They were unable, however, to remove their commissary stores and other supplies, which fell into our hands. About one hundred thousand rations of sugar and salt, and twenty thousand rations of flour and bacon, and a number of boxes of tobacco, were taken — the command supplied with what they needed and the rest destroyed. The railroad depot was burned, with the contents, consisting of leather, nitre, grain sacks, one hundred sacks of flour, three hundred bushels of wheat, five hundred barrels of salt, four platform scales, a lot of shoes, cotton, and other articles. Two freight cars on the track were also burned. In the hospital were one hundred and forty-three sick and wounded soldiers, who were paroled. A gun factory in town, which has done a large amount of work for the rebel army, principally in the way of repairing, was effectually destroyed by breaking the machinery. The building itself could not be burned without destroying a part of the town, which General Rousseau would not permit to be done. Another larger establishment of the same kind, outside of the town, was destroyed by the rebels themselves before leaving. Several cases of muskets were found stored in a stable, and were destroyed. After resting a few hours in the heat of the day, the command again moved on at four oclock in the evening. The direction was nearly south, and gave the rebels the impression that the Coosa bridge was the point aimed at. From Montgomery and Selma papers, afterwards obtained, it was learned that they were convinced that such was the object, and had disposed their forces accordingly, which, no doubt, saved the command considerable annoyance, as our rout was left clear. We were moving in the general direction of Montgomery, and the news caused great consternation in that rebel capital. Marching until mid-night, the command passed the little village of Syllacauga, and halted twenty-five miles from Talladega, unannoyed by the rebels, who were, no doubt, busily at work fortifying themselves at the bridge, which we had left perhaps twenty miles to our right and rear, having had but two or three hours sleep the previous night, and a wearisome march through the day, the men were nearly overcome with fatigue and drowsiness, and as soon as the halt was made dropped themselves on the ground to seek repose. July 16th.--An early start and a march of fifteen miles, brought the command to Bradford, where a cotton factory was in operation. Here a halt was made, and several hours' rest taken. A case of barbarous punishment occurred recently in the vicinity of Saccapatoy, a village a mile or two from Bradford, which would be incredible, were it not supported by the testimony of eye-witnesses, and had not slavery and secession together turned men into fiends. A negro, charged with having killed his master, was arrested by the citizens of the neighborhood, tied to a tree, and burned to death. His torture was, no doubt, to some extent, mitigated by the very means used to make it severe. Dry pitch-pine was piled up closely around him, which burned so rapidly, and poured out such a dense smoke, that he was almost instantly suffocated. A witness stated that he never screamed or groaned, but seemed to suffocate at once. At Youngville a quantity of rebel grain and bacon was obtained. In every county there are several depots for receiving the “tax in kind” imposed by the Confederate Government, being one-tenth of all productions of the soil. These are gathered in by agents, and sent off wherever ordered for the supply of the army. At these points the expedition found supplies ready for their use. The Tallapoosa river was yet to be crossed before reaching the destination of the expedition. It is fordable in but few places, and the fords rather difficult for artillery. It was important, therefore, to obtain possession of a ferry. Information was obtained of an old ford near Stowe's ferry, and General Rousseau decided upon crossing at that point. The night march from Talladega, and the pressing forward during the day, had prevented news of our approach getting much ahead of us, and on arriving at the ferry in the night it was found to be all right — a rope stretching across the river and the ferryboat in working order. The artillery and pack train were crossed over the ferry, and the rest of the command forded the river half a mile, above. The fording was difficult, and the passage was not accomplished until two o'clock in the morning, but all got over safely. The day's march was about thirty-five miles. July 17th.--The expedition was now within one day's march (about thirty miles) of the Atlanta and Montgomery Railroad--a road of the utmost importance to the rebel army, being the one over which the greater portion of their supplies were drawn, and forming the line of communication with the Southwest, General Rousseau determined to push rapidly forward to reach it before night. Just as the command was about starting, the videttes fired upon a small party approaching them, and succeeded in capturing two and killing one. The one killed was a Captain Mason, in command of a scouting party from Dadeville on the way to destroy the ferry to prevent our crossing, rumors of our approach having reached them, but with no definiteness. They were a little two late to accomplish their object. No other party of rebels was met during the day. Passing through Dadeville, the march was continued toward the railroad at Loachepoka station. Three miles from the railroad a rebel officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Craig, of the Tenth Texas. cavalry, was captured by the advanced guard at a house where he was enjoying himself in the society of a bevy of young ladies. He was completely taken by surprise, and was much chagrined at his capture. A tall, elegant-looking
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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