in the direction of Augusta or Western Georgia. On reaching the South Carolina side, I moved down, and was placed by Lieutenant-General Hardee in command of the defense of New River and adjacent landings, and charged with the duty of holding the line of communication from Huger's Landing to Hardeeville. This we succeeded in doing, although the enemy held the South Carolina side of the river with a division of infantry.
After the evacuation of the city. December 20, I removed all the guns and ammunition from Tunbridge and Mongan's Landing and New River a bridge; also, the heavy guns, weighing 9,000 pounds each, from Red Bluff, together with the ammunition.
I omitted to state that during the entire movement of the enemy through Georgia I kept all my superiors fully informed of the strength and of all the movements of the enemy. At the same time I kept my cavalry in his front, rear, and on both flanks, preventing his cavalry from spreading over the country, retarding the enemy by fighting him on all sides and felling tress in his advance. This duty was fully done, and I thank my officers and men for their devotion, gallantry, and the self-sacrificing spirit they have ever exhibited. Every engagement was a success, and the utter defeat and discomfiture of the enemy's cavalry was most signal and complete, notwithstanding his force of cavalry was always superior to mine.
My force never exceeded 3,500 men, and was so distributed in front, rear, and on both flanks that I seldom had more than 2,000 under my immediate command, which 2,000 frequently charged and routed more than double their numbers. The enemy had been falsely informed by their officers that we took no prisoners, which caused him to fight with desperation and to run very dangerous gauntlets to escape capture, which frequently accounts for the large proportion of killed. In every rout of their cavalry, and in the many fights which ensued, they continued to flee, refusing the surrender, notwithstanding the demands of my men in close pursuit. Consequently, no alternative was left but to shoot or saber them to prevent escape.
During the trip I had parties to move a day or more in advance of the enemy, informing citizens where to run their negroes and stock in order to insure the safety of their property, offering them every assistance in so doing; but, generally, the citizens were so frightened as to be perfectly helpless. On the enemy's approach, pursuant to orders, I drove off such horses and mules as were exposed to the enemy's view, and have since taken every pains to restore said stock to its owners, generally with success. My command captured about 500 horses, many of which had been taken from citizens by the enemy, and have been returned to their owners when it was possible to do so.
I desire to tender my thanks for the devoted gallantry of my division and brigade commanders. Those whose conduct came especially under my notice were Generals Allen, Humes, Anderson, and Dibrell, and Colonels Ashby, Hagan, Crews, and Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson. General Allen has slightly wounded and had two horses shot under him at Waynesborough; Generals Humes and Dibrell also had their horses shot while gallantly engaging the enemy.
I also tender my thanks to General Robertson, who, while acting as my chief of staff in the temporary absence of his command, was severely wounded while gallantly charging the enemy.
Captain S. W. Steele, and Lieutenant M. G. Hudson, aides-de-camp of my staff, were highly distinguished for gallantry and zeal. Lieuts. R. B. Ryan, J. M. Stewart, and Henry Chapman, acting upon my staff, were gallant and efficient.