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[506] the Chattahochee, and capturing fifty-two field guns in position, besides twelve hundred prisoners. The rebel ram “Jackson,” nearly ready for sea, and carrying an armament of six seven-inch guns, fell into our hands and was destroyed, as well as the navy-yard, foundries, the arsenal and the armory, sword and pistol factory, accoutrements, shops, paper-mills, four cotton factories, fifteen locomotives, two hundred cars, and an immense amount of cotton, all of which were burned. The same day, the sixteenth of April, La Grange captured Fort Taylor, at West Point, above Columbus, on the Chattahochee, after assaulting it on three sides, the defence being stubborn. Three hundred prisoners, three guns, and several battle-flags were taken, besides a large quantity of supplies.

On the eighteenth the march toward Macon was resumed, Minty's (late Long's) division leading. By a forced march, the bridges across Flint river, fifty-four miles from Columbus, were secured, compelling the abandonment by the enemy of five field-guns and a large amount of machinery; forty prisoners were captured, and two cotton factories destroyed.. At six P. M. on the twentieth of April, the authorities of Macon, under protest, surrendered the city to the Seventeenth Indiana, Colonel Minty's advance regiment, claiming, under the provisions of an armistice then reported existing between the forces of Generals Sherman and Johnston, that the capture was contrary to the usages of war. General Wilson, not being at hand when the surrender was made, when the case was reported to him, with admirable good judgment, declined to recognize the validity of the claim asserted, as the city had been taken possession of by one of his subordinates before he (General Wilson) could be advised of the existence of an armistice, and he therefore held as prisoners of war Major-Generals Howell Cobb and G. W. Smith, and Brigadier-Generals Mackall, Robertson, and Mercer. On the twenty-first, General Wilson was notified by General Sherman, from Raleigh, North Carolina, over the enemy's telegraph wires, and through the headquarters of General Joseph Johnston, that the reported armistice was a reality, and that he was to cease further operations.

To return to General Stoneman's expedition from East Tennessee. Owing to the difficulty of procuring animals for his command, and the bad condition of the roads, General Stoneman was only enabled to start from Knoxville about the twentieth of March, simultaneously with General Wilson's departure from Chickasaw, Alabama. In the meantime General Sherman had captured Columbia, South Carolina, and was moving northward into North Carolina. About this period reports reached me of the possibility of the evacuation of Lee's army at Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, and in that event, of his forcing a passage through East Tennessee via Lynchburg and Knoxville. To guard against that contingency, Stoneman was sent toward Lynchburg to destroy the railroad and military resources of that section, and of Western North Carolina. The Fourth Army Corps was ordered to move from Huntsville, Alabama, as far up into East Tennessee as it could supply itself, repairing the railroad as it advanced, forming, in conjunction with Tilson's division of infantry, a strong support for General Stoneman's column, in case it should find more of the enemy than it could conveniently handle, and be obliged to fall back.

With three brigades, Brown's, Miller's, and Palmer's, commanded by General Gillem, General Stoneman moved via Morristown, Bull Gap, and thence eastward up the Watauga, and across Iron mountain to Boone, North Carolina, which he entered on the first of April, after killing or capturing about seventy-five home guards. From Boone, he crossed the Blue Ridge, and went to Wilkesboroa, on the Yadkin, where supplies were obtained in abundance, after which he changed his course toward South-western Virginia.

A detachment was sent to Wytheville, and another to Salem, to destroy the enemy's depots at those places, and the railroad, while the main body marched on Christianburg and captured the place. The railroad to the eastward and westward of the town was destroyed for a considerable distance. The party sent to Wytheville captured that place after some fighting, and burned the railroad bridges over New river and several creeks, as well as the depots of supplies. The detachment sent to Salem did the same, and proceeded to within four miles of Lynchburg, destroying as they advanced.

A railroad was never more thoroughly dismantled than was the East Tennesse and Virginia railroad, from Wytheville to near Lynchburg.

Concentrating his command, General Stoneman returned to North Carolina, via Jacksonville and Taylorsville, and went to Germantown, whence Palmer's brigade was sent to Salem, North Carolina, to destroy the large cotton factories located there, and burn the bridges on the railroad betwen Greensboroa and Danville, and between Greensboroa and the Yadkin river, which was most thoroughly accomplished, after some fighting, by which we captured about four hundred prisoners.

At Salem, seven thousand bales of cotton were burned by our forces.

From Germantown the main body moved south to Salisbury, where they found about three thousand of the enemy defending the place, and drawn up in line of battle behind Grant's creek, to await Stoneman's attack. Without hesitation, a general charge was made by our men, resulting in the capture of all the enemy's artillery, fourteen pieces, and one thousand three hundred and sixty-four prisoners. The remainder scattered, and were pursued.

During the two days following, the troops were engaged destroying the immense depots of supplies of all kinds in Salisbury, and burning


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