SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS,
HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., In the Field, Kingston, Ga., Numbers 119.
November 8, 1864.
I. The general commanding deems it proper at this time to inform the officers and men of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Twentieth Corps that he has organized them into an for a special purpose, well known to the War Department and to General Grant. It is sufficient for you to know that it involves a departure from our present base, and a long and difficult march to a new one. All the chances of war have been considered and provided for, as far as human sagacity can. All he asks of you is to maintain that discipline, patience, and courage which have characterized you in the past, and he hopes, through you, to strike a blow at our enemy that will have a material effect in producing what we all so much desire-his complete otherhorow. Of all things the most important is that men, during marches and in camp, keep their places and not scatter about as stragglers or foragers, to be picked up by a hostile people in detail. It is also of the utmost importance that our wagons should not be loaded with anything but provisions and ammunition. All surplus servants, non-combatants, and refugees should now go to the rear, and none should be encouraged to encumber us on the march. At some future time we will] be enabled to provide for the poor whites and blacks who seek to escape the bondage under which they are now suffering. With those few simple cautions in your minds, he hopes to lead you to achievements equal in importance to those of the past.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman;
L. M. DAYTON,
HDQRS. TWENTIETH CORPS, PROVOST-MARSHAL'S OFFICE,
Atlanta, Ga., November 8, 1864.
SIR: Lieutenant Colonel B. H. Showers, [Seventeenth Ohio,] and Lieutenant W. D. Hudson, of the Seventeenth Iowa, came into our ins this morning, having escaped from the enemy, they having been captured at Titon last month. They were taken from Tilton to Eufaula, Ala., and then were being moved to South Carolina, when they escaped at Columbus, Ga. They report the enemy as moving as stores, supplies, material, &c., from Oxford, Talladega, Montgomery, and east to Selma and beyond on the lines of communication running to Corinth and Tuscumbia. There were some troops and considerable fortifications at Montgomery; none of any account at Columbus; people reported WEST Point pretty well fortified. From Columbus they went north, striking WEST Point road at Newman. The found two regiments of cavalry here, but they were on their way to Hood's army. These troops had been gathering cattle, &c., and were driving everything westward. Cars were running to Newman, and were mainly employed in taking up the rails for use on the new lines of communication. They had already taken up some thirty miles of track. None of the people entertain any other idea but that we were certain to evacuate at Atlanta, and that General Sherman was certain to oppose Hood with his entire army. General Withers was in command of Southern Alabama, and he declared that General Sherman was forced to retire from Northern Georgia. They saw the entire rebel army in its late operations at Resaca and vicinity-Stewart's, Lee's, and Cheat-