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[165]

Major Helm, Acting Brigade-Surgeon, (now Division-Surgeon,) was faithful to sick and wounded, attending to his duties under the enemy's fire. Lieutenant Spear, A. A.C. S., acted as aid-de-camp, and carried my orders while the battle raged hardest. Captain Cornevin, A. A.D. C., Lieutenant Dawson, A. A.D. C., Lieutenant Swing, A. A.D. C., Lieutenant Cowan, Provost-Marshal, and Lieutenant Skinner, Acting Assistant Inspector-General, were always faithful and efficient. Lieutenant Cockley, A. A.D. C., deserves especial mention. At Waynesboro he thrice requested to go with his regiment, the Tenth Ohio volunteer cavalry, in its charge, and when permission was granted, dashed forward and fought bravely at its head. To Captain Smith, my Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, courteous, attentive, intelligent, cool, and brave under fire, I am greatly indebted for the harmonious working of my brigade. Lieutenant Bowles, my Acting Assistant-Quartermaster, was at all times faithfully attending to his duty.

I inclose herewith the reports of my regimental commanders, which I beg may be taken as a part of this my report.

In conclusion, I take great pleasure in stating that nearly always when my brigade had been engaged with the enemy, Brigadier-General Kilpatrick, commanding the division, has personally superintended the disposition of the troops, riding on the skirmish-line in full view of the enemy, and cheering on the men by his presence and example.

I am, Captain, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

Smith D. Atkins, Colonel Ninety-second Illinois Infantry, Mounted, Commanding Brigade. Captain L. G. Estes, Assistant Adjutant-General.


Colonel Heath's Report.

headquarters Fifth Ohio volunteer cavalry, Second brigade, Third division, cavalry corps, M. D. M., near King's Bridge, Ga., December 23, 164.
Captain: I have the honor to report that the Fifth Ohio cavalry, (with the First squadron Ohio cavalry temporarily attached,) with an aggregate of five hundred and sixty-three men, marched with the Second brigade, Colonel S. D. Atkins commanding, from Marietta, Georgia, on the fourteenth November, 1864, on the expedition ending with the occupation of Savannah by our forces.

Just previous to marching, four hundred and forty men of my regiment, and nine officers, whose term of service had expired, were ordered to Ohio to be mustered out of service. Myself and eleven other officers were retained, on the order of Major-General Howard, commanding army and department of the Tennessee, though entitled to be ordered to Ohio for muster out of service on the fourteenth of November, 1864.

During this most arduous campaign, both officers and men have done their whole duty, never discontented at, nor flagging in, the routine of day and night marches, building breastworks, destroying railroads, picket, skirmish, and battle, though thirty-eight days and nights, in an enemy's country.

I am proud to say that for intelligent and ready execution of all orders received, as well as for valorous action on the battle-field, my officers and men deserve the highest commendation, have my thanks, and promptly received acknowledgment in general orders from brigade and division commanders.

Dogged by a persistent and relentless enemy from East-Point to the walls of Savannah, through woods and swamps hitherto considered impracticable, the Fifth Ohio cavalry has done its full share of every work, participated in every engagement, and never faltered.

At Macon, it supported the gallant Tenth Ohio in its charge, while one battalion tore up the railroad.

On the twenty-eighth November, the First brigade was hardly pressed in the swamp at Buckhead Creek. This regiment was ordered by Colonel Atkins to go to the rear and cover the crossing of that brigade. Moving rapidly to the rear, it took position, dismounted, threw up barricades of rails, planted its section howitzers to cover the bridge, enabled the whole brigade to cross in safety, and check the advance of Wheeler's whole force, which was exultingly pressing the rear. When the smoke of our discharges of canister had cleared away, the rebels, who were crowded on the causeway to the bridge, were not seen, and Captain William Jessup, company D, with twenty of his men, under the fire of their riflemen, daringly burned and completely destroyed the bridge, while shell from the howitzers compelled the enemy to deploy, and seek crossing above and below. After two hours, finding the enemy were crossing at other points, and gaining our flanks and rear, we steadily retired on the brigade, which had taken position two miles and a half to our front. We had not marched far before the enemy closed from either flank on the road we were marching, and began skirmishing. Captain Alexander C. Rossman, company E, commanding Third battalion, Fifth Ohio, as rear-guard, skilfully and gallantly kept them in check until the advance battalion had been assigned position with the brigade at Reynolds's plantation. At this moment the enemy charged in two columns with vigor. Captain Rossman, with his battalion, reinforced by company C and a line of dismounted skirmishers, fought, in front the barricade, the remainder of the regiment, with the howitzers, from behind the work. The enemy were easily and quickly repulsed with loss.

On the second December, at Rocky Fork Church, the regiment reported to General Kilpatrick, and I was ordered to clear the left flank of rebels. Deploying the First battalion, Captain John Pummill commanding, I charged on with a single battalion, drove a force of full one thousand rebels from behind rail barricades, a distance of nearly two miles. After this charge was made, six companies of the Third Kentucky came up and rendered valuable assistance.

On the fourth December, at the battle of


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