east of Madison, and turn south and reach Milledgeville on the seventh day, exclusive of the day of march. In person I left Atlanta on the sixteenth, in company with the Fourteenth corps, Brevet Major-General Jeff. C. Davis, by Lithonia, Covington, and Shady Dale, directly on Milledgeville. All the troops were provided with good wagon trains, loaded with ammunition and supplies, approximating twenty days bread, forty days sugar and coffee, a double allowance of salt for forty days, and beef cattle equal to forty days supplies. The wagons were also supplied with about three days forage, in grain. All were instructed, by a judicious system of foraging, to maintain this order of things as long as possible, living chiefly if not solely upon the country, which I knew to abound in corn, sweet potatoes, and meats. My first object was of course to place my army in the very heart of Georgia, interposing between Macon and Augusta, and obliging the enemy to divide his forces to defend not only those points, but Millen, Savannah, and Charleston. All my calculations were fully realized. During the twenty-second, General Kilpatrick made a good feint on Macon, driving the enemy within his intrenchments, and then drew back to Griswoldville, where Walcott's brigade of infantry joined him to cover that flank, whilst Howard's trains were closing up and his men scattered breaking up railroads. The enemy came out of Macon and attacked Walcott in position, but was so roughly handled that he never repeated the experiment. On the eighth day after leaving Atlanta, namely, on the twenty-third, General Slocum occupied Milledgeville and the important bridge across the Oconee there; and Generals Howard and Kilpatrick were in and about Gordon. General Howard was then ordered to move eastward, destroying the railroad thoroughly in his progress, as far as Tennille Station, opposite Sandersville, and General Slocum to move to Sandersville by two roads. General Kilpatrick was ordered to Milledgeville and thence move rapidly eastward, to break the railroad which leads from Millen to Augusta, then to turn upon Millen and rescue our prisoners of war, supposed to be confined at that place. I accompanied the Twentieth corps from Milledgeville to Sandersville, approaching which place on the twenty-fifth, we found the bridges across Buffalo Creek burned, which delayed us three hours. The next day we entered Sandersville, skirmishing with Wheeler's cavalry, which offered little opposition to the advance of the Twentieth and Fourteenth corps, entering the place almost at the same moment. General Slocum was then ordered to tear up and destroy the Georgia Central Railroad from Station 13 (Tennille) to Station 10, near the crossing of the Ogeechee, one of his corps substantially following the railroad, the other by way of Louisville, in support of Kilpatrick's cavalry. In person I shifted to the right wing, and accompanied the Seventeenth corps, General Blair, on the south of the railroad till abreast of Station 9 1/2, (Barton.) General Howard in person, with the Fifteenth corps, keeping further to the right and about one day's march ahead, ready to turn against the flank of any enemy who should oppose our progress. At Barton I learned that Kilpatrick's cavalry had reached the Augusta Railroad about Waynesboro, where he ascertained that our prisoners had been removed from Millen, and therefore the purpose of rescuing them, upon which we had set our hearts, was an impossibility. But as Wheeler's cavalry had hung around him, and as he had retired to Louisville to meet our infantry, in pursuance of my instructions, not to risk battle unless at great advantage, I ordered him to leave his wagons and all incumbrances with the left wing, and moving in the direction of Augusta, if Wheeler gave him the opportunity, to indulge him with all the fighting he wanted. General Kilpatrick, supported by Baird's division of infantry, of the Fourteenth corps, again moved in the direction of Waynesboro, and encountering Wheeler in the neighborhood of Thomas's Station, attacked him in position, driving him from three successive lines of barricades handsomely through Waynesboro and across Brier Creek, the bridges over which he burned, and then with Baird's division rejoined the left wing, which in the mean time had been marching by easy stages of ten miles a day in the direction of Lumpkin's Station and Jacksonboro. The Seventeenth corps took up the destruction of the railroad at the Ogeechee near Station 10, and continued it to Millen, the enemy offering little or no opposition, although preparations had seemingly been made at Millen. On the third of December, the Seventeenth corps, which I accompanied, was at Millen; the Fifteenth corps, General Howard, was south of the Ogeechee, opposite Station 7, (Scarboro ;) the Twentieth corps, General Slocum, on the Augusta Railroad, about four miles north of Millen, near Buckhead Church; and the Fourteenth corps, General Jeff. C. Davis, in the neighbor-hood of Lumpkin's Station, on the Augusta Railroad. All were ordered to march in the direction of Savannah, the Fifteenth corps to continue south of the Ogeechee, the Seventeenth to destroy the railroad as far as Ogeechee Church, and four days were allowed to reach the line from Ogeechee Church to the neighborhood of Halley's Ferry on the Savannah River. All the columns reached their destination on time, and continued to march on their several roads. General Davis following the Savannah River road, General Slocum the middle road by way of Springfield, General Blair the railroad, and General Howard still south and west of the Ogeechee, with orders to cross to the east bank opposite “Eden Station,” or Station No. 2. As we approached Savannah, the country became more marshy and difficult, and more obstructions were met in the way of felled trees where the roads crossed the creek-swamps on
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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