War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0126 OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA. Chapter LVI.

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Adams' brigade was so disposed as to cover the working party and prevent any sudden dash of cavalry from driving them away. On the 4th the command was again united and put in motion, the head of the column directed toward Jenks' Bridge over the Ogeechee, where the Savannah road crosses and strikes the Georgia Central Railroad. About noon of December 7 the command arrived on the right bank of the Ogeechee River at the bridge crossing to Bloomingdale, or Station No. 2, on the Savannah and Macon Railroad. The bridge having been destroyed by the enemy on the approach of our forces, was replaced by a pontoon bridge. A force from the Second Division thrown across was skirmishing quite lively on the arrival of the head of my column. By direction of Major-General Osterhaus I crossed the leading brigade (Rice's), which gradually cleared the woods, driving the rebels back across on open field into barricades and rail works they had thrown up for their protection, necessitating the deployment of two regiments (the Second and Seventh Iowa Infantry), which, gallantly charging across the broken fields, entered the rebel works, driving them, capturing, killing, and wounding about 25. Our loss was 2 killed and 4 wounded. Rice's brigade, re-enforced by Williamson's brigade, of the First Division, was then directed to hold the station and remain on the east side of the Ogeechee the night of the 7th, while the rest of the division lay with the corps on the west bank of the river.

The division was again detached from the corps on the 8th, and moved with its transportation to Station No. 2, Bloomingdale. The Seventeenth Corps was distant in our rear about thirteen miles, separated from us by the Little Ogeechee River; the Fifteenth Corps out of supporting distance by noon on the west side of the Ogeechee proper. Leaving the transportation of the division at the station in charge of Williamson's brigade, which was to remain until relieved by the Seventeenth Corps, the head of the column was directed on the road leading to Dillon's Brigade across the Ogeechee, near the mouth of the canal. The first line of works, distant from Bloomingdale about two miles, we found evacuated. The Seventh Illinois was thrown out as an advanced guard, and during the day ran into the enemy several times, bringing in five prisoners, among them one commissioned officer. Our flanks were well protected by the two rivers; the ridge between furnished a fine road, occasionally blockaded, not sufficiently serious, however, to occasion much detention. The head of the column arrived at the canal about noon, and discovered the bridges still in flames. A new one was speedily constructed by the pioneer corps, and a portion of the Third Brigade crossed and threw up a tete-de-pont, and the Seventh Illinois Mounted Infantry moved out to reconnoiter the enemy's position. From the citizens we ascertained that a force of the enemy had erected works at the junction of the Dillon's Bridge road with the King's Bridge road with the King's Bridge and Savannah road. The numbers were variously estimated from 1,000 to 5,000. Under the circumstances, our great distance from any supporting columns, the utter destruction of Dillon's Bridge over the Ogeechee and the absence of pontoons, General Howard deemed it not advisable for me to push any farther. The command was then placed in camp on the north bank of the canal, and intrenched itself for the night. No communication could be effected late that evening with that portion of the Fifteenth Corps that had moved down the right bank of the Ogeechee. Occasionally we heard their artillery, and learned later that General Osterhaus was forcing a crossing over the Cannouchee. The reconnaissance of the mounted force developed the enemy in force with artillery at the cross-roads above designated, about three miles from our camp.