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[232] plantation movable or destructible was carried away next day, or destroyed. Such is the price of war.

By the next night both corps of the Left Wing were at Milledgeville, and on the 24th started for Sandersville. Howard's wing was at Gordon, and it left there on the day that Slocum moved from Milledgeville for Irwin's Crossroads. A hundred miles below Milledgeville was a place called Millen, and here were many Federal prisoners which Sherman greatly desired to release. With this in view he sent Kilpatrick toward Augusta to give the impression that the army was marching thither, lest the Confederates should remove the prisoners from Millen. Kilpatrick had reached Waynesboro when he learned that the prisoners had been taken away. Here he again encountered the Confederate cavalry under General Wheeler. A sharp fight ensued and Kilpatrick drove Wheeler through the town toward Augusta. As there was no further need of making a feint on Augusta, Kilpatrick turned back toward the Left Wing. Wheeler quickly followed and at Thomas' Station nearly surrounded him, but Kilpatrick cut his way out. Wheeler still pressed on and Kilpatrick chose a good position at Buck Head Creek, dismounted, and threw up breastworks. Wheeler attacked desperately, but was repulsed, and Kilpatrick, after being reenforced by a brigade from Davis' corps, joined the Left Wing at Louisville.

On the whole, the great march was but little disturbed by the Confederates. The Georgia militia, probably ten thousand in all, did what they could to defend their homes and their firesides; but their endeavors were futile against the vast hosts that were sweeping through the country. In the skirmishes that took place between Atlanta and the sea the militia was soon brushed aside. Even their destroying of bridges and supplies in front of the invading army checked its progress but for a moment, as it was prepared for every such emergency. Wheeler, with his cavalry, caused more trouble, and engaged Kilpatrick's attention a large part of the time. But even he

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Judson Kilpatrick (14)
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