War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0536 OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA. Chapter LVI.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,

Gordon, GA., November 24, 1864.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:

GENERAL: As General Kilpatrick has a squadron of cavalry going from this place to join him, I send Colonel Howard to communicate with you and join me at Irwin's Cross-Roads. Everything is now past this point. Captains Roots and Douglass, with the general cattle herd, have arrived. I have divided the bridge into two sections, and sent them on. General Blair is at Station 15, with his advance at Oconee railroad bridge. General Giles A. Smith drove the enemy from his stockade on this side, and finds some small force, with two or four pieces of artillery. I have dispatches this moment received, which I inclose. You may have to threaten them from the north; the swamps are so difficult that an interior force may hinder a crossing. I will be obliged to cross everything in the vicinity of Ball's Ferry. Osterhaus must have reached there to-day with his advance; Corse and John E. Smith follow to-morrow morning. My headquarters to-morrow night will be at that point.

Respectfully,

O. O. HOWARD,

Major-General.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,

Station 15, November 24, 1864--3. 25.

Captain S. L. TAGGART,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

CAPTAIN: There is no Jackson's Ferry, nor any practicable crossing between Milledgeville and Ball's Ferry. There is no doubt but that the enemy at the river are being re-enforced, and no time should be lost in obtaining possession of the crossing at Ball's Ferry. The Third Division will be here this evening, and I shall move it down to Ball's Ferry early to-morrow morning, and obtain possession of it, if it meets your views. I inclose General Smith's report of the situation at the railroad bridge. General Smith can move his troops along the bank of the river from the railroad bridge to Ball's Ferry.

Very respectfully,

FRANK P. BLAIR, Jr.,

Major-General.

[Sub-inclosure.]

RAILROAD BRIDGE, November 24, 1864--12 m.

Colonel HICKENLOOPER:

Your communication of this morning is received. I suppose Kirby has joined you before this, and corrected the mistake of his orderly about our being or having troops at Jackson's Ferry. He joined us here, and I suppose his orderly thought it was Jackson's Ferry. The detachment of cavalry were driven from Ball's Ferry last night, with a loss of 10 or 12 killed and wounded; consequently the rebels now hold that point, and are probably intrenching; they had commenced works before Major Tramel drove them away yesterday morning. I am satisfied there is no Jackson's Ferry, nor any practical crossing for ten or fifteen miles above here. I think by a little work we can fix the bank so as to lay two bridges at Ball's Ferry. I have got two pieces of artillery nearly down, near enough the bridge to open. They have two