good regiments to the front to reconnoiter the [ground] or detect the position of the enemy; sent the Ninety-second Ohio, Colonel Fearing, supported by the Seventeenth Ohio, Colonel Ward, with instructions to go boldly forward at least as far as the Flint River, unless met by an overwhelming force, in which case I would bring forward my entire brigade. These gallant commanders executed my orders with promptness, and in about one hour's time reported that they had gained the opposite bank of the stream, and were repairing a bridge which had been burned by the enemy, and that in one hour's time the artillery and trains could be crossed over.
In the mean time our Third Brigade and Colonel Mitchell's brigade, and General Carlin's division, had moved forward, and General Baird, commanding in person, with my brigade in advance, followed by Este's and Mitchell's brigades, moved rapidly on as far as the Rough and Ready and Jonesborough road, meeting with no resistance from the enemy. The three brigades were placed in line of battle and our position was fortified to command the road. The Atlanta and Macon Railroad now being about two and a half miles to the front, and General Baird being desirous to get his troops on it as soon as possible, ordered me to send out a force of one regiment, to be supported by a like force from Este's brigade, with instructions to push forward, if possible, to the railroad and cut it. I sent the Eighty-ninth Ohio, commanded by Colonel Carlton. This regiment being very small, I allowed Captain Grosvenor, at his earnest request, to go forward upon its left flank with 100 picked men from the Seventeenth Ohio, under Captains Noles and Inskeep. Captain Grosvenor's command and Colonel Carlton's skirmishers appear to have vied with each other in gallantry, and from all the facts I can learn reached the railroad about the same time and commenced the work of destroying it. Colonel Este had sent forward the Seventy-fifth Indiana, which I am told gallantly co-operated with Colonel Carlton in driving back the enemy's cavalry and taking position on the railroad. About night Colonel Carlton, finding that the enemy was bringing forward a considerable force of cavalry against him, deemed it prudent to withdraw his command a short distance from the railroad, and reported the same to me. I had been very uneasy lest he should be overpowered by numbers, and on learning his condition I obtained permission of General Baird and sent the Eighty-second Indiana and Thirty-first Ohio, under command of Colonel Hunter, to his support. Colonel Hunter now being the ranking officer, assumed command of the entire force, marched upon the railroad, driving back the enemy's cavalry, took up a position, fortified it, and, during the night and succeeding morning, destroyed about one mile of the railroad. I think great praise is due to all the officers and men engaged in this most successful effort to reach and cut the railroad. I would not assert it positively, but from all the facts I have learned Carlton and Grosvenor led the first of our troops who cut the railroad. During the day and night my brigade captured 43 prisoners from the enemy. Captains Curtis and Whedon, of my staff, took a very active and honorable part in the operations of the day and night, rendering Colonel Hunter the most efficient assistance.
On the morning of the 1st, by direction of General Baird, I withdrew my troops from the railroad. At 12 m. marched with the other brigades on the Jonesborough road, having detached the Thirty-first Ohio to guard the trains at
Creek; passed the Second Brigade and formed a line of battle; was soon ordered to move to the front, our troops new having engaged the enemy and a brisk fight going