HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Irwin's Cross-Roads, Ga., November 27, 1864.
The within was received subsequent to making my report. The engagement was of a more severe character, and our own loss a little greater than the information led me to suppose, but fortunately the enemy attacked us at the very point where we were prepared, so that with a force only about one-third as large as that of the enemy he was so completely defeated that he has troubled [us] no more in that quarter. I renew my commendations of the brigade commander and others engaged on that day.
O. O. HOWARD,
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Fort Thunderbolt, Ga., January 15, 1865.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this division during the campaign from Atlanta to Savannah:
On the 15th of November last my command started from White Hall, near Atlanta, moving southward on the old Macon road. When the head of the column had arrived in the vicinity of Rough and Ready, indications of the enemy became apparent. However, the rebels steadily withdrew before my skirmishers, as they were from time to time developed. In the afternoon, after having gone into camp, the Twenty-ninth Missouri Mounted Infantry developed a cavalry force of the enemy, some 900 strong, in our front, who made use of two light field pieces. However, they soon withdrew, and the advance, via McDonough and Indian Springs, was continued without interruption until reaching the Ocmulgee River on the 19th. My command crossed the same day on the pontoon and marched to within seven miles of Hillsborough. Passing through Hillsborough and Clinton, the Macon railroad was reached the night of the 21st at a point some thirteen miles east of Macon. The morning of the 22d, in accordance with instructions from the major-General commanding, I promptly ordered two regiments-the Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry and Ninth Iowa Infantry-at work tearing up the railroad. Some four miles were completely destroyed, in addition to a large trestle-work bridge that was burned by the Seventy-sixth Ohio. Being ordered to make a reconnaissance in the direction of Macon to develop the enemy in that vicinity, I dispatched the Second Brigade, Brigadier General C. C. Walcutt commanding, for that purpose. I send herewith my official report of this reconnaissance as made at the time to Major-General Osterhaus. * The morning of the 23rd of November the march was resumed, and continued uninterruptedly until reaching the Oconee River, which was crossed on the afternoon of the 26th. November 27, in compliance with orders received from the major-General commanding the corps, I ordered one of my brigades-the Third, Colonel J. A. Williamson commanding-to the Macon railroad for the purpose of destroying the rails and ties. Colonel Williamson rejoined the division the same evening at Riddleville, reporting that the he had completely destroyed some three miles of the track. From this time until December
* See p. 97.