Smith had previously received orders to march on the direct road to Hillsborough, Generals Hazen and Woods were to follow Smith, while General Corse, who brought up the rear, had orders to march, via Monticello, to Hillsborough. This general was also directed to destroy, before leaving the west bank of the Ocmulgee, the cotton factory, &c., which had been used for military purposes by the rebel Government. Rain, very bad roads, and the long trains of the whole Army of the Tennessee, including those of the cavalry, and the pontoon trains and some 4,000 head of beef-cattle, delayed General Corse considerably. His rear could not leave the river before next morning (November 20), and he could march only as far as Monticello, while Woods, Smith, and Hazen reached the vicinity of Clinton that day. General Kilpatrick's cavalry had preceded us to that place and left on our arrival for Macon. Some rebel cavalry kept hovering around Clinton, and repeatedly attacked our pickets without making any impression.
Early on the morning of November 21 I pushed the Twenty-ninth Missouri (mounted) toward the Macon railroad, with orders to destroy the track, and thus prevent the further use of the road for military purposes. Colonel Gage struck and broke the road at 10 a. m. General Smith's division marched the same day from Clinton on the direct road toward Gordon, while Woods and Hazen moved toward Irwinton. A large force of the enemy being reported at Griswoldville, near which place the outer column (Generals Woods and Hazen) had to pass, it was considered prudent to move only the most necessary trains (ordnance) with this exposed column, and give the bulk of the trains, in charge of General Smith, the inner route. The divisions of Woods and Hazen camped for the night in supporting distance of each other near the Macon railroad. The enemy's showed, notwithstanding the presence of the large cavalry force of General Kilpatrick, some temerity, and attacked the column of Woods several times. As it appeared impossible for General Corse's division, with the incumbrances clogging his movements, to reach Clinton in time on November 21 to secure that place against rebel assault, I ordered a brigade of Hazen's division (Colonel Theodore Jones) to remain there until the arrival of General Corse. Colonel Jones was constantly annoyed by rebel cavalry. When General Corse came up on next day, he considered the remaining of Colonel Jones most desirable, and this zealous officer therefore held his position until all and everything had safely gone by this point of danger, and then followed General Corse on the direct road to Gordon.
Your orders for the 22nd of November were to make a demonstration against Griswoldville, while our trains were to be pushed on toward Gordon with all the dispatch the terrible condition of the rutted roads permitted. I consequently ordered one brigade (General Walcutt's) of General Wood's division to move early on the south side of the railroad in the direction of Griswoldville. When I joined General Walcutt to accompany the expedition, Iof General Kilpatrick's in his front, and a portion of it, which had tried to drive back the rebel advance line, had just come back without having succeeded. General Walcutt was ordered at once to relieve the cavalry, and the advance was sounded. A strong line of skirmishers, supported by two regiments and some cavalry, which General Kilpatrick had kindly furnished, soon struck the rebels, who were in line behind a creek, or rather swamp, in an open pine land, and caused them, with that peculiar spirit of our troops, to look for their horses and run. General Walcutt kept pushing forward, and his men pursued in double-quick with cheers and laughter the fleeing horsemen, waded the creek, marched