War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0412 OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA. Chapter LVI.

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In closing this report I will state that during the last five months my command has been without wagons or cooking utensils, with orders to subsist upon the country. Its food has been limited to bread baked upon boards and stones and meat broiled upon sticks. It has not been paid in twelve months, and has not had the regular issues of clothing aged in direct marching sixteen miles a day, and, being without wagons, has been obliged to pack all the forage and rations to camp on horseback, which, together with scouting and other duties, would make the average traveling of each soldier at least twenty miles each day. During these five months my troops have been continuously in the immediate presence of the enemy, fighting nearly every day, and with brilliant success, except in a few instances, when small detachments sent off from my command met vastly superior forces.

During these five months my command has captured, killed, and wounded more than its own effective strength. It has captured from the enemy in action and carried off the field 4 pieces of artillery, with caissons and battery wagons, 1,200 mules, over 200 wagons, 2,000 head of beef-cattle, 3,000 cavalry horses with equipments, and over 4,000 stand of arms. It has also captured a great number of the enemy's posts, with large amounts of stores, and has destroyed more railroad used by the enemy-stopping his communications for a longer time and with less loss-than any other cavalry command, although expeditions double its strength have been sent out on that duty. It has also captured and destroyed over a dozen trains of cars, generally loaded with supplies.

As we were continually fighting the enemy, our camps could not be designated before night-fall. Details had then to be sent out to procure forage and rations, frequently making it midnight before supper could be prepared for my men, and then they were often compelled to be in the saddle before daylight. No men in the Confederate States have marched more, fought more, suffered more, or had so little opportunities for discipline; yet they are to-day as orderly and as well discipline; yet they are to-day as orderly and as well disciplined as any cavalry in the Confederate service.

In our line of march officers and men were met who, in their anxiety to increase their commands, used every exertion to induce my men to desert, frequently offering them promotion and furlough as a reward for dishonor. Notwithstanding this my command is to-day stronger and more efficient than it was at the beginning of a continuous campaign of eight months hard, constant, and successful fighting.

I must particularly commend my Tennessee and Kentucky troops, whom, though they saw their homes thrown open by the advance of General Hood's army, I brought from the Coosa River to Savannah without a single desertion. Afterward I had the mortification to see a body desert who had been informed they were to be punished without trial for crimes they had never committed.

Respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,

J. WHEELER,

Major-General.

Lieutenant Colonel T. B. ROY,

Asst. Adjt. General, Headquarters Department, &c.

Appendix A.

HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, ARMY OF Georgia,

Springfield, December 8, 1864-7 a. m.

GENERAL: General Sherman has information that the line of defense around Savannah is about four miles from the city. He desires to take