War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0381 WILSON'S RAID - ALABAMA AND GEORGIA.

Search Civil War Official Records



January 24, 1867.

Respectfully forwarded to the Secretary of War.



[Inclosure No. 1.] CINCINNATI, November 10, 1866.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to make the following brief report of the operations of the Fourth Division, Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi, during the pursuit and capture of Jefferson Davis. Having at hand little data and no records, I cannot make the statement as full as I would like, but, as the part taken by this division was auxiliary rather than successful, perhaps it is not very important that every detail should be preserved:

About the 1st of May, 1865, 300 men, composed of about equal numbers of the Third and Fourth Iowa Cavalry, were sent to Augusta, being accompanied by Bvt. Major General Emory Upton, commanding the Fourth Division. The horses of this body of men were left with their respective regiments, and they went, via Atlanta, by railroad. They did not rejoin their commands until after the capture of Mr. Davis has been reported. At or about the same time the First Ohio Cavalry, Colonel B. B. Eggleston commanding, moved also from Macon to Atlanta, marching there in four days. Meantime the colonel had preceded the regiment by railroad, having with him a portion of his regiment. On arriving at Atlanta he, acting under orders from corps headquarters, assumed command of that city, his regiment acting as provost guard. In obedience to orders received from yourself in person, I removed the remaining portions of the division toward Atlanta, leaving Macon on the morning of May 5, and marching that day five miles beyond Forsyth. Having your instructions to keep a lookout for Davis, I wished to gain the neighborhood of Atlanta as early as practicable (keeping also in view the condition of my horses); therefore moved the next day to Griffin, where I received from you the information that the ex-President was trying to escape across Georgia. Leaving Griffin early on the morning of the 7th, I moved through Jonesborough and bivouacked four or five miles north. Being now near Atlanta and in constant communication with Colonel Eggleston, who had scouts well out to the north and east, I had left one company, Fourth Iowa, Captain Pray, at Griffin and one company, Third Iowa, at Jonesborough, with instructions to thoroughly scout the whole neighboring country, practicularly to the east, and to at once communicate by couriers all credible information. The most reliable information obtained to this time, and during the 8th instant, led met believe that Davis had not yet approached the line of the Ocmulgee River and the towns west of the same. i frequently talked with persons who saw him at Washington, Ga. Rumors without number now came from every direction, and if I had obeyed the impulses they gave rise to in almost every mind I should soon have sent out my whole force by detail, and with the expectation that each squad or company would be on the right trail. Believing, however, that I now held a central position to move either south, west, east, or northwest, I remained at this camp on the line of the railroad and waited more definite information, conveying to corps headquarters such as I deemed of moment or value. Becoming convinced that Mr. Davis had not crossed my lines of communication and that he had dispensed with