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[167]

Upon reaching Calhoun, I found the railroad destroyed, and communication with the front cut off. We pushed forward, however, and when five miles south of that place, were fired into by a party of the enemy, seriously wounding one man. Upon arriving at the Etowah River,I found the bridge had been destroyed by the rear of our troops, who had crossed twenty-four (24) hours previously. I, however, cleared out an old ford which had been blockaded, and effected a crossing with my men and wagons, and pressed forward until I overtook the rear of the army on the banks of the Chattahoochee, having travelled the last eighty (80) miles in thirty-six (36) hours.

I overtook and reported to General Kilpatrick, a few miles beyond Lovejoy Station, November seventeenth, and joined that portion of the regiment under Major Bowles in the Second brigade, Colonel Atkins commanding. We proceeded south without opposition, until arriving before Macon. In the demonstration upon that place, I sent one battalion, under command of Major Bowles,to burn the railroad bridge across the Ocmulgee River and to tear up the road. The bridge was found, however, to be strongly defended by the enemy's artillery, which opened a heavy fire, thus preventing the destruction of the bridge. Major Bowles, however, destroyed the road until within about one hundred yards of the bridge. I, with the balance of the regiment, occupied our left flank, destroying the railroad, until ordered to withdraw and go into camp. In this affair, the regiment met with no loss.

From Macon, our march was harassed by the enemy's cavalry under General Wheeler, with whom we had occasional skirmishing, and on the twenty-eighth November, General Kilpatrick made a stand, building a strong line of breast-works, at a place known as the White House, and awaited the approach of the enemy. Here my command was posted, one battalion mounted as a reserve, under Major Bowles, and two battalions dismounted in the centre, supporting the artillery. The enemy charged in column along the road on our front and left, and in line in our front and right, but were repulsed twice by our line of skirmishers, thrown out four hundred (400) yards in our advance, commanded by Sergeant (now Lieutenant) Briner. I beg leave to say that this line behaved admirably, standing firmly in an open field, and holding the enemy in check after the line on the right and left had been withdrawn, finely falling back as the enemy advanced, who, when within one hundred and fifty (150) yards of our works were met by a heavy fire from our main force, which drove them in disorder from the field, leaving a number of killed and wounded in front of my command. Our loss was none killed, three wounded, none missing.

My command next encountered the enemy on the morning of December fourth, before Waynesboro. Our brigade being in the advance, I was ordered to deploy my regiment in three lines on the left flank. We moved forward in this form, for more than a mile, driving the enemy before, when, by order of General Kilpatrick, I sent forward the first battalion, under Major Bowles, to charge the enemy, drawn up in line of battle in a field upon our extreme left. This Major Bowles did in a most gallant manner, driving them from their position through a swamp into the woods toward Waynesboro. In the mean while the enemy had formed his line across the railroad upon a stream near the town, and prepared to make a vigorous resistance to our advance. Here I was directed by you to charge his right. I at once formed the two battalions into one line, giving Lieutenant-Colonel Stough command of the left, with directions to prevent a counter-movement on their part on their extreme right, which the presence of a thicket could enable them to do under cover; and with the right, I charged upon their front, driving them through a swamp and across the stream, killing and wounding quite a number, most of whom they were compelled to leave upon the field. They also lost quite a number of horses in their flight.

Lieutenant-Colonel Stough brought up the left and gallantly assisted in driving the enemy. We crossed the stream, and were forming for a second charge, when I received orders to return and give place to the First brigade, which had come up to relieve us. In this engagement I lost none killed, and four (4) wounded.

Our next encounter with the enemy was on the seventh December. While the column was crossing through a swamp near Ebenezer Creek, the enemy, who had not made his appearance since the engagement at Waynesboro, came upon our rear, consisting of the Ninth Michigan cavalry. While the rear of the column was waiting for the advance to cross, I, being next in advance of the Ninth Michigan cavalry, took two companies, A and B, of my regiment, and went back to assist Colonel Acker, Ninth Michigan cavalry, taking a position and deploying upon his extreme left, in front of a road running off from the main road in that direction. The ground was covered with thick underbrush, which prevented us from seeing the movements of the enemy. After remaining here a few minutes, we discovered a strong force moving immediately in our front, who, from their uniform, I supposed to be Colonel Acker's men. The enemy, however, evidently aware of the road above mentioned, had made a flank movement, under cover of the thicket, and were approaching, with a view of cutting off the rear-guard. Discovering their true character, I opened a heavy fire upon them, checking them for an instant; but gathering, they rushed forward, part of their extended line gaining the road in our rear, near a point touched by the extreme of a swamp ; and would thus have cut us off, had they not been held back by the fire of another company which I had fortunately left to guard that point, thereby enabling us to get around and form in the open ground between the swamp and the main road upon which our column was moving.

The enemy seeming determined to produce confusion in our column, pressed forward vigorously in heavy force; to check which, I found it necessary to send for company after company, until two battalions


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