War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0344 KY.,S.W. VA., TENN., N&C C. GA., MISS., ALA., & W. FLA.

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the breast-works of Columbus, saving, by the impetuosity of his attacks, the bridges over the Chattahoochee, and capturing 52 field guns in position, besides 1,200 prisoners. The rebel ram Jackson, nearly ready for sea, and carrying an armament of six 7-inch guns, fell into our hands and was destroyed, as well as the navy-yard, foundries, the arsenal and the armory, sword and pistol factory, accouterments, shops, paper-mills, 4 cotton factories, 15 locomotives 200 cars, and an immense amount of cotton, all of which were burned. The same day, the 16th of April, La Grange captured Fort Tyler, at West Point, above Columbus on the Chattahoochee, after assaulting it on three sides, the defense being stubborn. Three hundred prisoners, 3 guns, and several battle-flags were taken, besides a large quantity of supplies.

On the 18th the march toward Macon was resumed, Minty's (late Long's) division leading. By a forced march the bridges across Flint River, fifty-four miles from Columbus, were secured, compelling the abandonment by the enemy of five field guns and a large amount of machinery; 40 prisoners were captured and 2 cotton factories destroyed. At 6 p.m. on the 20th of April the authorities of Macon, under protest, surrendered the city to the Seventeenth Indiana, Colonel Minty's advance regiment, claiming, under the provisions of an armistice reported existing between the forces of Generals Sherman and Johnston, that the capture was contrary of the usages of war. General Wilson, not being at hand when the surrender was made, when the case was reported to him, with admirable good judgment declined to recognize the validity of the claim asserted, as the city had been taken possession of by one of his subordinate before he (General Wilson) could be advised of the existence of an armistice, and he therefore held, as prisoners of war, Major General Howell Cobb and G. W. Smith, and Brigadier-Generals Mackall, Robertson, and Mercer. On the 21st General Wilson was notified by General Sherman, from Raleigh, N. C., over the enemy's telegraph wires and through the headquarters of General Joseph E. Johnston, that the reported armistice was a reality and that he was to cease further operations. To return to General Stoneman's expedition from East Tennessee. Owing to the difficulty of procuring animals for his command and the bad condition of the roads, General Stoneman was only enabled to start from Knoxville about the 20th of March, simultaneously with General Wilson's departure from Chickasaw, Ala. In the meantime General Sherman had captured Columbia S. C., and was moving northward into North Carolina. About this period reports reached me of the possibility of the evacuation of Lee's army at Richmond and Petersburg, Va., and in that event of his forcing a passage through East Tennessee, via Lynchburg and Knoxville. To guard against that contingency, Stoneman was sent toward Lynchburg to destroy the railroad and military resources of that section and of Western North Carolina. The Fourth Army Corps was ordered to move from Huntsville, Ala., as far up into East Tennessee as it could supply itself, repairing the railroad as it advanced, forming, in conjunction with Tillson's division of infantry, a strong support for General Stoneman's cavalry column in case it should find more of the enemy than it could conveniently handle and be obliged to fall back. With three brigades, Brown's, Miller's, and Palmer's, commanded by General Gillem, General Stoneman moved, via Morristown, Bull's Gap, and thence eastward up the Watauga and across Iron Mountain, to Boone, N. C., which he entered on the 1st of April,* after killing or capturing about seventy-five home guards. From Boone he crossed the


* March 28.