Walcutt's infantry, skirmishing, leading a hand. In the afternoon Walcutt had taken up a position two miles in advance of his division toward Macon, having two pieces of artillery, and had thrown up rail barricades, when he was attacked by quite a large body of infantry, accompanied by some artillery, probably a battery of four guns. The assault was made with great vigor, but was met in the usual manner and completely repulsed. The action continued for some three hours. Walcutt was assisted by a regiment of cavalry on either flank. General Woods was present during the action and General Osterhaus part of the time. I regret to say that General Walcutt, than whom there is not a braver or better officer, was wounded, but I hope no seriously. The conduct of the troops, both cavalry and infantry, was highly commended by the general officers present. On my arrival at Gordon, I directed General Blair to send forward the First Alabama Cavalry and General G. A. Smith's division some eight or the miles toward the Oconee bridge, which he did, with instructions to move forward to-day, and, if possible, to secure that bridge and plank it over for infantry to cross.
November 23, 1864, the Fourth Division, Fifteenth Corps, with bridge train, having roads that were almost impassable, only reached the vicinity of Clinton last night. This morning fifty-five six-mule teams have been sent to assist the pontoon train through. General Woods' division is moving up this way abreast of General Corse; General Hazen moving toward Irwinton; General Blair moving along the railroad and destroying it. I propose, with your sanction, to move across the Oconce River at two points-one six miles below the railroad bridge (at Ball's Ferry), the other two miles and a half above railroad bridge (at Jackson's Ferry). I have already forwarded to you dispatches captured.
Prisoners still estimate the strength of the enemy in our vicinity about 10,000. The attack on Walcutt was made, I think, by militia, mingled with some old troops retained at Macon.
The number of prisoners of war in my hands: In the Seventeenth Corps, 35 enlisted men; in the Fifteenth Corps, 80 enlisted men; total, 115. I believe the cavalry have some 50 or 60 more in addition. We have about 45 wounded of our own men.
The number of bales of cotton reported officially to have been burned is 2,130.
A large cotton factory, known as Ocmulgee Mills, or Planters' Factory, on the map, containing 1,500 spindles and giving employment to 150 hands, and some 20 cotton gins, have also been destroyed.
We have found the country full of provisions and forage, and have almost completely supplied ourselves, drawing but very little upon our rations.
The above estimate is independent of what has been done by the cavalry. I regret to say that quite a number of private dwellings which the inhabitants have left, have been destroyed by fire, but without official sanction; also, many instances of the most inexcusable and wanton acts, such as the breaking open of trunks, taking of silver plate, &c. I have taken measures to prevent it, and I believe they will be effectual. The inhabitants are generally terrified, and believe us a thousand times worse than we are. Having soldiers in the command who have been bitten by bloodhounds, permission has been given to kill them.
Permit me to commend to you Generals Blair and Osterhaus and the officers and men under them, also General Kilpatrick and his command, for their faithfulness, energy, and untiring exertions to make our march a complete success. While the pleasant weather lasted, the marches were easily made; but as soon as the rains came on, the roads became very heavy and the poorer mules broke down, but we have found a number in the country that have more than replaced our losses.
The members of my staff have given me material aid, and I hope to be able to reward them substantially at some time for faithful services.
O. O. HOWARD,
P. S. -General Osterhaus reports the enemy's killed on the field yesterday number 300.
O. O. H.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
At Irwin's Cross-Roads a second report was made, embracing operations up to that time, as follows:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Irwin's Cross-Roads, Ga., November 27, 1864.
GENERAL: In accordance with instructions from your headquarters, contained in Special Field Orders dated November 23, my command marched from Gordon in two columns-the Fifteenth Corps, via Irwinton, to Ball's Ferry, Seventeenth Corps along