Ocmulgee River I moved the command to Macon, and about that time received orders from General Beauregard to report by letter to Lieutenant-General Taylor. A copy of that letter is herewith transmitted. *
All of my command except the Georgia militia and two regiments of State Line troops, which reported to me just before leaving regiments of State Line troops, which reported to me just before leaving Lovejoy's were at this time turned over to Major-General Cobb. The defense of a portion of the line around Macon, on the west bank of the Ocmulgee, was assigned to the force still left in my command. Before the troops were fairly in position orders were received to cross the river and occupy a position covering East Macon. This movement occupied the whole night. Soon after daylight next morning my five brigade were in the respective positions assigned them, no two being in the same part of the field.
During the morning of Monday, the 21st, the First Brigade, under your own personal instructions, given direct to the colonel commanding, were sent along the line of the Central railroad, with orders to move as rapidly as possible, either by rail or otherwise, to the city of Augusta. In the afternoon of the same day Anderson's battery of artillery was assigned to the militia, and you directed me to move as soon as possible, with this battery, the Second, Third, and Fourth Brigades of militia, and the two regiments of the State Line, to Augusta. They moved Tuesday morning in the direction of Griswoldville, with orders to halt there and await further instructions from me. You also informed me that you had ordered Major Cook, with the Athens and Augusta battalions, to proceed to Augusta, and directed me to take them in my command if I came up with them on the route. Arrangements for transportation of ammunition and supplies detained me a few hours in Macon, which place you had left on the evening previous.
Lieutenant-General Taylor arrived there on the morning of the 22d. Information having been received showing very clearly that a much larger force of the enemy was near the city than was supposed when you gave the orders for my troops to move, he authorized me to direct them to return. My order reached them on the ever of an engagement with what was supposed to be a small force of the enemy. Notwithstanding my order to avoid an engagement at that place and time, a collision occurred, we being the attacking party; and though the officers and men behaved with great gallantry, they failed to carry the works of the enemy, but held a position within 150 yards of their line until after dark, when they were withdrawn to Macon by my order. The First Brigade of militia were not engaged, having passed that point in the execution of orders given by yourself. Major Cook, commanding the Athens and Augusta battalions, moving under orders direct from yourself, was upon the ground and engaged in this action.
Our loss was a little over 600, being more than one-fourth of the effective muskets we had in the engagement. Several of the best field officers of the command were killed or wounded.
It is evident now that our men were opposed by the larger portion of one corps of the enemy, while another was marching from Clinton in their rear; and I consider the troops were very fortunate in being withdrawn without disaster. Lieutenant-General Taylor, having become satisfied that the enemy were leaving the vicinity of Macon, directed me to move my command on Friday morning by rail to Albany; thence march to Thomasville; thence by rail to Savannah.
* Not found.