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[195] the Eighth Indiana were brought up, and an advance again made. Major Baird, with two companies of the Fifth Iowa, moving on the left of the road, supported by two companies of the Eighth Indiana, and Colonel Jones, with four companies of the Eighth on the right side. The rebels were met in Major Baird's front and an obstinate fight ensued, but they were pressed back until they finally gained a position in a small ravine running down from the railroad, from which they poured a heavy fire upon our men, who could not advance upon them from the front without heavy loss. Both sides held their positions for some time, until two companies of the Eighth Indiana were sent across from the right side of the railroad, turned the rebels' left and got into their rear, pouring in a murderous fire with their Spencer rifles, while the Fifth Iowa assaulted them in front. The rebels were routed from their position and fled, leaving over forty dead and and a large number of wounded on the field. The Fifth Iowa lost one killed and four wounded. Finding that the rebels were in considerable force, and were prepared to make an obstinate defence, and that to drive them completely from the road would require a withdrawal of a portion of the forces engaged in destroying the track, General Rousseau ordered that portion of the command back, the track having in the meantime been destroyed several miles below Notasulga. Returning through Loackepoka, Colonel Hamilton's command was overtaken between Auburn and Opelika, and the whole division bivouacked for the night.

July 19th.--In the morning Colonel Harrison, with a part of the Eighth Indiana and the Second Kentucky, continued the work of destruction toward Opelika, and the rest of the command marched by a road leading to the right of the railroad, and reached the Columbus Railroad, a mile or two east of Opelika. This road forms part of a line connecting Macon with the Atlanta and Montgomery Railroad at Opelika. The Ninth Ohio commenced operations on this track, and destroyed it as far as the junction, where they connected with Colonel Harrison, who had moved up the other road.

A detachment under direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick, destroyed the depot buildings, turn-tables, cars, switches, &c., at the junction, and several miles of track toward Atlanta. There were six cars on the track filled with leather, nails, and other supplies, for the rebel army. Thirty boxes of tobacco were also seized and issued to the men. About seventy-five thousand rations of sugar, and thirty thousand of flour and bacon were obtained, and after supplying the command, the remainder was destroyed.

The work for which the expedition was sent out was now thoroughly accomplished. It had marched over three hundred miles in nine days--penetrated one hundred and nine miles in the rear of Johnston's army — destroyed thirty miles of railroad track, with its depot buildings, water-tanks, switches, turn-tables, etc., one locomotive, a number of cars, and large quantities of supplies and material. As a rebel prisoner aptly remarked, it made “a big hole in Johnston's haversack.” The rapidity and boldness of the movement struck terror into the heart of rebeldom, and caused such bewilderment that no serious opposition was made to the progress of the expedition.

In the afternoon the work of destruction ceased, and the command took up the line of march to return. Following the railroad for some distance toward West Point, it diverged to the left, moving northwardly to Lafayette, twelve miles from Opelika. Here rumors came in thick and fast of a large force of rebel cavalry approaching from the north, having crossed the Chattahootchee at Franklin to intercept our retreat. At West Point, twelve miles to the right and rear, the rebels were gathering all the forces they could muster, and for a time the prospect of a successful retreat looked rather gloomy. General Rousseau, however, after carefully sifting the rumors, determined to move on in the direction he had started, and fight the way through, if necessary. The march was continued until midnight, and a halt made twelve miles from Lafayette, without hearing anything of the enemy.

July 20th.--Reveille was sounded at three o'clock, and the march resumed. Misled by a mistake of a guide, a road leading toward West Point was taken, but the error was discovered before much distance was lost, and a road found leading toward Rocky Mills on the route selected. A march of thirty-five miles was made, and about nine o'clock the command went into bivouac for the night. The route during the day was nearly parallel with the Chattahoochee, and with the railroad from West Point to Atlanta, and from ten to twenty miles distant from it. There are many roads running from the railroad and river across to that on which we were moving, and it was expected that the rebels would move across on one or more of these to intercept our retreat or harass our rear; but one after another of these intersecting roads was passed, and still no rebel force made its appearance.

July 21st.--The command marched thirty-six miles, passing through Carrollton and Villa Rica, and bivouacked three miles from the latter place. The advance met a party of about twenty rebels, and captured three of them, who represented themselves as scouts detailed by order of General Johnston, and then on service for General Jackson, commanding a rebel cavalry force. They were taken by surprise at our approach, having had no intimation of our coming. We learned that a small cavalry force from General Sherman's army had been at Carrollton a few days ago, and had returned toward Marietta. General Stoneman's pickets were reported to be near Powder Springs, sixteen miles in advance of us.

July 22d.--The expedition reached Powder Springs about eleven o'clock and found a Federal

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