Hathaway, and Captain Potter, commanding battalions, and Adjutant Dickinson, who rendered much valuable assistance in the general management of the regiment, although to individualize would seem unjust when every officer and man performed his whole duty.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. D. PRITCHARD,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Fourth Michigan Cavalry.
Major ROBERT BURNS,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Brigadier, Second Div., Cav. Corps.,
Military Division of the Mississippi.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH MICHIGAN CAVALRY,
Near Macon, Ga., April 29, 1865
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following as a report of the doings of the troops under my command which resulted in the capture of the bridges over Flint River on the 18th instant:
In obedience to orders received from Colonel Minty, commanding division, I moved from camp near Columbus, Ga., at 5.30 p.m. on the
17th instant, in command of the Fourth Michigan and Third Ohio Cavalry, with directions to make a forced march during the night, and to reach (if practicable) at daylight on the 18th and capture what is known as the Double Bridges over Flint River, and to spare nothing necessary for the accomplishment of the object. The command was put in light-marching trim, all pack animals and everything that could impede our march being left behind. For the first sixth miles our march was through a blind woods road, after which we struck the old telegraph road from Columbus to Macon, which was commodious and in good repair. Nothing occurred until daylight to break the mournful monotony of a night march which was incessant and rapid, with the exception of three slight halts comprising about one hour in all. It was reported that the enemy in various forces was just in our front, and that we might fall upon them at any moment; and to provide for any emergency that might arise, I sent one full battalion of the Fourth Michigan out as an advance, with orders to charge and capture, or cut through, any force which might appear in front, but nothing was seen, although I learn that large numbers of stragglers, together with three pieces of artillery, were driven into the woods and passed at a point nine miles from the bridges, we came upon a squad of five rebels and took them in. One mile farther several mounted men appeared, who were chased and driven on to another road. From this point the gait of the column was increased to a trot. Three miles farther five more prisoners were captured. At Pleasant Hill, four miles from the river; came upon a refugee train and several rebel soldiers, who showed symptoms of fight, but two or three minutes served to settle their accounts; 2 were killed and 1 mortally wounded, and 3 captured. From there a charge was ordered, and was executed with such precipitancy that the guard at the bridge, consisting of a force of fifty men, under command of Major Osborn, First [Battalion] Georgia Cavalry [Reserves], with instructions to defend and destroy the bridges, was completely surprised, receiving no knowledge of our approach until the head of our column struck the bridge at the gallop, which was swept like a hurricane, not allowing the enemy time to fire a volley.
30 R R-VOL XLIX, PT I