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[166] Waynesboro, the regiment was not so heavily engaged as some others, though it charged twice, and would have made a good list of prisoners had not our own artillery, through mistake, fired on us, which caused deflection of my column. To prevent unnecessary slaughter, later, we opened effective fire with carbines.

In the afternoon of this day, we were ordered five miles beyond Waynesboro to burn the railroad bridge over Brier Creek, which we accomplished in a thorough manner, firing seventy-nine bents of heavy trestle bridging.

On the eighth December, the regiment was under arms and on picket for fifteen hours, covering the army in crossing a difficult swamp near Ebenezer Chapel. At midnight, the enemy shelled furiously, and the infantry picket fell back in confusion, while the Fifth Ohio and Ninety-second Illinois mounted infantry held their line firmly, and when ordered, retired in perfect order.

On December eleventh, I was ordered by Colonel Atkins to cover the rear of Major-General Howard's army. I took up position near Silk Hope, and received orders from General Kilpatrick, to accompany him on an expedition to open communication with the fleet. Crossing the Ogechee and Cannouchee rivers on pontoons, we camped on the twelfth near Fort McAllister, and on the thirteenth, at ten o'clock, struck the coast on St. Catherine's Sound. Captain Estes, Assistant Adjutant-General, a staff-officer of Major-General Howard, in a small canoe; myself, Captain Day, Provost-Marshal, and Lieutenant Messenger, A-D. C. Third division, Cavalry corps, were ordered in a second “gum-tree canoe,” to pull out to a vessel whose mast-head was discovered in the offing. After a row of twelve or fifteen miles we spoke the Bark Fernandina, United States navy, Captain West commanding, were courteously received and furnished a boat's crew and cutter, and with an officer of the vessel reported to General Kilpatrick, who immediately forwarded despatches to the flag-ship.

Having reported again to my brigade, the regiment moved on the seventeenth December with the expedition which destroyed Morgan Lake and River Swamp Trestle, near the Altamaha River, on the Gulf Railroad.

During the campaign, the regiment lost one man killed in action, twelve men wounded, eleven men captured by the enemy, (seven of whom were captured near Shoals of Ogeechee, while foraging for horses,) and nine horses killed.

My report would be incomplete, did I not mention Major D. V. Rannells, Surgeon, who, with remarkable assiduity and great skill, made the condition of our sick and wounded more than ordinarily comfortable on a wearisome march. No labor wearied him, no tax exhausted his patience!

Lieutenant Heath, Regimental Quartermaster, had charge of the train, which marched mostly with infantry columns, and brought it through without loss of a mule, wagon, or a cent's worth of Government property.

Lieutenant George S. Haldemas, Acting Adjutant, on all occasions, rendered me valuable assistance, exhibiting coolness and judgment, which marked him as a young officer of superior talent and worthy promotion.

Captain William Jessup and Captain Alexander C. Rossman were both entitled to muster out on the fourteenth of November last, yet displayed the most admirable gallantry during the campaign, but more especially at Buckhead and Reynolds's plantation. The service is not ornamented with more worthy captains.

Captain Dalzell and Lieutenant Coates, of the First Ohio independent squadron, have a soldierly body of men, and have proved faithful and efficient during the whole campaign.

Lieutenant Joseph E. Overturf, commanding company H, displayed great personal gallantry at Reynolds's Plantation, and commanded his company in such splendid manner, that I am happy to recommend his promotion to Captain in acknowledgment of his services.

The regiment is now in camp near King's Bridge, Georgia.

The various reports in detail required by the department will be forwarded as early as the exigencies of the service will allow.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

Thomas T. Heath, Colonel Fifth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. Captain H. J. Smith, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade, Third Division, Cavalry Corps.


Colonel Hamilton's Report.

King's Bridge, Georgia, December 23, 1864.
Colonel: In compliance with your order, I have the honor to submit the following report of the participation of the Ninth Ohio volunteer cavalry in the events which transpired during the recent advance of the army under Major-General Sherman, through Georgia, ending in the fall of Savannah.

On the ninth day of November, while stationed at Tunnel Hill, Georgia, with part of my regiment, I received a telegram from Brigadier-General Kilpatrick, that my command had been assigned to his cavalry division, which was being organized at Marietta, Georgia; that a portion of my regiment, consisting of three hundred (300) men, under command of Major Bowles, was already with him, and ordering me to report at that point at once, with all the effective men of my command.

I was at the time ill prepared to comply with the order, as I had been informed by Major-General Wilson, Chief of Cavalry, that my regiment had been ordered to report to him at Nashville, and to make my arrangements accordingly; part of my men were consequently lying at Chattanooga, partly dismounted and imperfectly clothed.

After clothing them, I shipped the dismounted men, by General Kilpatrick's order, to Marietta, brought up the mounted men to Tunnel Hill, and on the twelfth November started from there with three hundred and fifty (350) mounted men for Marietta, leaving sixty (60) dismounted men, under Lieutenant Cochran, for whom no transportation could be procured.


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