War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0393 Chapter L. REPORTS,ETC.- ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND.

Search Civil War Official Records

as skirmishers and flankers, and so advanced without opposition until we reached the earth-works recently abandoned by us near Atlanta. Here, after a short delay,occasioned by a slight skirmish with a few mounted men and sentinels, we proceeded through the lines of the enemy's works, finding them abandoned. A brigade of the enemy's cavalry was found to be in the city and we advanced cautiously. I was met in the suburbs by Mr. Calhoun, the mayor, with a committee of citizens bearing a flag of truce. He surrendered the city to me, saying "he only asked protection for person and property." This was at 11 a.m. I asked him if the rebel cavalry was yet in the city. He replied that Ferguson's brigade was there, but on the point of leaving. I replied that my force was moving into the city and that unless that force retired there would be a fight in which neither person nor property would be safe, and that if necessary I would burn the houses of citizens to dislodge the enemy; that I did not otherwise intend to injure persons or property of the citizens unless used against us. I ordered my skirmishers to advance, and they proceeded through the city, the cavalry rapidly evacuating the place. I at once sent dispatches to Brigadier-General Ward, at Turner's Ferry,and to Major-General Slocum, at the railroad bridge, of the occupation of the city by my command. General Slocum came at once to the city. Immediately preceding him came a portion of the First and Second Division of the Twentieth Corps. General Ward directed a portion of my brigade to move up Turner's Ferry, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Bloodgood, Twenty-second Wisconsin, which reached Atlanta about sunset,and the remainder, under Major Miller, the next morning. Soon after General Slocum's arrival he directed me to move my command, which then occupied the works of the enemy on the southeastern part of the city, to the right of the Augusta railroad. This was done, and General Knipe's brigade was posted on the left of the road in single line, deployed at intervals of three paces. Here the brigade has remained in camp until this date. The command captured 123 prisoners, including those in hospital. Some 200 small-arms were found in the City Hall, and about 16 pieces of artillery abandoned in the works and burned with the train of cars. The ammunition abandoned had been fired in the night and continued to explode with loud reports after we had entered the city in the forts and among the ruins of the burning shops and buildings where it had been deposited. The works of the enemy were left almost perfect, and there seemed to have been no attempt at destruction of anything but of the material of war. As we passed through the streets many of the citizens ran gladly out to meet us, welcoming us a delivers from the despotism of the Confederacy; others regarded us with apprehension and begged to be spared from robbery. I assured them they would be safe from this. Many of the buildings were found to be much injured by our artillery,but such as will be needed for public use can be taken at once with slight repairs. My command on the reconnaissance behaved with remarkable promptness and energy, and deserved to be first, as they were, of our army to enter the city. The losses in this time are 5 killed and 22 wounded.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. COBURN,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Captain JOHN SPEED,

Assistant Adjutant-General.