War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0786 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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Numbers 389.

Report of Major George H. Purdy, Fourth Indiana Cavalry, commanding detachment First Division, of operations July 28-31 (McCook's raid).


Near Railroad Bridge, Ga., August 5, 1864.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the Second Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Torrey commanding, crossed the Chattahoochee River on pontoon bridge six miles below Campbellton on the 28th of July. The brigade marched in front of the column. The First Wisconsin was detached and ordered to proceed to Campbellton if possible and rejoin the main column at or near Fayetteville. About four miles from the river main column struck a fork of the road; the Second Brigade (Second and Fourth Indiana) was ordered to take the left; arrived at Palmetto about 6 o'clock, one-half hour in advance of main column; cut telegraph wire and commenced destroying railroad track and freight cars. Over two miles of track was burnt, besides the depot, containing about 1,000 bushels of corn, 300 sacks of flour; and a quantity of bacon, together with a large quantity of cotton, was burned by rear guard. The command left Palmetto at dusk. Having proceeded about seven miles, a messenger from the First Wisconsin arrived carrying the news that they had an engagement with the enemy that afternoon about three miles east of Campbellton, on the Fairburn road; that they had met with a heavy body of rebel cavalry, made several charges, were in turn repulsed and finally compelled to fall back and recross the river, where they held their position. Major N. Paine was almost instantly killed at the head of a column of an advance party; 1 lieutenant and 9 enlisted men were wounded or captured. Having arrived to within five miles of Fayetteville it was discovered that a large number of wagons, laden with clothing and officers' trunks, &c., were camped in different squads in the wood along the road. As the column was moving along slowly and quietly, details were made from the Second and Fourth Indiana for the purpose of sobering the poorest animals and take the best at once, together with the prisoners, to the rear of the column. Not a shot was to be fired to avoid unnecessary disturbance. The wagons were left for the rear guard to be burnt. The number of wagons se destroyed was about 600, and between 1,600 and 2,000 mules were killed. At Fayetteville the Second Brigade was drawn up in line in the court-house square just before daylight. Patrols were immediately sent out, who captured 130 prisoners. Near half of those were officers, who were quartered in houses. Having arranged all the prisoners, abut 300, in the proper place in the column, the command moved then to the Macon and Western Railroad, destroyed a considerable length of track, and halted about three hours. About noon the command was ordered to move in the direction of Newnan, on the Atlanta and West Point Railroad. Having proceeded about three miles it was discovered that part of the command was cut off the enemy's cavalry. Parts of the Second and Fourth Indiana were ordered back to assist as skirmishers, which lasted about three hours, when the enemy was repulsed. The march was again resumed, and one battalion of the Fourth Indiana was ordered to remain at a bridge until the column had passed, then to burn it, and follow up as rear guard. On the march to Newnan nothing notable occurred, except that the rear part of the column occasionally