The same day on which the Twenty-third corps effected the crossing of the river (the eighth), Colonel Garrard's cavalry also crossed at Roswell, but about an hour later than this corps Having marched rapidly, the day before, upon the large cotton factory at that point, he took it altogether by surprise, destroying a vast quantity of army canvas, which was extensively manufactured there, and taking captive four hundred factory girls. The latter capture was certainly a novel one in the history of wars, and excited not a little discussion as to the disposition which was proper to be made of the fair captives. Giving “aid and comfort to the enemy” they most assuredly were, and much valuable tent-cloth; but in the case of many of them, it was an involuntary service, since they had been confined and compelled to labor there without cessation from the breaking out of the rebellion. Then, too, the cartel makes no provisions touching the exchange of prisoners of this sort; neither would it do to send them across the lines to their former employers, since they would immediately be set to the manufacture of tents again; nor was it at all safe to discharge them unconditionally in the midst of two great armies, many of them far removed from their friends and helpless. Thus red tape was about to become involved in a hopeless entanglement with crinoline, tent-cloth, and cartels, when General Sherman interposed and solved the knotty question by loading them into one hundred and ten wagons, and sending them to Marietta, to be sent north of the Ohio, and set at liberty. Only think of it! Four hundred weeping and terrified Ellens, Susans, and Maggies transported in the springless and seatless army wagons, away from their lovers and brothers of the sunny South, and all for the offence of weaving tentcloth and spinning stocking-yarn! However, I leave the whole business to be adjudged according to its merits by your readers. July 9.--The Twenty-third corps having crossed the river the evening before, and thrown up a small semi-circle of such works as they could construct in the darkness and thickets, began with the earliest light to extend the lines of defence to embrace a much wider area, and selected eligible sites for placing the artillery. Every preparation was made to meet the largest force the enemy could bring against them, though no demonstration was made during the day. They were sufficiently occupied watching our right, fourteen miles below, and could spare no force to attempt the dislodgement of the corps. During the day Colonel Sherman, Chief of Staff to General Howard, was taken prisoner in the following manner: He was riding out entirely unattended except by an orderly, and passed over a portion of the road which our pickets had occupied the day before, but from which they had been withdrawn in the night without the Colonel's knowledge. Expecting to meet them, he rode out on a reconnoissance, and before he was aware of it, was right in the midst of the rebel pickets, who took him without giving a shot. His fate was unknown until the rebel pickets called across the river to ours that they had got “old Sherman.” From this it was supposed he was unhurt, and was mistaken by the soldiers for the General. Just below the infantry forces of the Army of the Ohio is stationed a small body of cavalry, connecting between the Fourth and Twenty third corps, a part of which is Colonel Jim Brownlow's regiment of East Tennesseeans. Opposite this regiment, the river makes a short bend around a narrow point of land, on which the rebels kept a small picket of observation. These fellows had annoyed the Colonel's men in their bathing and foraging operations, and he determined either to dislodge or capture them. Accordingly, he ordered a few men to strip themselves, and with their cartridge-boxes tied about their necks, to ford the river in front of the rebels and attack them. This they did, directly in the face of a galling fire, and while they thus attracted the rebels' attention, the Colonel, at the head of seven men, crossed in a canoe above, came in the rear of the picket, and succeeded in taking three of them. The remaining nine fled into the thickets, and made good their escape. It will be gratiying to the friends of the Colonel to learn that he has lately been mustered in as the Colonel of the regiment, having previously held the position of Lieutenant-Colonel. July 10.--The announcement which I made in a previous letter, that the rebels had crossed all their forces over the river in our front, was (to use the words of General Sherman) “premature.” They had at the time disappeared entirely in front of the Fourth and Fourteenth corps, but Hood's corps defiantly maintained a hold upon this side, in front of the Twentieth and Fifteenth corps, until the night of the ninth. But the pressure upon them from our artillery gradually became too heavy, and on that night they withdrew finally and fully to the south bank of the Chattahoochee, and in the morning the smoke of the railroad bridge in flames was visible to the entire army. As soon as it was certainly ascertained that they had crossed, orders were issued for the Fourth corps to march at once up the river and take up a position on the north bank, ready to support the Twenty-third corps, in case they should be attacked, as was expected they would be. This morning the corps is in camp at this ford, with the exception of General Newton's division, which marched to Roswell and crossed the river there on the ninth, at two o'clock in the afternoon. One corps also, of the Army of the Tennessee (I cannot learn which), had made a circuitous march to the rear and left, and is probably across the river this morning, at a point about ten miles above here. Thus, it will be seen that the army is slowly executing another great flanking movement — this time to the left, as the previous two had been to the right. The entire success with
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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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