enemy's territory, and immediately took measures to receive the surrender of the enemy's establishments at Atlanta and Augusta, and to occupy those points, detailing for that purpose Brevet Major-General Upton, with his division. General McCook was sent with a force to occupy Tallahassee, Florida, and to receive the surrender of the troops in that vicinity. Thus a cordon of cavalry, more or less continuous, was extended across the State of Georgia from northwest to south-east, and communication established through the late so-called Southern Confederacy. With characteristic energy, Generals Wilson and Palmer had handbills printed and profusely circulated in all directions throughout the country, offering the President's reward for the apprehension of Davis, and nothing could exceed the watchfulness exhibited by their commands. On the third of May, Davis dismissed his escort at Washington, Georgia, and accompanied by about half a dozen followers, set out to endeavor to pass our lines. Nothing definite was learned of the whereabouts of the fugitives until on the evening of the seventh of May, the First Wisconsin cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Harndon commanding, with one hundred and fifty men, ascertained at Dublin, on the Oconee river, fifty-five miles south-east from Macon, that Davis and party had crossed the river at that point during the day, and had moved out on the Jacksonville road. At daylight on the eighth Colonel Harndon continued the pursuit, finding the camp occupied by Davis on the evening previous, between the forks of Alligator creek, which was reached just four hours after it had been vacated. The trail was pursued as far as the ford over Gum Swamp creek, Pulaski county, when darkness rendered it too indistinct to follow, and the command encamped for the night, having marched forty miles that day. On the ninth Colonel Harndon pushed on to the Ocmulgee river, crossed at Brown's ferry, and went to Abbeville, where he ascertained Davis' train had left that place at one A. M. that same day, and had gone toward Irwinsville, in Irwin county. With this information Colonel Harndon moved rapidly on toward the latter town, halting within a short distance of it to wait for daylight, in order to make certain of the capture. Before leaving Abbeville, Colonel Harndon, learning of the approach, from the direction of Hawkinsville, of the Fourth Michigan cavalry, Colonel Pritchard commanding, went to meet that officer, and informed him of his close pursuit of Davis, Colonel Pritchard stating in reply that he had been sent to Abbeville also, to watch for Davis. After Colonel Harndon's departure, Colonel Pritchard, with part of his command, started for Irwinsville by a more direct route than that used by the detachment of the First Wisconsin, arriving at Irwinsville at two A. M. on the tenth, where, on inquiry, it was ascertained that there was a camp about a mile from town on the other road leading to Abbeville. Approaching cautiously, for fear it might be our own men, Colonel Pritchard sent a dismounted party to interpose between it and Abbeville, and then waited for daylight to move forward and surprise the occupants. Daylight appearing, a rapid advance was made, and the encampment surprised, resulting in the capture of Jefferson Davis and family, John H. Reagan, postmaster-general of the so-called Confederacy, two aides-de-camp, the private secretary of Davis, four other officers, and eleven enlisted men. Almost immediately after the completion of the above movement, Colonel Harndon's men coming down the Abbeville road were hailed by the party sent out during the night by Colonel Pritchard to secure the capture of the camp, and on being challenged answered “Friends,” but fell back, under the impression they had come upon an enemy; whereupon shots were exchanged before the real position of affairs could be ascertained, resulting in the loss on one side of two men killed and one wounded, and of three wounded on the other. Considerable feeling was caused by the manner in which the Fourth Michigan effected the apprehension of Davis, to the detriment of Colonel Harndon's party, but great credit is justly due and should be given to the First Wisconsin cavalry for the persistency of its pursuit, and it is only to be regretted they did not arrive on the ground in time to reap the benefit of their labors. For the full particulars of the operations of both detachments I have the pleasure of referring you to the reports of Lieutenant-Colonel Harndon, First Wisconsin, and Captain Hathaway, Fourth Michigan. With the surrender of Johnston's army to General Sherman all the detachments of the Confederate armies east of the Chattahoochee signified their willingness to surrender, except a few guerrilla bands who were outlawed, special directions being given to grant all such no quarter. On the seventh of May notification was received by me, via Eastport and Meridian, Mississippi, of the surrender of General Taylor's army to General Canby, at Citronnella, Alabama, on the fourth. No armed force of the enemy east of the Mississippi remaining to interfere, I gave orders for the occupation by my forces of such portions of the reclaimed territory as it was necessary to hold while telegraphic and railroad communication was being restored, to the accomplishment of which the people of the country zealously gave their assistance. May sixteenth General Grant, through his Chief of Staff, General Rawlins, directed me to order to some point north of the Tennessee river all of Wilson's cavalry except four thousand veterans, who are to remain at Macon, Augusta, and Atlanta, Georgia; those returning to be concentrated at some convenient point in Tennessee or Kentucky, preparatory to being mustered out or otherwise disposed of. All convalescents and others about the hospitals
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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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