War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0086 OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA.

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cover while some pontoons were launched, and, manned by the Ninetieth Illinois (Colonel Stuart), crossed the river. As soon as boat-load of men got a foothold on the other bank the rebels fell back to a line of works at the eastern extremity of a long dam or levee, which formed the connection across the swamp between the river and the high land. The dam is about half a mile long. Our pontoniers could lay the bridge without being molested any further. While this cork was going on and the flood-bridges in the dam were repaired, General Corse crossed a portion of his command in boats, and they worked their way through the swamp and the thick woods toward the rebel position. To facilitate their dislodgment General Woods was ordered early in the morning to push Colonel Williamson's whole brigade across Wright's Bridge above and try to strike the enemy's flank. When the pontoons were laid I ordered the advance. The Second Iowa Infantry, of General Rice's brigade (Corse's division), confronted the rebels. They moved up in very good style, pushing sharply on the enemy's wings, and forced them very soon to make for their support, which was intrenched in double line on an elevation where the road from Jenks' Bridge crosses at right angles the Wright's Bridge road. Colonel Williamson's brigade was advancing on the latter road. When I had cause to believe this column in supporting distance, I directed General Rice to attack the rebels in their breast-works. The Second Iowa rushed up to them over an open plain and carried the works, killing and wounding a number and capturing about thirty prisoners. Colonel Williamson arrived at the moment the works were taken, and he dispatched some companies to the railroad, while General Rice advanced on a parallel road to the station. The enemy fled. A portion of Corse's division was stationed at the railroad station, while the remainder of the division and Colonel Williamson's brigade intrenched and occupied a line at the cross-roads mentioned above.

In the evening (December 7) General Hazen reported that Colonel Oliver had arrived at the Cannouchee, but found the bridge partly burnt and strongly defended. The crossing of the river was deemed essential in order to destroy the Gulf railroad, which was largely used by the rebel authorities at Savannah. Under orders from headquarters Department and Army of the Tennessee I moved next morning (December 8) toward Cannouchee River with General Hazen's division and that of General Woods', except Williamson's brigade, which was to occupy Station Numbers 2 until the arrival of the Seventeenth Army Corps. After reconnoitering the Cannouchee River I brought, however, only General Hazen's division to the bridge near Bryan Court-House, halting Woods' four miles north of it at the forks of the road to Fort Argyle. The enemy's position on the south side of the Cannouchee was naturally very strong. Wide, impassible swamps line both sides of that stream, and there are but very few points where a crossing is practicable. There is none below Bryan Court-House, and parties sent twelve miles upstream could not learn of another above. From the Court-House a good road leads to the bridge, but an impenetrable live-oak swamp is on the other side of it. A levee and three bridges, of an aggregate length of 800 feet, lead through the swamp to the highland; the levee and bridges were swept by a section of artillery and by infantry covered by breast-works. I was, however, informed that there had been an old ferry below the bridge, and thus I hoped to be able to effect a crossing there if the exact spot could be found. By minute inspection of the banks during the night the landing of the old ferry was detected, and an expedition sent in a boat across the river