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[78] abused. It is noticed that many men not belonging to proper foraging parties are allowed to straggle from the ranks and forage for themselves without any authority whatsoever. It is by such men that the greater part of the pillaging is done, and depredations committed, of which there is so much complaint. Officers in charge of foraging parties must be continually instructed to keep their men well in hand, never allowing them to precede the advance guard of the column, and to use more discretion in taking from the poor, being careful to leave them sufficient for their immediate subsistence. It is also noticed that the number of mounted men is very largely increasing, and that the ranks are correspondingly diminished. Means will be at once taken to check this growing evil. The number of mounted foragers to each brigade should be limited and regulated in orders, which, if not done, mounted foragers will be no longer allowed. We are now nearing the enemy, and foraging parties should be cautioned against preceding the advance of the column.

In order to keep ourselves in more complete communication where the country was penetrated in every direction by Wheeler's scouts, and where General Wayne had a force of at least 1,000 men, I took advantage of Kilpatrick's leftward march to send my aid-de-camp, Lieutenant Colonel C. H. Howard, to Sherman the morning of November 24th, just as I was moving forward. He was to remain with the general until we came together.

The message that he bore to Sherman showed that Blair's corps was on the direct road to the railroad bridge; that his advance had dislodged Wayne's men from a stockade close to the Oconee River where they

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