burned 90,000 bales of cotton stored there, and continued his retreat to Mount Meigs, on the Columbus road. Five guns and large quantities of small-arms, stores, &c., were left in our hands and destroyed. General McCook assigned Colonel Cooper, Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, to the command of the city, and immediately began the destruction of the public stores. Major Weston, of the Fourth Kentucky, with a small detachment of his regiment made a rapid march toward Wetumpka, swam the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers, and captured five steam-boats and their cargoes, which were taken to Montgomery and destroyed. Early on the 14th the march was resumed. I instructed Brevet-Major-General Upton to move with his own division directly upon Columbus, and to order La Grange with his brigade to make a rapid movement upon West Point, destroying the railroad bridges along the line of his march. I hoped to secure a crossing of the Chattahoochee at one or the other of these places.
Minty followed Upton by the way of Tuskegee. McCook with a part of his division remained a few hours at Montgomery to complete the destruction of the public stores. Shortly after leaving his camp near Montgomery, La Grange struck a force of rebels under Buford and Clanton, but drove them in confusion, capturing about 150 prisoners. About 2 p.m. of the 16th General Upton's advance, a part of Alexander's brigade, struck the enemy's pickets on the road and drove them rapidly through Girard to the lower bridge over the Chattahoochee at Columbus. The rebels hastily set fire to it and thereby prevented its capture. After securing a position on the lower Montgomery road General Upton detached a force to push around to the bridge at the factory, three miles above the city. He then made a reconnaissance in person and found the enemy strongly posted in line of works covering all the bridges, with a large number of guns in position on both sides of the river. He had already determined to move Winslow's brigade to the Opelika or Summerville road and assault the works on that side without waiting for the arrival of the Second Division. I reached the head of Winslow's brigade, of the Fourth Division, at 4 o'clock, and found the troops marching to the positions assigned them by General Upton. Through an accident Winslow did not arrive at his position till after dark, but General Upton proposed to make the assault in the night, and coinciding with him in judgment I ordered the attack. Three hundred men of the Third Iowa Cavalry, Colonel Noble commanding, were dismounted, and after a slight skirmish moved forward and formed across the road under a heavy fire of artillery. The Fourth Iowa and Tenth Missouri were held in readiness to support the assaulting party. At 8 p.m., just as the troops were ready, the enemy at a short distance opened a heavy fire of musketry, and with a four-gun battery began throwing canister and grape. Generals Upton and Winslow in person directed the movement. The troops dashed forward, opened a withering fire from their Spencers, pushed through a slashing and abatis, and pressed the rebel line back to their out-works, guns threw out a perfect storm of canister and grape, but without avail. General Upton sent two companies of the Tenth Missouri, Captain McGlasson commanding, to follow up the success of the dismounted men and get possession of the bridge. They passed through the inner line of works, and under cover of darkness, before the rebels knew it, had reached the bridge leading into Columbus. As soon as everything could be got up to the position occupied by the dismounted men General Upton pressed forward again, swept away all opposition, took possession of the foot and railroad bridges, and stationed guards throughout