as rapidly as circumstances would permit. This was rendered safe by the fact that Forrest's forces were at that time near West Point, Mississippi, one hundred and fifty miles south-west of East Port, while Roddy's occupied Montevallo, on the Alabama and Tennessee River railroad, nearly the same distance to the south-east. By starting on diverging roads, the enemy was left in doubt as to our real object, and compelled to watch equally Columbus, Tuscaloosa and Selma. Upton's division, followed by his train, marched rapidly by the most easterly route, passing by Barton's station, Throgmorton's Mills, Russelville, Mount Hope, and Jasper, to Sanders' ferry, on the west fork of the Black Warrior river. Long's division marched by the way of Cherokee station and Frankfort, but being encumbered by the pontoon train, and having mistaken the road by which it should have ascended the mountain, was considerably delayed in reaching Russelville. From this place it marched directly south by the Tuscaloosa road till it crossed Upper Bear creek; thence turned to the eastward by the head of Buttahatchie creek, crossed Byler's road near Thorn Hill, and struck Blackwater creek, about twenty-five miles from Jasper. The crossing of the last mentioned stream, and the road for six miles beyond, were as bad as could be, but by industry everything was forced through to Jasper and the ford on the Warrior with but little loss of time. McCook's division pursued the same route, to Bear creek, or the Tuscaloosa road, but instead of turning to the eastward at that place, continued the march toward Tuscaloosa as far as Eldridge, and thence east to Jasper. In this order the different divisions arrived at and crossed the two forks of the Black Warrior river. The ford on the west branch was extremely difficult of approach as well as of passage. The country on both sides very rugged, and six or seven hundred feet above the bed of the stream, was entirely destitute of forage; the stream itself was at the time likely to become entirely impassable by the rain which threatened to occur at any moment. I had also heard at Jasper, on the twenty-seventh, that a part of Forest's force, under Chalmers, was marching by the way of Bridgeville toward Tuscaloosa, and knew that if the true direction of our movement had been discovered, it would be but a short time till the balance of the rebel cavalry would push in the same direction. I therefore directed my division commanders to replenish the haversacks, see that the pack animals were fully laden, to leave all the wagons except the artillery, and march with the greatest possible rapidity via Elytown to Montevallo. I felt confident that the enemy would not relinquish his efforts to check the movement of the troops in the hope of destroying our supply train. I therefore left it between the two streams with instructions to push on as far as Elytown, where it would receive further orders. By great energy on the part of commanding officers, the two branches of the Warrior were crossed, each division losing a few horses but no men. At Elytown, on the evening of the thirtieth, I directed General McCook to detach Croxton's brigade, with orders to move on Tuscaloosa as rapidly as possible, burn the public stores, military school, bridges, foundries and factories at that place, return toward the main column by the way of the Centreville road, and rejoin it at or in the vicinity of Selma. Besides covering our trains and inflicting a heavy blow upon the enemy, I hoped by this detachment to develop any movement on his part intended to intercept my main column. General Upton's division encountered a few rebel cavalry at Elytown, but pushed them rapidly across the Cahawba river to Montevallo. The rebels having felled trees into the ford and otherwise obstructed it, the railroad bridge near Hillsboro was floored over by General Winslow. General Upton crossed his division and pushed on rapidly to Montevallo, where he arrived late on the evening of the thirtieth. Long and McCook marched by the same route. In this region General Upton's division destroyed the Red Mountain, Central, Bibb, and Columbiana iron works, Cahawba rolling-mills, five collieries and much valuable property, all of these establishments were of great extent and in full operation. I arrived at Montevallo at one P. M., March thirty-first, where I found Upton's division ready to resume the march. Directly after the enemy made his appearance on the Selma road. By my direction General Upton moved his division out at once, General Alexander's brigade in advance. After a sharp fight and a handsome charge, General Alexander drove the rebel cavalry, a part of Crossland's Kentucky brigade and Roddy's division, rapidly and in great confusion toward Randolph. The enemy endeavoring to make a stand at a creek four or five miles south of Montevallo. General Upton placed in position and opened Rodney's battery “I” Fourth United States artillery, and passing Winslow's brigade to the front, they again beat a hasty retreat, closely pursued and repeatedly charged by Winslow's advance. About fifty prisoners were taken with their arms and accoutrements, and much other loose materials were abandoned. The gallantry of men and officers had been most conspicuous throughout the day, and had resulted already in the establishment of a moral supremacy for the corps. Upton's division bivouacked fourteen miles south of Montevallo, and at dawn of the next day, April first, pushed forward to Randolph. At this point, in pursuance of the order of march for the day, General Upton turned to the east for the purpose of going by the way of Old Maplesville and thence by the old Selma road, while General Long was instructed to push forward on the new road. At Randolph, General Upton captured a rebel courier just from Centreville, and from his person
This text is part of:
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 .
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.