War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0364 OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA. Chapter LVI.

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cession, retire from any force that might be sent in pursuit. By some misunderstanding Colonel Atkins moved on without halting, as directed, and the consequence was that two regiments, the Eighth Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, and Ninth Michigan Cavalry, Colonel Acker, together with myself and staff, were cut off and partly surrounded. But the brave officers and men of these two regiments by their splendid fighting broke through the rebel lines and slowly fell back, repulsing every attack of the enemy until the main column was reached. We moved on, crossed Buck Head Creek, burning the bridge, and halted to feed two miles from the creek. Information soon reached me that Wheeler was crossing with his entire force. Parties were sen out and ascertained this report to be true. I now determined to give him a severe repulse before marching farther, and accordingly took up a strong position and constructed a long line of barricades, with my flanks thrown well to the rear. These dispositions were scarce completed are the enemy came in sight, and in a few minutes made one of the most desperate cavalry charges I have ever witnessed, but he was most handsomely repulsed as all points, and with but slight loss to my command. This closed the fighting for the day. We moved a few miles farther on and encamped at the first place where forage could be obtained. The enemy made no further attempt to follow. My losses during the incessant fighting for three days and nights were not large. From information gained from scouts, prisoners, and deserters the loss of the enemy is estimated at 600 killed and wounded.

The following day we joined the Left Wing of our army at Louisville. Here we remained in camp several days, resting the men and horses for the first time during the march.

December 2 [1], the command moved on the Waynesborough road, in advance of a division of infantry under General Baird, the object being to cover the movements of our troops, marching in several columns on Millen. A small force of the enemy was encountered and dispersed by the Fifth Kentucky Cavalry, Colonel Baldwin, and Eighth Indiana Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, nine miles from Waynesborough, not, however, without a severe skirmish. On reaching Rocky Creek [December 2] the enemy was found in considerable force on the opposite side. General Baird's infantry came up, and a force of both cavalry and infantry crossed the creek, and simultaneously charged the enemy, who rapidly retreated toward Waynesborough and Augusta, being closely pursued for some distance by the cavalry. December 3, marched to Thomas' Station and encamped for the night, having made such disposition of my forces as to protect General Baird's infantry, deployed for miles along the track and busily engaged with its destruction. Wheeler, who had been encamped between Waynesborough and Brier Creek, moved in the early part of the evening to Waynesborough, and with a portion of his command made a vigorous attack upon one of Colonel Atkin's regiments, encamped upon the railroad three miles south of the town. This attack was easily repulsed, as were several others made during the night. As I had received orders that day from the General-in-chief to make a strong reconnaissance in the direction of Waynesborough, and to engage Wheeler whenever we met him, I directed brigade commanders to send surplus animals and all non-combatants to the wagon train; that in the morning the command would move to engage, defeat, and rout the rebel cavalry encamped at Waynesborough. Accordingly at daylight the following morning we moved out of camp, the Second Brigade, Colonel Atkins, having the advance. The enemy's skirmish lines was met, quickly driven in, and finally retired upon his main line,