War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0920 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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Macon Railroad. Moved from Monticello morning 29th. Major Davidson, Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry, was sent with five companies (125 men) to strike railroad near Gordon, and destroy it east and beyond Oconee River. Colonel Adams' brigade moved on right hand from Clinton to Macon, Colonel Biddle's brigade on left-hand road, and colonel Capron's brigade on the left to strike railroad. Met resistance on all the roads about 10 p. m., with a vigorous assault on Colonel Adams' brigade. On morning 30th, at daybreak, each brigade moved rapidly forward, charging whatever was in the front, driving the enemy with loss. They drove the enemy within one mile of Macon. Colonel Capron's brigade reached railroad, tore up track, burned 2 bridges, trapping 3 trains of loaded cars, which they destroyed. The guards fled from trains. Having now given time for Major Davidson to destroy railroad bridges, and scouts reported a large cavalry force moving on west side of river toward Macron, and that all the ferries were destroyed above and below, he withdrew main force, with intention to move in direction of Milledgeville. Information soon came that the demonstration east had drawn the enemy in that direction, and that but a small force was on the Covington road. Hence he desired to press hard on that road and reach Hillsborough if possible, at which point he could take choice of three roads at daylight. But the enemy were too strongly posted, and he could not reach Hillsborough by two miles. The enemy had now concentrated their forces in front, covering the roads. And being now between two rivers, only about twenty miles apart, with an enemy in his front and rear, he decided that he must brake their lines in the direction in which he must move out. Desperate efforts were made from sunrise of 31st until 12 o'clock to break through their lines, but at every assault our lines were driven back except the right. We had now lost many valuable officers and men. The men were nearly out of ammunition, and fatigued almost beyond endurance. The proposition was made to move to the right and pass the enemy. He said he could make no resistance when pursued; he would have the outside track, with an enemy fresh to pursue; his men would be broken up in detachments and murdered, as some had been on the 29th; he would not refuse any from going, nor order them; if the enemy assaulted and broke our lines, do the best we could, but as for him he saw no other way for the lives of the men to be respected but for him to surrender, which he would do only as a last report. By this means all the detachments that did leave had five hours the start of any force that could follow in pursuit. The general was much broken down at the thought of a surrender; he seemed to have but little regard for his own personal safety, if he could only save his command; he was not in the whole day scarcely from under the most severe fire for the enemy. Major Davidson returned and joined Colonel Capron when Colonel Capron was making his escape from the enemy in afternoon of 31st. He made to me the following report: Struck railroad seven miles east of Gordon, burned trestle-work and bridge; destroyed everything at Gordon. The agent said that there were 275 flat and box cars, mostly loaded with supplies and the best of refugee goods; 9 engines and 150 passenger and express cars within that point destroyed. Seven of the engines had steam on, which were destroyed by running them in a general smash and burning the whole thing. Destroyed the long