War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0419 WILSON'S RAID-ALABAMA AND GEORGIA.

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the mules from my train, I had succeeded increasing my effective force 216 men in three days previous. The first day's march was a distance of sixteen miles, passing through Buzzard Roost and camping near Barton's Station. March 23, had charge of the division train and toiled with it from daylight to dark, using almost all of the brigade to carry it along. Made four miles. March 24, marched through Frankfort to the right of Russellville, camping two miles south. distance, thirty miles. March 25, starting at 4.30 a. m., marched to Haley's, on the buttahatchie, a distance of twenty-nine miles. After this hard day's march, during which we crossed Big Bear Creek and other troublesome streams, went into camp without forage. March 26, marched to Kansas, twenty-five miles, passing through Eldridge and crossing New River. Found plenty of forage and quite a number of loyal people. March 27, marched to Saunders' Ferry, on the Mulberry Branch of Black Warrior, a distance of twenty-eight miles, passing through Jasper. This was one of the hardest day's marches in the campaign. the roads were in terrible condition, and I was compelled to cut new roads, corduroy old ones, build bridges over swamps, and use my command to carry wagons and ambulances along. March 28, crossed the river and camped seven miles beyond. Ford very dangerous and uncertain; quite a number of men dismounted, several horses and mules drowned, and some few arms lost. March 29, crossed Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River, marching toward Elyton, and camping seven miles from there. Ford over river deep but not dangerous. On the 30th, at 4 p. m., left Elyton under the following order, sending two staff officers by different routes to order the Fourth Kentucky (mounted) Infantry, which was twenty miles in the rear with the train, to strike directly south and join us, if possible, before we reached Tuscaloosa. Two companies of this regiment, one of the Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, and forty pioneers, in the aggregate 200 men, were left with the train, thus reducing my effective force to about 1,500 men:

HDQRS. FIRST DIV., CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

Elyton, Ala., March 30, 1865.

General JOHN T. CROXTON,

Commanding First Brigade, First Division:

GENERAL: The following order has just been received by me from corps headquarters:

"HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

"Elyton, Ala., March 30, 1865-2 p. m.

"Brigadier General E. M. MCCOOK,

"Commanding First Cavalry Division:

"GENERAL: Detach one brigade of your division, with orders to proceed rapidly by the most direct route to Tuscaloosa to destroy the bridge, factories, mills, university (military school), and whatever else may be of benefit to the rebel cause. As soon as this work is accomplished instruct the commanding officer to join the corps by the Centreville road. Caution him to look out for Lyon, who was expected at Tuscaloosa yesterday with a small force marching toward Montevallo. In case the bridge at Centreville is destroyed let him cross the Cahawba, wherever he can do so best.

"Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

"J. H. WILSON,

"Brevet Major-General, Commanding."

You will march with your brigade in compliance with the foregoing order, and report in person to General Wilson for further instructions.

E. M. MCCOOK,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

Reporting to the brevet major-general commanding in person for instructions, he directed me in case I found it practicable after executing my mission at Tuscaloosa, to destroy the railroad between Selma