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[697] as Provost Guard, and did not rejoin the command until after the capture of Columbus.

Captain Whiting, with Companies H and M, Fourth Iowa cavalry, was sent to Grey's Ferry, Tallapoosa river, with directions to destroy the bridge over the Coosa at Wetumkee. He was unable to do this, but in conjunction with Major Weston, Fourth Kentucky, captured and took to Montgomery three steamboats. While the command was marching to Columbus, Captain Young with two hundred men, Tenth Missouri cavalry, was detached from the column at Crawford, and proceeded to Clapp's factory, three miles above Columbus, on the Chattahoochie river, with orders to seize and hold the bridge at that place. It was, however, partially destroyed before he arrived. This brigade reached the point of attack before Columbus about half-past 7 P. M., and at eight o'clock was disposed in the following order:

Six companies Third Iowa cavalry, Colonel Noble commanding, dismounted, in line at right angles to the Summerville road, with the left resting thereon, two hundred yards from one line of the enemy, immediately in front, and about two hundred and fifty yards from his main line on our left; the latter formed behind fortifications running parallel with the Somerville road. The Tenth Missouri cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel F. W. Benteen commanding, on the Somerville road, four hundred yards in rear of the Third Iowa, in column of fours. mounted, and the Fourth Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel John H. Peters commanding, in the same order on a byroad three hundred yards from the point of its intersection with the Summerville road, being thus to the right and rear of the Third Iowa two hundred yards.

The moment we were ready to attack the enemy opened fire in front with small arms, and on the left with shell, canister, and musketry, when the Third Iowa were directed to charge, and in five minutes we were in possession of the rifle-pits in our front. Supposing the captured works to be a portion of the enemy's main line, the Tenth Missouri cavalry were ordered forward at a gallop, and two companies pushed at once to the bridge, nearly three-fourths of a mile distant, securing it with about fifty prisoners. This detachment passed in front and to the rear of the enemy's lines unhurt, but the officer, Captain R. B. M. McGlasson, finding his position untenable, released the prisoners and rejoined his regiment, with loss of one man killed.

When this regiment commenced its forward movement the enemy developed his main line on our left. The Third Iowa was immediately directed to the other position, and this gallant regiment pressed forward vigorously, Captains McKee and Wilson, with about fifty men, penetrating the line, capturing some prisoners and holding the position. The remainder of the Tenth Missouri were now directed to prepare to fight on foot. This command had, however, been thrown into much confusion by the enemy's fire, being only about one hundred yards in front of their best position. The officers had done all they could, but the confusion was almost unavoidable. The Fourth Iowa, which was now immediately in front of the enemy's lines, was dismounted except four companies, and in charge of Captain Abraham, D Company, were pushed into the enemy's works, near where the detachment Third Iowa had secured a lodgement.

In obedience to instructions, when inside the works, Captain Abraham moved directly towards the bridge, not stopping to secure the prisoners, who after being made to throw away their arms, were left where found. Near the end of this line of rifle-pits was a work with six twelve-pounder howitzers, which Captain Abraham at once assaulted, capturing the garrison and armament, together with four ten-pounder Parrott guns, gunners, and caissons, which were in position, and firing near this fort.

Without halting, a portion of his command rushed over the bridge (a covered one), capturing two twelve-pounder howitzers, caissons, &c., on the east end. These two guns were loaded with canister, but the gunners could not fire without killing the rebels flying over the bridge with our men.

The capture of this bridge was in itself a great victory, as it had been fully prepared for sudden and complete destruction. The enemy were unable to fire this structure, which being saved enabled our forces to occupy Columbus, and march immediately upon Macon; any delay at the Chattahoochie would have prevented our forces reaching Macon before the armistice went into effect.

The capture of Columbus involved the fall of Macon. The conduct of this brigade whenever it has been engaged with the enemy, has been highly creditable to the men composing it, and to our cause and country, which it represents. The Brevet Major-General commanding division having been present at every engagement, has full knowledge of the enthusiasm, courage, and determination displayed by officers and men on every occasion. Having personally shared their dangers, I am confident he is ready to award them their full meed of praise. Private Robert C. Woods, A Company, Fourth Iowa cavalry, orderly for Major Woods, A. A. I. G., Fourth division, having been captured in line of duty, escaped, and with the aid of some of his company captured the colonel and his adjutant, who shortly before had held him as a prisoner.

There have been very many instances of individual heroism, while almost every one did all he could. If in this report some persons seem to have done more than well, it must not be inferred that others would not have done equally well if they had been as fortunate in securing opportunities.

During this campaign this brigade has taken in action thirty-one hundred prisoners, including two hundred commissioned officers, eleven stands of colors, thirty-three guns, twenty-five

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