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November 23, 1864.

The Fourth division, Fifteenth corps, with bridge-train, having roads that were almost impassable, only reached the vicinity of Clinton at night. This morning, fifty-five to fifty-six mule-teams have been sent to assist the pontoon-train through. General Woods's division is moving up this way, abreast of General Corse; General Hazen moving toward Irwinton General Blair moving along the railroad, and destroying it.

I propose, with your sanction, to move across the Oconee River at two points; one, six miles below the railroad bridge at Ball's Ferry; the other, two and a half miles above the railroad bridge at Jackson's Ferry. I have already forwarded to you despatches captured. Prisoners still estimate the strength of the enemy in our vicinity about ten thousand. The attack on Walcott was made, I think, by militia, mingled with some old troops retained at Macon. The number of prisoners of war in my hands: In the Seventeenth corps, thirty-five enlisted men; in the Fifteenth corps, eighty enlisted men. Total, one hundred and fifteen. I believe the cavalry have some fifty or sixty more in addition.

We have about forty-five wounded of our own men. The number of bales of cotton reported officially to have been burned is two thousand one hundred and thirty. A large cotton-factory, known as Ocmulgee Mill or Planters' Factory on the map-containing one thousand five hundred spindles, and giving employment to one hundred and fifty hands, and some twenty cotton-gins — have also been destroyed.

We have found the country full of provisions and forage, and have almost completely supplied ourselves, drawing very little upon our rations.

The above estimate is independent of what has been done by the cavalry. I regret to say that quite a number of private dwellings, which the inhabitants have left, have been destroyed by fire, but without official sanction. Also many instances of the most inexcusable and wanton acts, such as the breaking open of trunks, taking silver plate, etc.

I have taken measures to prevent it, and I believe they will be effectual. The inhabitants are generally terrified, and believe us a thousand times worse than we are. Having soldiers in the command who have been bitten by blood-hounds, permission has been given to kill them.

Permit me to commend to you Generals Blair and Osterhaus, and the officers and men under them; also General Kilpatrick and his command, for their faithfulness, energy, and untiring exertions to make our march a complete success. While the pleasant weather lasted, the marches were easily made; but as soon as the rains came on, the roads became very heavy, and the poorer mules broke down. But we have found a number in the country that have more than replaced our losses.

The members of my staff have given me material aid, and I hope to be able to reward them substantially, at some time, for faithful services.

Very respectfully,

O. O. Howard, Major-General.

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F. P. Blair (4)
T. J. Woods (2)
C. C. Walcott (2)
P. J. Osterhaus (2)
Judson Kilpatrick (2)
O. O. Howard (2)
W. B. Hazen (2)
J. M. Corse (2)
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November 23rd, 1864 AD (2)
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