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[79] had had two or more pieces of artillery. I wrote to Sherman that I might have to ask him to threaten the enemy from the north of my troops, because the swamps bordering the Oconee were so difficult that an inferior force might be hindered. I had searched for a place to cross the Oconee near the railroad bridge, called Jackson's Ferry, but no such ferry then existed. There was a series of lagoon bridges running across the main stream and its branches in the neighborhood of Ball's Ferry, which was six miles south of the railroad bridge. Osterhaus with his Fifteenth Corps was making for that crossing. To that point I went myself.

The point of meeting to which Colonel Howard was to accompany the general in chief was called Sandersville, beyond and east of the Oconee and north of our railroad, where the two wings of Sherman's army would naturally touch each other. Finding all attempts at crossing in front of Blair impracticable, I was obliged to bring his corps to the vicinity of Ball's Ferry, following Osterhaus.

My escort, the Alabama (Union) cavalry, had succeeded in getting a small detachment beyond the Oconee before the bridges were destroyed; but Wayne, coming upon them with infantry and artillery, drove them back across the river to our side. Then Wayne planted himself strongly upon a prominent bluff east of the river which commanded every approach and swept the causeways and bridges so thoroughly that no man could appear for an instant upon them. The swamp on our side was a mile or more broad, with water waist deep, and studded with trees, many of which were cypress.

Moving on from Gordon, November 25th, I came to the vicinity of the Oconee, and dismounted to rest and


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