Numbers 121. Report of Colonel Franklin C. Smith, One hundred and second Illinois Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of operations September 23 - December 21.
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, THIRD DIV., 20TH ARMY CORPS,
Savannah, Ga., December 26, 1864.
SIR: In obedience to your order of December 24, I have the honor to submit the following report:
the brigade which I have the honor to command was stationed at the railroad bridge across the Chattahoochee River during the interval between September 23 and the commencement of the campaign just ended.
On the 15th of October last I received permission from Major-General Slocum, commanding U. S. troops at Atlanta, to send our foraging parties on the north side of the Chattahoochee River. I subsisted the animals belonging to the post and also those belonging to myself and staff, up to the time of marching, entirely from the country.
November 13, at 4 p. m. I receiver orders to destroy the railroad from the Chattahoochee River toward Atlanta, and to continue till I met the working party sent out from that city, and then to join the division at Atlanta. November 14, at 9 a. m. I had completely destroyed three miles and half of the road when we met the party sent from the city. I then moved with my command to Atlanta and reported to Brigadier-General Ward, commanding division, at 5 p. m. November 15, at 1 p. m. I moved my command as rear guard of the column in the direction of Decatur. Nothing worthy of particular mention occurred during the march, except that my entire command subsisted exclusively upon the country until my arrival before this city.
December 10, at this time I had in my train the same amount of subsistence for my brigade that I had at the beginning of the march, though not of the same kind. At the commencement of the campaign all of the animals belonging to the command, public and private, were much reduced, and many of them unfit for service. On the march I kept out foraging parties on the flanks, with instructions to seize all serviceable horses and mules they might find. In this way I replaced the unserviceable animals of the brigade train of twenty-three teams, putting in 120 fresh mules. I also put into the ordnance train, which for the time being was assigned to the train of my brigade, thirty fresh animals. I also supplied the regiments with the proper number of pack-mules, sixty in number. Officers who were entitled to horses have been supplied with good ones in all cases where their own had become worn out and useless. I turned over to Lieutenant Thompson, provost-marshal of the division, at various times, seventy-eight horses, most of which were unserviceable, making an aggregate of seizures and captures as follows; Number of mules, 222; number of horses, 75; number of beef-cattle, 280.
On the 10th of December my brigade was in the advance of the column. After crossing the Charleston and Savannah Railroad I delayed the One hundred and second Illinois Infantry, in command of Captain Clay, as skirmishers, and advanced till we were within four miles and half of this city, where the enemy's works were discovered one mile in advance of the head of the column. The brigade was then deployed in line of battle, the left resting on the road leading into