War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0084 Chapter LVI. OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA.

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vacated by General Woods; Colonel Jones joined his division. The corps was to cross Oconee River, at Ball's Ferry, consequently the four divisions marched early on November 25 from their respective camps toward that point. Hazen and Woods arrived at the ferry; Corse and Smith at Milton and Irwinton, respectively. In order to protect the right flank of our column during its crossing of the river against some rebel fo be at Big Sandy Creek, the Twenty-ninth Missouri (mounted) was stationed along that stream, with orders to destroy all bridges and guard all such points where crossing could be effected. They found some opposition at the Light Wood Knot bridge, but succeeded in destroying it, notwithstanding. When I arrived at the Oconee I found there the First Alabama Cavalry, who reported the enemy in position on the east bank. A reconnaissance confirmed the report; but their number was apparently small, and, perceiving that we were preparing in earnest to force a crossing, they left during the night.

Bridges were laid in the morning of November 26, and the corps crossed in the following order: Corse, Woods, Hazen, and Smith. The latter general had orders to remain until the bridge was taken up and the trains all on the way. The two leading divisions marched the same afternoon to Irwin's Cross-Roads, and from there three brigades were detailed on next morning to destroy the Savannah railroad to Station Numbers 13. The remaining brigades and trains of these divisions (Woods' and Corse's) marched the afternoon (November 27) on the Augusta dirt road to the intersection of the Savannah dirt road, with orders to proceed, on November 28, on the latter road, to a point near railroad station Numbers 11, and there meet the divisions of Generals Smith and Hazen. These divisions came to Irwin's Cross-Roads on the morning of November 27, and I intended to march with them on next day, by plantation roads, to the point of meeting; consequently all the divisions of the corps encamped the next night (November 28) in supporting distance and within seven miles of Station 11.

On November 29 Woods and Corse followed a very dim road (called the Democrat road) to its intersection with the Swainsborough and old Savannah road. The divisions of Hazen and Smith marched on the main Sandersville and Savannah road until they struck, one mile south of Station Numbers 11, the Seventeenth Army Corps, who had the right of way. The ground permitting, I ordered a parallel road to be cut for about two miles to a fork which led into a road that ran parallel to that taken by Woods and Corse. The country here is almost a perfect wilderness-long-leaved pines cover the poor sandy soil but sparely, marsh, lined with narrow skirts of shrub-like undergrowth, breaks this monitory; but what makes the soil almost worthless for agricultural purposes rendered it favorable to our operations. An energetic corps of axmen to corduroy roads across the creeks and marshes opens in a short time enough space for any number of columns. On November 30, when we marched toward the little town of Summerville, the Second, Third, and Fourth Divisions moved part of the way abreast of each other. Generals Woods and Corse reached that day a point within three miles and a half of railroad station Numbers 9 1/2. Generals Hazen and Smith halted at Summerville. As the accompanying map* shows, there are two roads running substantially parallel to and south of the Ogeechee River and the Savannah railroad; they unite opposite Station Numbers 2. Both roads were represented practicable, and consequently the corps was


* Not found.