War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0533 PURSUIT AND CAPTURE OF JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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opponents and hallowed to them asking them who they were, and received the reply, First Wisconsin. I also learn that about this time Sergeant Wright, of A Company, who was with Lieutenant Purinton on the left, discovered that were were fighting our own men and ran over to their lines in order to stop the firing. But this most lamentable accident was not discovered until it had cost the lives of two good men and the wounding of Lieutenant Boutell in the Fourth Michigan and the wounding of several men in the First Wisconsin.

This sad mistake, which has cast such a mournful shadow over the otherwise bright and glorious success of the expedition, arose principally from the failure of the sergeant in command of the advance guard of the First Wisconsin to give a proper response to the challenge of Lieutenant Purinton. For as soon as I found that we were in advance of the train, and that Colonel Harnden had not reached Irwinville as expected, I at once took every precaution necessary, as I supposed, to avoid the possibility of a collision, and instructed my officers thoroughly on that point, and feel that I could have done nothing further unless I had after reaching Irwinville withdrawn my command or waited for Colonel Harnden to move, and whom I had good reason to believe might have taken some other road,m as he had assured me at Abbeville that he should go throughout to Irwinville that night, but such a course would undoubtedly have insured the escape of Davis and the principal parties with the train, for Colonel Harnden told me after the capture that he did not think he would have captured Davis in the manner his column was moving, as his advance would have given the alarm in time for Davis to escape, and perhaps it would have been better that it should have been so; but I would not censure any one, for I believe each did what he believed to be right at the time and under the circumstances, and I understand that the sergeant in charge of the advance of the First Wisconsin had orders to fire upon any force he met, and during the time of the fighting it wa so dark that the uniforms of the men could not be distinguished. After allowing the prisoners time to prepare a hasty breakfast I placed the wounded in one of the ambulances and the dead in one of the wagons and started on our return to macon, arriving at Abbeville on the evening of the same day, where we buried our dead and performed the last sad rites of the soldier over his fallen comrades. Resuming our march on the morning of the 11th, we reached Macon on the afternoon of the 13th.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel Fourth Michigan Cavalry.

Numbers 5. Report of Colonel Horace N. Howland, Third Ohio Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade.


Near Hawkinsville, May 10, 1865 - 10 p. m.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that I arrived at this place this p. m., and learned about am hour since that Jeff. Davis, with an escort of forty men and a train of two ambulances and from twelve to fifteen wagons, crossed the Ocmulgee at Abbeville on the evening of the 8th, and hearing of Colonel Pritchard, he (Davis) started down the river at 12 o'clock the same night. Colonel Pritchard arrived at Abbeville