Report of Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. Smith, Assistant Inspector-General, of operations July 27-August 6 (Stoneman's raid).
HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Marietta, Ga., August 7, 1864.
SIR: In compliance with the direction of Major-General Schofield, commanding the Army of the Ohio, I have the honor to submit for your consideration the following report, touching the late cavalry expedition to Macon, Ga., under Major General George Stoneman:
July 27, left camp at 4 a. m., four miles north of Decatur, Ga.; entered Decatur at sunrise, and there met General Garrard with his command. The force under General Stoneman consisted of three brigades, one composed of the mounted portions of the Fifth and Sixth Indiana Cavalry, commanded by Colonel James Biddle, amounting to about 700 men; another, of the First and Eleventh Kentucky Cavalry, commanded by Colonel Silas Adams, numbering 550 men; the other brigade was composed of the Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry, the Eighth Michigan Cavalry, and a part of the First Ohio Squadron, numbering 800 men, commanded by Colonel Horace Capron; a detachment of the Twenty-fourth Indiana Battery, under command of Captain Hardy, with two 3-inch regulation guns and fifty-four men, in all about 2,104 officers and men, the general, and seven members of his staff. At Decatur it was reported the enemy's cavalry were in our front, and a line of battle was at once formed and preparation made for a fight. Upon scouting well to our right and right front no enemy was found, and thereupon General Stoneman, with his command, went forward, General Garrard remaining with his forces to hold and engage the enemy so as to prevent his pursuit of us if possible. The march was continued all day and most of the night, reaching to within two miles of Covington, Ga., where the command halted at 4 a. m., and rested until about 8. July 28, march resumed at 8 a. m., passing through Covington at 9 a. m. Nothing of interest occurred during march to-day; went to within one mile of Monticello and halted. July 29, arrived at Monticello at sunrise. At this point Colonel Adams' brigade was sent to the right on a diverging road, with directions to scout the country and join main column at or near Clinton. Nothing special occurred to-day. A few prisoners were taken and some 6 rebel pickets captured. The march was continued to within twelve miles of Macon, Ga.
July 30, column moved at 4 a. m. Colonel Adams' brigade was again sent to the right with instructions to strike the river at some point above Macon, sound it fords or examine for ferries or other means of crossing, and feel the enemy as he advanced down the river and drive him in if found. A detachment of the Fourteenth Illinois, under command of Major Davidson, was sent to the left with instructions to strike the Macon and Milledgeville Railroad as near the latter point as possible and destroy it. When the column was within five miles of Macon, another detachment was sent to the left to strike the same railroad at or near Gordon. Both these parties reached the railroad with but little interruption, and each burnt some small bridges and culverts and tore up the road at these points for a distance of two or three miles. They also destroyed three trains of cars, and three engines that happened to be upon the road