HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Russell Place, February 24, 1865 - 9. 45 a.m.
Major General O. O. HOWARD, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
DEAR GENERAL: The advance of Seventeenth Corps is back about two miles and coming up as rapidly as possible. At 7 this a.m. the rear of Seventeenth Corps, General Force's division, was still at the pontoon bridge, and the advance of Mower's division was just passing through Liberty Hill. Ther road is very heavy and getting worse all the time and will have to be corduroyed nearly all the way. There is a road running direct from this place to Flat Rock Church, but it is represented as being very swampy. I have sent forward to have it examined. If practicable, General Blair will take it; if not, will move south on the Camden road and move by the route indicated last night. It is only two miles farther. General Blair will have his head of column to-night at Flat Rock and will try and get his rear as far as Russell Place. The other division will be at some point between the two. The Twentieth corps struck into our road about three miles west from Russell Place. They were looking for a road to Hanging Rock and came into ours. They will be compelled to countermarch some three miles and a half or wait until the rear of the Seventeenth Corps passes, in which latter case they won't march far to-day. General Jackson, who has the advance, seemed surprised to find us moving on Russell Place. I saw Asmussed and he informed me the Twentieth Corps was ordered to move to Chesterfield, via Hanging Rock and Jefferson Post-Office. I will accompany General Blair until his head of column reaches Flat Rock and will then join you. I am inclined to think the bridge train will not get farther than Patterson's Cross-Roads to-night. It will have some trouble in getting over the branch of Beaver Creek. I found it very much swollen. The advance of Seventeenth Corps was not as far as back as reported. It is now coming up to Russell Place. It will mass here for a short time till we decide which road to take to Flat Rock Church.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. E. STRONG,
P. S. - General Force was directed to move at 6 o'clock, but was waiting for the pontoniers to take up the bridge, which they had just commenced to do at 7 o'clock.
WM. E. STRONG,
10. 45 A.m.
P. S. - We have just learned that the road to Flat Rock in practicable and we will move by that road. General lair will try and push Giles Smith to Williams' Cross-Roads, and Mower to Flat Rock. The Twentieth Corps has encamped at the intersection of the road referred to. Will wait till our column passes.
WM. E. STRONG.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Near Williams' Cross-Roads, S. C., February 24, 1865.
Major General F. P. BLAIR, Commanding Seventeenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: The general commanding directs that you proceed by the most direct route to Young's Bridge, reaching that point by the