the troops across Commissioner's Creek and are now engaged in destroying the railroad. We have burned about five miles from Station Numbers 16 westwardly. The road from Gordon to this point is a very fair one, with the exception of the crossing at Commissioner's Creek, which is very bad. Notwithstanding General Smith's information that there is no road or crossing between the railroad bridge and Tucker's Ferry, the general is of the opinion that there is such a crossing, as we have positive information from citizens and one now at our headquarters that there is a road leading to and crossing at the intersection of Oconee River and Commissioner's Creek. The general has had a party out nearly all day looking up the road leading to Jackson's Ford on the north side of Commissioner's Creek, but they have not yet returned; when last heard from they were of the opinion that they could reach the ford by that route. The party sent out to discover a route south of Commissioner's Creek have reported a good road leading to Station Numbers 15, on the south side of the railroad, and from information are of the opinion that there is a road leading from Numbers 15 to Jackson's Ford. The general can pass his troops along the last-mentioned road without interfering with the lower or Irwinton road. He would suggest the propriety of moving his command up to Numbers 15, from which point he can send out a reconnaissance to determine the practicability of the upper or Jackson's Ford road and crossing, and if such a road and crossing does not exist, he will then be at the most convenient point for a movement toward Ball's Ferry.
Attention is called to General Smith's statement in reference to operations at Ball's Ferry. As General Smith's command is not within supporting distance, the general would suggest the propriety of sending a sufficient force from this division to secure the crossing, and, if possible, drive the enemy from the bridge.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Inspector-General.
OCONEE BRIDGE, November 23, 1864--5. 30 p. m.
[Major General F. P. BLAIR:]
GENERAL: We left Station 15 about 12 o'clock, marched here, seven miles, and have driven the rebels out of two stockades. Spencer got the first one before we got up, and we now occupy this side of the river, and the enemy tolerably well intrenched close down to the bank on the other. Two guns is all we have developed so far, though they are said to have four. Their force we have no means of knowing, but they are estimated all the way from 600 to 1,500; probably the first is nearer the force. The railroad runs through a swamp about two miles; the ground is impassable, except occasionally a place that a skirmish line can wade through. The troops were mostly sent down on the railroad. We also got one gun down the track about half a mile and shelled them out of a stockade about one mils this side of the bridge. The balance of the road is trestle-work, and to get the artillery down will require a heavy job of bridging and corduroying, which I think is impracticable, as we are not laying siege to places on this trip. It would cost considerable ammunition then to shell them out. My opinion is that there is no crossing above the bridge except Tucker's Ferry, twenty-two miles from here. I directed Colonel Spencer to send 150 men from Station 15 to Ball's Ferry. The major in command has just sent a dispatch that he has the ferry; he had a sharp skirmish with a