolds, Chief of Artillery. The horses were increased to eight to a carriage.

The Ninth Illinois infantry, (mounted,) Lieutenant-Colonel Hughes commanding, joined the command on the second day, and remained with it through to Savannah, and performed excellent service throughout. One battalion of the Fifty-eighth Indiana volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Moore commanding, with pontoon train, was also attached to the corps, and was very useful during the march.

On the morning of the fifteenth November, the corps marched from Atlanta, taking the road east through Decatur.

We encamped on the fifteenth near the Georgia Railroad, south of Stone Mountain; on the evening of the sixteenth, near Rock Bridge Post-Office; on the seventeenth, near Cornish Creek; on the eighteenth, three miles west of Madison. The country for the first three days march was very hilly, and the crossing at Yellow River, Little Haynes River, and other streams, very bad.

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