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[272] McDonough road, the Second division to cover the movement. Before the leading brigade had moved, Pat Cleburne's division of infantry advanced and attacked Long's brigade, which fought splendidly, and although forced to fall back, they did so so slowly that the Third division had time to move. It was in this engagement that General Long received one of his two wounds. His men fought with splendid pluck, and kept at bay one of the best divisions of rebel infantry. The Seventh Pennsylvania and Fourth Michigan were dismounted to cover the retreat of their gallant comrades of the Second brigade, when the Fourth United States got out of ammunition and were sent back with the Third division. Bennett's section of the Board of Trade battery was put in position with the Seventh Pennsylvania and Fourth Michigan. Cleburne was held in check until our led horses had been moved out upon the road. The artillery had been so busily engaged that one of our guns burst, breaking into a thousand pieces, but fortunately injuring nobody.

The night of the twentieth was consumed in marching through the rain and darkness. At one A. M. of the twenty-first, Cotton river was reached and crossed, and the fatigued men and animals bivouacked until daybreak, when they were moved forward again, encountering no enemy. At six A. M. South river was reached by the advance, but the bridge had been destroyed and the river flooded by the rains. The entire column was compelled to swim the stream--one man and about fifty horses and mules were drowned. General Kilpatrick's ambulance was lost in the rapid current of the river, and two wagons that had carried ammunition were destroyed, as the mules were required to remount the men. These were our only losses in crossing, after which the men were once more in the saddle. Lithonia, on the Georgia railroad, left of our lines, was reached that evening, where the first night's rest was obtained, and yesterday the worn-out men and horses returned to camp in rear of our infantry line.

During the first three days and nights no officer or man had an hour's sleep. From the time the command left the rear of our left, on the eighteenth, until it returned to the same point on the night of the twenty-second (four days), the men partook of but three meals — of coffee and hard bread — nothing more. The horses subsisted on the country.

The results of this raid are not as complete as we should wish. While nearly a thousand prisoners were captured, and quite a number of horses, only about seventy-five of the former were retained while cutting through the heavy force of rebel infantry, cavalry, and artillery. The damage to the railway can be repaired in two or three days. A train of loaded cars was destroyed below Jonesboroa, by Colonel Kline's command, which was sent out on a detached raid further south. A vast amount of damage was done at Jonesboroa to public property. Considering that Kilpatrick's five thousand men had, probably, twelve thousand surrounding them, all must admit that this is a brilliant, if not a highly successful raid.

Colonel Minty estimates the rebel killed alone greater than our entire loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Our loss in Minty's and Long's brigades and the battery was two hundred and twenty; that of the Third brigade, about ninety-four; total, three hundred and fourteen. The rebel loss cannot be less than one thousand in all.

The closing days of the siege.

August 25.--The multitudinous preparations for the grand coup have been made quickly and thoroughly. Superfluous wagons with baggage have been sent to the rear to be parked at the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee. Hospital trains conveyed the sick and wounded to the rear. Fifteen days supplies have been brought up. Rations for three days are placed in the haversacks of the men — the remaining twelve are loaded on the supply trains, and gathered near Vining's Station, on the north bank of the Chattahoochee river. Regiments are cut down to a single baggage wagon. Sixty rounds of ammunition have been issued to each man carrying a musket, and the ammunition wagons are replenished. When the sun goes down on Wednesday, the twenty-fifth of August, everything will be in readiness. What a felicitous moment for a proclamatory General What a gushing bulletin might have been issued to the troops, asking much in enthusiastic language, promising much in florid periods! Sherman has simply published an order, “You will march at such and such an hour.” He asked nothing, promised nothing; but no troops know better than those he commands, how much is asked and how much is to be achieved under his leadership.

In one continuous line, in order of march, the six corps accompanying Sherman, with their trains, will make a line fifty miles long. The wagons alone, over three thousand in number, reach, on the march, for thirty miles. From this may be seen the immense labor required to perfect the details of the movement. Sherman, evidently, will be compelled to move troops and trains by parallel roads, and he must, therefore, know not only every public avenue in the country into which he moves, but be conversant with its minute topography, and able to tell where roads might be cut in localities where none existed. It is almost essential that the army have five parallel roads. It would cover that number for ten miles completely.

The public animals are in fair, not prime, condition. Many teams are cut down from their complement of six mules to five and four. This partial defection in the grand military motor — the mule — will not, however, cripple the transportation. The moiety of an ass is capable of bearing up under much lankiness gracefully.

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