War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0357 WILSON'S RAID - ALABAMA AND GEORGIA.

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directly south by the Tuscaloosa road till it crossed Upper Bear Creek, thence turned tot he eastward by the head of Buttahatchie Creek, crossed Byler's road near Thorn Hill, and struck Blackwater Creek about twenty-five miles from Jasper. The crossing of the last-mentioned stream and the road for six miles beyond were as bad as could be, but by industry everything was forced through to Jasper, and the ford on the Warrior with but little loss of time. McCook's division pursued the same route to Bear Creek on the Tuscaloosa road, but instead of turning to the eastward at that place continued the march toward Tuscaloosa as far as Eldridge, and thence east to Jasper. In this order the different divisions arrived at and crossed the two forks of the Black Warrior River. The ford on the West Branch was extremely difficult of approach as well as of passage. The country on both sides, very rugged and 600 or 700 feet above the bed of the stream, was entirely destitute of forage. The stream itself was at the time likely to become entirely impassable by the rain which threatened to occur at any moment. I had also heard at Jasper on the 27th that a part of Forrest's force under Chalmers was marching by the way of Bridgeville toward Tuscaloosa, and knew that if the true direction of our movement had been discovered it would be but a short time till the balance of the rebel cavalry would push in the same direction. I therefore directed my division commanders to replenish the haversacks, see that the pack animals were fully laden, to leave all the wagons except the artillery, and march with the greatest possible rapidity via Elyton to Montevaloo. I felt confident that the enemy would not relinquish his efforts to check the movements of the troops in the hopes of destroying our supply train. I therefore left it between the two streams with the instructions to push on as far as Elyton, where it would receive further orders. By great energy on the part of commanding officer the two branches of the Warrior were crossed, each division losing a few horses but no men.