War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0150 OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA. Chapter LVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

of works about 400 yards from those of the enemy, and have two redoubts constructed for the artillery, which was placed in one of the redoubts during the night. December 11, skirmishing and artillery firing was kept up during the day, and the embrasures of the enemy's works choked up by the falling sand-bags, so that they were obliged to use their artillery in barbette. I also put the prisoners to work on the morning of the 11th cutting zigzag toward a salient of the enemy's works in my rear. Making the road of the brush which was cut down, I felt confident that, if I could succeed in getting roads through the swamp, I should be able to take the enemy by surprise at that point of their works, as they would not be expecting us from that direction, there being from three to ten feet of water in the swamp. I was relieved, however, during the day by General Carlin with his division, before I had completed these roads. December 12, I moved my command to the right, General Sprague's brigade being detached from the division whilst we were en route and ordered to the head of the canal. I went into camp near the King's Bridge and Savannah road, about five miles from the Ogeechee, where I remained until the 16th instant when I received an order to destroy that portion of the Gulf railroad between the Altamaha River (including the bridge over that stream) and a point twenty miles this side of that river. My time was limited to five days. This limitation of time would make it necessary for me to march twenty miles per day, and give me on day in which to destroy twenty miles of railroad.

I crossed the Ogeechee on the 17th and reached a point on the railroad eight miles from the Atlanta bridge on the 18th. I had previously applied to General Blair for more time, so as to be able to destroy the bridge over the Altamaha. I received a communication in reply, stating that it would be necessary for me to return in five days, and informing me that the First Alabama Cavalry had been directed to report to me and that I could put them to work on the farther end of the road and the bridge. In the meantime Colonel Atkins, commanding a brigade of cavalry, reported to me for orders. I directed him to destroy the bridge and a trestle-work leading to it. He succeeded in destroying the trestle-work, but it was found impracticable to approach the bridge, as the enemy had two redoubts on this side which it was impossible to get at, there being a deep swamp all around them. There were also two 32-pounder rifles on the opposite side of the Altamaha enfilading the bridges, and a locomotive, with a gun on it, which the enemy used at this end of the bridge. My orders being imperative to return in five days I was obliged to desist from the attempt at destroying the bridge, as it was utterly impossible to get at it without occupying at least two more days' time. The destruction of the trestle-work, however, renders the bridge useless to the enemy. I therefore returned to camp, where I arrived on the 21st, having marched eighty miles and destroyed eighteen miles of railroad in five days.

Amount of railroad destroyed in the campaign, fifty-seven miles.

I inclose herewith a list of killed and wounded in the different skirmishes in which my division has been engaged during the campaign. *

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOS. A. MOWER,

Major General U. S. Vols., Commanding First Div., Seventeenth Army Corps.

Captain C. CADLE, Jr.,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Seventeenth Army Corps.

---------------

*Nominal list (omitted) shows 1 officer and 2 men killed; 1 officer and 33 men wounded.

---------------