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[115]

The brigades, at this time, were stationed as follows: Third on the right, First in centre, Second on the left, covering a front of about one and one half miles. They retained this position until the evacuation of Savannah.

By order of the Corps Commander, the front of this position was frequently and thoroughly investigated. Every avenue of approach to the enemy's lines was ascertained, and reports of these investigations were promptly forwarded to Lieutenant-Colonel Perkins, Assistant Adjutant-General of the corps.

On the morning of December twenty-first, before day, I was notified that the enemy had left his works; that General Geary was in them. I was ordered to push my skirmish-line forward to the city, and to occupy the rebel pits with my line of battle. This was done. At eleven A. M., I received orders to put my command in camp west of the canal. The troops went in at once, Third brigade on right, Second on centre, First on left. Wagon trains parked in rear of troops.

During the march from Atlanta to Savannah, my command was subsisted almost entirely from the country. The report of my Commissary, and those of my brigade commanders, will show how little, we depended on the Government. The subsistence procured was of the best quality, greatly preferable to the army ration. Vegetables, especially sweet potatoes, were abundant, and at no former period has my command been so healthy as it was on reaching Savannah.

The Quartermaster reports will show the number of mules and horses taken, and the comparative condition of transportation on leaving Atlanta and on reaching Savannah. Had it not been for the numbers of animals seized, more than half the train must have been abandoned. As it was, the class of animals is not only improved, but they are in fine condition, and with proper feeding, are ready for another campaign at any time.

As to the amount of cotton destroyed, I think that five thousand bales would not be an overestimate. Of course I allow a margin for the unauthorized burning by foraging parties. The amount may have been more than given, as we kept no record of the amount burned. One thing I am sure of: there was not much left behind us. Inclosed, I transmit brigade, regimental, Quartermaster, and Commissary of Subsistence reports. The report of the Seventy-ninth Ohio is not yet in, that regiment having been detailed since December nineteenth, 1864. Very respectfully, etc.,

W. T. Ward, Brigadier-General, Commanding Third Division, Twentieth Army Corps.


Colonel F. C. Smith's Report.

headquarters First brigade, Third division, Twentieth army corps, Savannah, Ga., Dec. 26, 1864.
Brigadier-General Ward, Commanding Third Division, Twentieth Army Corps:
sir: In obedience to your order of December twenty-fourth, I have the honor to submit the following report:

The brigade, which I had the honor to command, was stationed at the railroad bridge across the Chattahoochee River, during the interval between September twenty-third and the commencement of the campaign just ended.

On the fifteenth of October last, I received permission from Major-General Slocum, commanding United States troops at Atlanta, to send out foraging parties on the north side of the Chattahoochee River. I subsisted the animals belonging to the post, and also those belonging to myself and staff, up to the time of marching, entirely from the country.

November 13.--At four P. M., I received orders to destroy the railroad from the Chattahoochee River toward Atlanta, and to continue till I met the working party sent out from that city, and then to join the division at Atlanta.

14th. At nine A. M. I had completely destroyed three and a half miles of the road, where we met the party sent from the city. I then moved my command to Atlanta, and reported to Brigadier-General Ward, commanding division, at five P. M.

15th. At one P. M., I moved my command, as rear-guard of the column, in the direction of Decatur. Nothing worthy of particular mention occurred during the march, except that my entire command subsisted exclusively upon the country, until my arrival before this city.

December 10.--At this time, I had in my train the same amount of subsistence for my brigade that I had at the beginning of the march, though not of the same kind.

At the commencement of the campaign, all of the animals belonging to the command, public and private, were much reduced and many of them unfit for service. On the march, I kept out foraging parties on the flanks, with instructions to seize all serviceable horses and mules they might find. In this way, I replaced the unserviceable animals of the brigade train of twenty-three teams, putting in one hundred and twenty fresh mules. I replaced the horses of the ambulances, six in number, with good mules. I also put into the ordnance train, which for the time being was assigned to the train of my brigade, thirty fresh animals. I also supplied the regiments with the proper number of pack-mules, sixty in number.

Officers, who were entitled to horses, have been supplied with good ones, in all cases where their own had become worn out and useless. I turned over to Lieutenant Thompson, Provost-Marshal of the division, at various times, seventy-eight horses, most of which were unserviceable, making an aggregate of seizures and captures, as follows: Number of mules, two hundred and twenty-two; number of horses, seventy-five; number of beef cattle, two hundred and eighty.

On the tenth of December, my brigade was in the advance of the column. After crossing the Charleston and Savannah Railroad, I deployed


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