War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0518 KY., S. W. VA., TENN., N. & C. GA., MISS., ALA., & W. FLA.

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of there having been any train of wagons in that place. Laterin the night I also learned from another negro that Jeff. Davis and wife were with the train. Here I left Lieutenant Lane and forty-five men to guard the ferry and patrol the roads. With the balance of my command I started at daylight in pursuit on the Jacksonville river road. At Turkey Creek bridge I learned that the train had taken the Telfair road, and from a woman I got the description of a man I thought must be Jeff. Davis. From this place I dent the dispatch to you, but I have since learned that the courier was captured by the rebels and taken thirty miles down into the pine woods, robbed of his horse and equipments, and then released. I found the trail of the wagons very indistinct, as the country was pine woods, poor and barren, and almost uninhabited. Here I impressed a guide who had heard of the wagons the evening before, and who led is away from the main road some eleven miles to the place where the party had encamped during the previous night between the forks of Alligator Creek. After having fed the horses and taken a new guide, we again started in pursuit. At this point we were four hours behind them. Our way now led across the main Alligator Creek and through the swamp to the ford of Gum Swamp Creek, Pulaski County, where I encamped, being then after dark and the trail too indistinct to follow. Distance marched this day, forty miles.

On the 9th of May we started at 3 a. m., marched to Sugar Creek, thence to Cyppress Creek, thence to Ocmulgee River, which we followed down a few miles in the dense swamp to Brown's Ferry. In crossing my command an accident happened to the ferry-boat, causing a delay of two hours. At this place I learned positively that Mr. Davis and family were the occupants of one of the ambulances in the train which we were following. Proceeding to Abbeville, Wilcox County, I fed the horses, and learning that the train had left that place at 10 a. m. (May 9), in the direction of Irwinville, Irwin County, I sent forward my command in that direction, going myself to meet Colonel Pritchard, who I learned was advancing with the Fourth Michigan Cavalry on the Hawkinsville road. I informed the colonel of the train which I had been so long pursuing, and that Mrs. Davis and family were with it, and that Jeff. Davis himself was undoubtedly accompanying them or not very far distant. Also that my command had gone on toward Irwinville in pursuit. Colonel Pritchard then informed me that he was ordered to Abbeville with his regiment to watch for Jeff. Davis, at the same time tendering me some of his men, which I declined, as may force was sufficiently large and I found it very difficult to obtain forage for the horses and subsistence for the men. Parting with Colonel Pritchard near Abbeville, I soon overtook my command, and, after marching some ten miles from the last named town, we discovered the camping ground of the train, so recently left the fires were not yet gone out. I continued hon in the direction of Orwinville through the pine woods until about 9 p. m., when I halted and grazed the horses, having no grain for them, with orders to the, men to be ready for an early start. At the time I felt certain the train was near at hand, but fearing that if we came upon them in the darkness of that night Jeff. Davis and others might escape under cover of the night, I waited until 3 a. m. (May 10), when I again started. After marching about one mile - possibly more - our advance guard, commanded by Sergeant Hussey, was halted by a party of men partly concealed behind trees. Supposing, of course, that he had run upon the rebel picket, [the] sergeant endeavored to retreat, when a heavy volley was fired