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[288] Cobb and Beauregard, however, greatly underrated Sherman's force, neither estimating it higher than thirty-five thousand. On the 20th, communication was cut between Augusta and Macon, and on the 21st, Fry, the commander at Augusta, reported to the rebel Secretary of War: ‘The enemy are coming towards this place; I can save most of the powder-works and machinery, if permitted. I can collect about three thousand men. Shall I attempt to move machinery?’ This day Hardee ordered all his available force from Macon to Augusta. On the 22nd, Fry reported: ‘Twentieth and Fourteenth corps, under Slocum, form left of Sherman's army, and is moving from Oconee river. May move either on Augusta or Savannah.’

Sherman, however, as we have seen, had no intention of attacking either Macon or Augusta. On the 22nd of November, he rode into Milledgeville, where the Twentieth corps had already arrived; and during that day the entire left wing was united, while Kilpatrick and Howard were at Gordon, twelve miles off. The governor and other officers of the state, including the legislature, had fled from Milledgeville, but the inhabitants remained. The arsenal was destroyed, with such other public buildings as might easily be converted to hostile uses, but no important damage was done to private property. Thus the first stage of the journey was accomplished without serious opposition, except at a single point. On the 22nd, Kilpatrick made a feint on Macon, driving the enemy inside his entrenchments, and then fell back to Griswold, where he was joined by Wolcott's brigade of infantry. The two commands were engaged in covering the right

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