previous next

[707] Mary's hospital. The transportation of so many sick and wounded had been found to be a serious incumbrance on the march, and it had, therefore, been determined to leave them at this city. There were, accordingly, sufficient quantities of commissary stores and medicines left in the hospital for the wants of the sick and wounded There were left in Montgomery one hundred and forty-four men under charge of Assistant Surgeon Done, Seventeenth Indiana mounted infantry.

April fourteenth. Started for Columbus at eight A. M.; weather pleasant and roads excellent. Marched due east twenty miles and then camped.

April fifteenth. Started at half-past 7 o'clock, A. M., Upton way ahead; weather cloudy and threatening rain. Arrived at Tuskeegee, forty-two miles from Montgomery, at two o'clock P. M. Tuskeegee is a village of three thousand inhabitants, a county seat. It has a jail, courthouse, and young ladies' seminary. Left Tuskeegee at five o'clock. It began to rain just as we left Tuskeegee, and continued to do so for two hours. Camped at last at seven o'clock at a farm house forty-eight miles from Montgomery, and thirty-six from Columbus.

April sixteenth. Commenced our march at seven o'clock. The country passed over is not so fertile as in the immediate vicinity of Selma, and has been worn out by the defective system of agriculture. We passed through Society Hill and two other small villages on our route. General Upton again led the advance; weather was fine and the roads were in good order. We arrived opposite Columbus at three P. M., and found General Upton preparing to attack the works. The attack began at seven o'clock, P. M., and notwithstanding the resistance of the enemy, who were intrenched on the neighboring hills, our forces drove them from their breastworks, and captured the bridges leading over the Chattahoochie river to the city The attack was made exclusively by the Fourth division; our loss was but twenty-eight wounded and five killed. There were captured from the enemy nearly two thousand prisoners, a large quantity of arms and ammunition, and all the government stores, shops, and arsenals in the city itself. Columbus was a city of nearly twenty thousand inhabitants, and is situated on the east bank of the Chattahoochie river. It was connected with the Alabama bank by three bridges at the time of its occupation by our forces. It was a place of considerable importance as a manufacturing town, having a number of mills and workshops of different kinds. While the main body of troops were thus engaged Colonel La Grange had been detached at Opelika, and ordered to destroy the railroad and the depots at West Point. Arriving there on April sixteenth he attacked and carried the fortifications, built to defend the place, though not until after a severe struggle, in which we lost in killed and wounded thirty-nine men, of whom seven were killed.

April seventeenth. The women and children who had been employed in the factories and arsenals turned out with one accord to pillage the stores and the government warehouses. The government buildings were burned, with the exception of the hospitals. It was determined to leave our sick and wounded, with a proper amount of stores of all kinds, in the hospitals of the city; Assistant-Surgeon Whetton, Third Iowa cavalry, was detailed to take charge of them. In all, thirty-five patients were left at Columbus.

April eighteenth. Bridges over the Chattahoochie were burned, together with such public buildings as had escaped the day before. Commenced to move at nine o'clock on the road to Macon, via Thomaston; marched twenty-one miles and camped. The weather was pleasant, and the roads good. The character of the soil differs from that of Alabama. It consists of red clay, beneath which is a layer of limestone. Several cannon and a large number of wagons deserted on the road, showed that the enemy had fled in the greatest confusion.

April nineteenth. The command marched at an early hour, the Second division in the advance. The weather was very windy, and the roads dry and dusty. The forests presented a somewhat different appearance to those by which we rode yesterday, having oak mixed with the pines. Our advance, consisting of the Fourth Michigan cavalry, had captured, by forced marches, the double bridges over the Flint river, forty four miles from Columbia. We arrived there at twelye M. The Flint river here is very rapid, and not easily fordable. A further march of ten miles brought us to Thomaston, a village of about fifteen hundred inhabitants; after having crossed Big Potato creek, camped at six P. M. at Thomaston.

April twentieth. Corps headquarters began their march at six A. M.; weather was good, the roads were very dry and dusty; our course, which from Columbus to Thomaston had been to the north-east, now directed to the southeast. Thomaston is forty-seven miles from Macon. Our advance was met by a flag of truce, announcing that Sherman had entered into an armistice with Johnston, and demanding that we should “halt” where we were. The officer commanding the advance, however, had no authority to stop his march; and by the time the letter had reached General Wilson, the city of Macon had been already captured.

Thus imperfectly are the main incidents of the march of General Wilson's command from Chickasaw, Alabama, to Macon, Georgia, recorded and reported for the information of the Medical Director, Army and Department of the Cumberland, Surgeon George E. Cooper, U. S. A.

It had been intended to render this report more complete, and give the points of interest more in detail. The reports, however, from surgeons in charge of subordinate commands are not so explicit as to permit the execution of this intention. One or two points I desire to

Creative Commons License
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.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
E. Upton (3)
J. H. Wilson (2)
Whetton (1)
W. T. Sherman (1)
O. H. La Grange (1)
George W. Johnston (1)
Done (1)
George E. Cooper (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 16th (2)
April 20th (1)
April 19th (1)
April 18th (1)
April 17th (1)
April 15th (1)
April 14th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: