Major Connolly's Diary.

Saturday, Oct. 1, 1864.

Division still encamped in the Southeastern suburb of Atlanta, where we have been since the battle of Jonesboro, Sept. 1st, which engagement caused the evacuation of Atlanta on that night, and it was occupied next morning by the 20th Corps under Genl. Slocum, who had been left to hold the bridge over the Chattahoochee when the rest of the Army swung around to Jonesboro.

Division encamped as follows: Gleason on the right, Este on the left, Hunter in reserve. Morgan's Division on our right, Carlin's on his right, and 17th Corps on right of this Corps, 20th Corps on left. Genl. Baird reviewed Gleason's Brigade today. Our headquarters on a nice lawn, tents neatly floored, and we are comfortably fixed. Error in picket detail today and Este makes a fuss about it.

Sunday, Oct. 2d, 1864.

All quiet — no movement of troops, but since last night, rumors of a speedy movement have been keeping us restless; at 10 o'clock P. M. received orders from Corps Headquarters to prepare to move next day. This confirms the rumors of last night, but we may not move yet; still there's "no telling" what Sherman won't do; we dislike very much to give up our anticipated rest at Atlanta, but it's just as "Old Billy" says; if he wants us to go we can go in half an hour. Our R. R. was cut by Hood several days ago, and we shall probably get no letters now until we either whip Hood or scare him away from the road.

Monday, October 3d.

Struck tents at 1 o'clock P. M. and commenced the march. The 1st Brigade in advance conducted by myself; the 2d Brigade following conducted by Genl. Baird. Some misunderstanding having occurred about the road, Genl. Baird sent Capt. Moulton forward to me to have me turn off at a certain road, but the head of column had gone beyond the point for turning, so I kept on — Moulton with me — and saw nothing of the General until next morning. We marched until late at night, through mud and rain, when Lowrie came forward to the head of the column to find out whether we knew where we were going; on discerning that we knew where we were going, he returned to the General and I went ahead with the column. About ten o'clock Capt. Morrison came to find Genl. Baird, but communicated the order to me to Encamp as soon as we could find ground suitable. It was raining and I soon found ground, and the 1st Brigade commenced going


into bivouac, but not more than three or four hundred men could be found, the rest had stopped on the road side, discouraged by the mud and darkness, and the two following Brigades halted in the same way, and lay down in the fence corners — the General with them, so Moulton and I, with our orderlies, lay down in an old house that had been stripped of its weather-boards, and without supper, with saddle for pillow and saddle blanket for covering, slept soundly until morning. Este's Brigade had lost its way during the day, but by marching nearly all night, reached the rest of the Division before morning.

Tuesday, October 4th.

Moved at daylight, and crossed Chattahoochee on pontoon bridge short distance above R. R. bridge at 6 A. M., marched around by bye-roads, which Genl. Davis claimed were short cuts, but which like all his short cuts, proved to be very much out of the way, and very bad roads. Bivouacked at 1 P. M. in the position occupied by Davis' Division on the 5th of July during the march against Atlanta. Pitched our tents, got some dinner, and lay down for a good long sleep, but at 3:15 P. M. reached orders to march immediately, and at 3:30 P. M. were on the road. Marched about 4 miles this afternoon. I went ahead to find our place of bivouac, which was pointed out to me by Lt. Col. McClurg, Genl. Davis, Chief of Staff. I put the Division in camp after dark, and got to bed about midnight very tired.

Wednesday, Oct. 5th.

Moved at 8 A. M. without wagons, all trains except ordinance and ambulances sent forward to Marietta by another road to our right. This looked as though we might strike the Enemy before night, but we didn't. Struck Army of the Tennessee, and followed after 15th A. C. which halted and bivouacked at 4 P. M. when we passed it, and moved on through a crowd of Army wagons until we reached the military college at Marietta, when I was ordered to go and select Camp ground west of Marietta. I did so, and returned and brought the head of the column to the ground selected, but at that moment an order came directing us to press forward, all night if necessary, until we should reach "Jack's House," which is about a mile in rear of the position we held in June last at the foot of Kenesaw mountain. This was discouraging news, for the night was very dark, the roads very muddy, and it was raining quite hard, but the bugles sounded "forward" and on went the column of tired and hungry men floundering through the mud. Genl. Baird directed me to return to Marietta, find Capt. Seely, our Q. M. and have him send our Head Quarter wagons forward as soon as he could find them, for we were without a blanket or a bite to eat except what was in our wagons. Capt. Acheson went back with me — found Seely, he gave us supper, put up a tent by the roadside for us, fed our horses, so telling our orderly to wake us at midnight we lay down to take a nap; when I wakened it was daylight, the orderly declared that he had called me at midnight, that I answered him & he thought we were getting up until he went and looked


into the tent and found us still asleep, he then thought we had concluded to wait till daylight & let us sleep. French's Division of Stewart's rebel Corps attacked Allatoona to-day — Genl. Sherman watched the conflict from the summit of Kenesaw mountain. He signalled the Commander at Allatoona to hold the place at any sacrifice.

Thursday, Oct. 6th.

The fight at Allatoona is over, and rumor says the rebels were repulsed with heavy loss — that's first rate. I started at daylight to overtake the Division, with half a loaf of bread in my hand. Eating it as I rode along, and Acheson ditto — this would be considered very undignified by some of the elegant gentlemen who do their soldiering in Northern drawing rooms. As we rode along we discussed the question as to what temper we should find the General in, & readily concluded he would be very unamiable after his night in the mud & rain, so we determined to say nothing about our having supper and a tent to sleep in, but would complain as bitterly as any one about the hard night we had passed. We overtook the Division about 3 miles out where it had stuck fast in the mud last night and could get no farther. They were just moving out as we came up; the General and rest of the Staff were wet to the skin and covered with mud; when Acheson and myself commenced our groans over the hard night we had passed they wouldn't believe a word of it, but insisted that we had slept in a tent or house, for we were not wet, and our clothes not muddy, so we had to "plead guilty" to having slept in a tent and eaten supper, and it was taken as a good joke. The roads so bad we didn't reach "Jack's House," which is near Pine Mountain, until 11 o'clock to-day. Went into line on left of 4th Corps. Hood is scared and is trying to get out of our way. Went over to my regiment to-day. Found Capt. Adams in command, Lt. Col. Biggs being temporarily absent at Columbia, Tenn. I think it is in very bad condition. Everything done very loosely. Roads in very bad condition.

Friday, Oct. 7th.

At 5 A. M. received orders for the Division to make a reconnoissance in the direction of Lost Mountain, which was about five miles from our camp. Column moved out at 8 o'clock A. M. without Artillery or wagons. Struck Dallas & Marietta road after a march of about 11/2 miles. No enemy encountered until head of column had nearly passed the base of Lost Mountain, which loomed up on right like a huge sugar loaf, its sides covered with scrubby pine, oak and chestnut timber. Here a few shots were fired by a squad of rebel cavalry, constituting the rear guard of a brigade of rebel cavalry said to be commanded by a Colonel Lowrie. A line of skirmishers was immediately deployed and the rebels driven away. Division advanced to a fork in the road and was deployed in line of battle on either side of the road. Arms were stacked, pickets thrown out, and the General and Staff rode to the summit of "Lost Mountain." The view from the summit was very beautiful. Far to the N. W. was visible the point of Lookout


Mountain, overhanging Chattanooga; nearer to us was the range of Allatoona hills, and Allatoona Gap, where the battle of day before yesterday was gallantly fought and gloriously won by Corse; east of us and nearer to us Kenesaw with its dromedary humps loomed up from the plain, and still nearer arose Pine Mountain from the summit of which, last June, the soul of Rev. Bishop General Polk went to its long home. The plains between these mountain points were ridged like a plowed field with Federal and rebel breastworks, and it might shock the humanitarian to have stood there with me on the summit of Lost Mountain, and reflected that every square rod of soil within his view had lapped the blood of a human being and had furnished him a grave. Our Cavalry were out on a reconnoissance to-day too, and while we were on "Lost Mountain," looking to the west we saw a line of horsemen emerge from the woods — their sabres flashed in the sunlight — artillery and musketry commenced to roar, the line of horsemen swept forward rapidly and were soon hidden from our view but in half an hour the noise ceased, and we knew that our cavalry had driven whatever force of the enemy had been opposing them. Coming down off the mountain the General ordered the column forward, and we advanced about three miles further, when the fact was developed that two rebel Corps (Stewart's and Lee's) had gone before us yesterday on this same road, to Dallas. This settled the question that Hood was running from us. An old man brought us out a little basket of apples to-day, but as they said the rebels had taken everything they had to eat except about a bushel of apples they had hidden away, I disliked to take any, but the old man insisted, so we gobbled up his apples, and rode on merrily leaving the old man and woman alone with their poverty and grief. We marched back to camp, which we reached safely at 6 P. M.

Saturday, Oct. 8th.

I was in my first battle two years ago to-day at Perryville, Ky. Division received marching orders at 21/2 P. M. and we were on the road at 3 P. M. After seeing the Division all on the march I started forward to see Genl. Davis and find where he wanted us to encamp. Found him about 4 miles from Ackworth, just at dark, and looked over the ground on which he wanted our Division. Head of column came up about an hour after dark, and I placed the several brigades in camp as they arrived. Genl. Baird came up at the rear of the column. Head quarters at a house occupied by Genl. Howard as his head quarters last June.

A person, calling himself Dr. Bundy, came into our lines to-night, and was brought to our headquarters, says he is Surgeon of the 9th Ills. Mounted Infy., and has just escaped from the rebels. I knew him as soon as I saw him, but I believe he is a spy. I never saw him but once before, that was at Mattoon, Illinois, in the spring of 1862, he was then being taken to Washington under arrest, charged with uttering disloyal sentiments, and with encouraging enlistment for the rebel Army, in Southern Illinois. After questioning him a while, I told him


of all this, and he seemed somewhat surprised but he admitted it all, and said that on his trial the charges were not proven and that he was released, and had been in our army about 3 years. We hold him under guard to-night.

Sunday, Oct. 9th.

Moved headquarters a few hundred yards this morning, and pitched our tents. Weather quite cold & windy. Foraging parties sent out to-day. Division remained stationary. Rode out with the General to-day, and went to "Old Durham's" at whose house we had our headquarters several days during the advance on Atlanta.

Monday, Oct. 10th.

Received marching orders at 3 1/2 P. M., Division moved at 5 P. M. It is evident that Hood is still moving northward, for the General directs me to take the head of the column and conduct it to Allatoona. I rode ahead rapidly with a couple of Orderlies (for the purpose of finding the road) the column following leisurely, and about dark reached the main road from Ackworth to Allatoona, which road I found occupied by the troops and trains of the 4th Corps, and Genl. Davis coming up soon after directed me to mass our troops on either side of the road, when they came up, and let them bivouac until the 4th Corps should pass, which I did. Genl. Baird came up with the rear of the column. The road being clear we started again about 10 o'clock, and marched through Allatoona (which consists of about a dozen shabby frame buildings) and through the gap (the scene of Corse's fight) by moonlight. Just after getting through the gap, I saw a light in a house by the road side, and being very thirsty, stopped to get a drink of water; they told me they had no water, but could give me a drink of "persimmon beer," something I had often heard of, but had never seen or tasted. I gladly accepted it, but it was poor stuff — tasted like vinegar diluted with water, and colorless like water. We crossed the Etowah River, about 2 o'clock in the morning and bivouacked on the flat bottom land on its north bank. I laid down about 31/2 o'clock very tired, sleepy and supperless.

Tuesday, Oct. 11th.

This is election day in Ohio. Division moved at 7 A. M. The day quite warm and pleasant. Halted by the road side from 12 to 3 P. M. to allow Ohio Soldiers to vote. Very few Copperhead votes cast at this road side election. Moved forward at 3 o'clock, passed Cass Station, and through Kingston, going into Camp about 1 1/2 miles W. of Kingston, in the direction of Rome. Had a beautiful place for headquarters. Recd. 15 sacks of mail for our Division to-night — the first we have received for a long time. I received 6 letters, and though very tired and sleepy, I laid down on the grass before our rail fire, and read them all without thinking once about sleep. Letters are the


only links a soldier has to bind him to civilization, and no one but a soldier knows how highly he prizes them. We were here at Kingston last May marching southward, with the enemy in our front, now we are here again marching northward, and still the enemy is in our front. This has been a funny campaign from Atlanta north, the rebels have been using our breastworks of last Summer, and we have been using theirs.

Wednesday, Oct. 12th.

Received orders at 3 o'clock this morning to move at daylight, but didn't get started until 8 o'clk. Took the road toward Rome, but left it, about 3 miles out from Kingston, and took a bye road which brought us into the Rome and Calhoun road about 8 miles east of Rome. At this point the road runs through as beautiful a valley as I ever saw. The road being blocked by trains, we halted at a house about two hours to-day, to let the wagons get ahead out of our way: Had a fine time gathering chestnuts during this halt. An old negro came to the General and told him that the soldiers had driven his steer into a drove of cattle that were coming, and the men wouldn't let him have him; the General questioned the old African a little about the ownership of the steer and being satisfied that it was the property of his sable friend, made the soldiers turn out the steer, when the drove came up, and the negro was profuse in his thanks to the "Ginral." We are now in the region of good water again. All the streams north of the Etowah, are peculiarly clear, and the water is excellent. The streams between the Etowah and the Chattahoochee are not so clear, and the water not so good. When we struck the Rome and Calhoun road the General directed me to go forward in the direction of Rome, find Genl. Davis, and get his orders for our camp. I rode ahead to within 3 miles of Rome, and after a good deal of difficulty found Genl. Davis, and his Inspector General, indicated the position of our camp. I got the Division in camp about 9 o'clk in the evening. My faithful horse "Henry" that carried me through Middle Tennessee, through Chickamauga and Mission Ridge has been bleeding at the nose all day and I expect the poor brute will die.

Thursday, Oct. 13th;

Marching orders not received until 3 1/2 o'clock this afternoon. Capt. Acheson and myself rode in to Rome to-day. It has evidently been quite a business place. Our Division is entirely out of rations, and we get rations to-day from the stock on hand for the garrison at Rome.

Rations being distributed, the Division marched at 9 1/2 P. M. for Calhoun. While waiting for the distribution of rations the General and Staff stopped at Mr. Hanes near where our tents had been pitched. Capt. Acheson astonished the ladies by playing finely on the piano. Col. Gleason's Band came up in front of the house, and played several pieces very finely. I had been talking with the old gentleman while


the band was playing and he was expressing his regrets to me that he was not in a condition to treat us as hospitably as he could have done before the war; suddenly the band commenced playing the "Star Spangled Banner," the old man became silent, tears came into his eyes and rolled down his cheeks, his head bent forward, and his thoughts were evidently busy with the distant past, recalling to him the days when those same patriotic strains stirred the pulses of his young heart; turning to me when the music ceased. "Ah!" said he, "that reminds me of the day when I sailed into the harbor of Stockholm, on the first American Steamer that ever entered that port, with our glorious old Star Spangled banner flying from every mast head; oh, Sir, I felt proud of that flag then, and by G-d I'm proud of it yet, it makes me feel young again to see it." The old man spoke from the bottom of his heart, his tears attesting his earnestness. I bade the old man good by, and mounted for the night march at 9 1/2 o'clock. We marched about seven miles in the direction of Calhoun and bivouacked at 2 A. M. About midnight the General directed me to go forward, find where we were to stop, and have our tents put up — our wagons being in advance. Had headquarters put up about a mile in advance of the Division, and when the General found out where they were he said they were too far from the troops and swore he wouldn't stay there — but he did.

Friday, Oct. 14th.

Acheson's nigger "Cato" left the saddle on the Captain's horse all night, so Acheson commenced the day by blowing up "Cato." I didn't like to get up this morning; had nothing but a piece of hard cracker and a cup of coffee for breakfast. Crossed the Oothkalaga to-day, and passed through Calhoun. At Calhoun started in advance to find our camp. Met Genl. Davis near Resaca on south bank of Oostanaula; he directed me to encamp the troops on south side of river, which I did about 7 o'clk P. M. and got to bed about ten.

Saturday, Oct. 15th.

Division moved at 6 A. M. across the river. The enemy hold Snake Creek Gap, west of Resaca. We marched north from Resaca, along the R. R. to Tilton, turned west there and marched to the base of Mill Creek Mountain; halted about 2 1/2 hours, awaiting orders; commenced the ascent of Mill Creek Mountain at dark; we had to walk up in single file; the ascent was difficult and I was very tired when I reached the summit. Troops bivouacked on the top; we were supper-less, and had no blankets, so we built a fire, lay down and were soon asleep. All this mountain march was useless; the enemy evacuated Snake Creek Gap in the afternoon and we might have gone through that. I guess Stanley, who ordered us over the mountain, took one drink too many to-day. As we marched up the R. R. to-day, we had an opportunity of seeing how Hood's men destroy R. R.; every tie was burned by them and every rail bent; I suppose they have studied our work in that line, so frequently, they are now nearly as good as ourselves at it.


Sunday, Oct. 16.

Division moved at 6 A. M. down the west side of the mountain, into Snake Creek Gap, through which we passed and halted an hour for dinner in the valley beyond. I had nothing to eat for myself, but as my horse had been without feed for 24 hours, I rode out into a corn field, and after a half hour search found a few "nubbins" for him. It now became evident that Sherman had scared Hood away from the R. R. for the Army was turned southward once more, and it was also evident that Sherman meant to make him fight if possible, for he ordered that the trains should move on the wagon road and that roads should be cut through the woods alongside, on which the troops could march, which would greatly hasten the march of the column. This Division being the advance of the Corps, the General ordered me forward with a party of pioneers to select and cut a road through the woods, bridge streams, corduroy swamps &c so as to make a passage for the troops to Villanow, which I did; at Villanow I met General Stanley who directed me to keep right on to Ship's Gap, so I went on road making with my pioneers until I reached Dick's Gap, two miles from Ship's Gap, where I met General Sherman, who called out to me: "Hallo, Major! where do you belong?" "14th Corps, Sir"; "Where's Gen'l. Davis?" "I don't know, Sir"; "Where's the head of your column?" "About a mile back coming on rapidly." "That's first-rate; tell Gen'l. Davis I want him to encamp his Corps right here", and away rode "Tecumseh," to look after some other part of his 60000. When Gen'l. Davis came I delivered Gen'l. Sherman's order, and placed our Division in Camp on the ground which I had examined while waiting for the column to come up. I lost "Flora" to-day. While selecting a picket line this evening, came across a brother Mason in his little cabin; said he was a Union man and begged me to protect him. So I sent a soldier to him for a guard. Wagons not up to-night, therefore no tents or supper. Got a large iron pot, put about peck of sweet potatoes in it, had the orderlies boil them, then General and all sat down around the pot and ate sweet potatoes for supper.

Monday, Oct. 17th.

Division stationary to-day. Wagons came up 9 o'clk. Tents put up. Wrote a letter to Bromwell and others to-day, accepting nomination for Prosecuting Attorney; also wrote to Mary, and Sister Ella. Orders received to march to-morrow.

Tuesday, Oct. 18th.

Division moved at 11 A. M., passed through "Dick's" and "Ship's" Gaps, and struck "Old Alabama Road" — fine road — marched three hours and halted for dinner. Resumed march along west side of Taylor's ridge, and encamped at its base about 10 o'clock. Men straggled very much after dark, and the night was very dark. Head Quarters in Smallwood's Cabin. Old woman gave me pocket full of chestnuts on which I made my supper. Broke my saddle girth


to-night while putting Division in camp. Valleys here are beautiful and productive, but are now infested by Gatewood's guerrillas.

Wednesday, Oct. 19th.

Division moved at 8 A. M. toward Summerville. Passed thro' camp of 4th Corps. Met "Jake Conklin"; crossed Chatooga river — very clear stream about 5 rods wide at ford. I encamp Este on south side of stream under orders from Genl. Davis; Lowrie improperly halts other two Brigades on north side of stream; Genl. T. J. Wood Comd'g 4th Corps makes complaint about it; I finally get the Brigades across and encamped. Loyd buys "collards" of woman at white house. Eat some dinner out of the General's basket, and move on after halting two hours, and encamp near Summerville at 4 P. M. Two young ladies, riding mules, bare back, and with rope bridles, come to our Head Quarters and invite some officers to go and stay at their house so as to "perteck" them, but no officers went.

Thursday, Oct. 20th.

Loyd inquired for his collards this morning. Wash, our cook, slept on them last night. Loyd mad, and we laugh him into good humor. Division moved at 9 1/2 o'clk A. M. through Summerville on road to Gaylesville. Summerville is a small town, probably had 400 inhabitants before the war; but it now has a weatherbeaten, damaged appearance. Met Charlie Miller of Mt. Vernon, O., in Summerville; , he was a school mate of mine at Chesterville, O.; he is now Captain in 76th O. V. I. Crossed Raccoon Creek and halted an hour for dinner after marching 7 miles. Resumed march in an hour, and encamped at 9 P. M. 2 miles from Gaylesville, Ala. Line of march to-day has been near to and parallel with Chatooga river.

Friday, Oct. 21st.

At 8 A. M. marching orders received and tents struck. Marching orders countermanded at 9 A. M. and tents pitched again. Visited Gaylesville to-day. It is a poor little town, all on one street, and on the right bank of the Chatooga. Rode out with Capt. Seely A. Q. M. and forded the Chatooga, but couldn't get out on opposite bank. Rode up to Cavalry Train and saw Adjt. Hamlin of my regiment who was exchanged a few weeks since. He looks hard.

Saturday, Oct. 22nd.

Division Stationary. Gleason's Brigade sent into Gaylesville to construct bridge across Chatooga, and run grist mill. Serenade in the evening by Band of 79th Pa. Vols.

Sunday, Oct. 23rd.

Division Stationary. Capt. Moulton and myself started on a foraging expedition with the 18th Ky. Vols. Went in a northwesterly


direction through Alpine, on a spur of the Lookout range, and stopped at night at Major Williams' House in Broomtown Valley, about 22 miles from our camp. These valleys are rich, and forage is abundant. We are after wheat, hogs, sheep and cattle. We have 40 wagons and expect to load them all with wheat. Major Williams gives us his best bed and parlor to-night, but notwithstanding that we must have about 300 bushels of his wheat in the morning. He is a fine specimen of the haughty but hospitable Southern planter.

Monday, Oct. 24th.

Loaded up 250 bushels of Major Williams' wheat this morning. Started wagons and men off in various directions and in a few hours the wagons came back loaded, and the men with plenty of hogs, cattle and sheep. Mrs. Williams wanted to buy my pocket knife, and I gave it to her. Started for camp about 11 o'clock. Moulton and I rode ahead rapidly, trusting to luck to escape guerrillas, and reached camp safely a little after dark, leaving the foraging party to come on as fast as they could. Result of Expedition — about 1000 bushels wheat, 150 sheep, 50 hogs, 75 cattle and 30 bushel sweet potatoes, besides a large amount of poultry. The valleys of Northwestern Georgia, between Lookout Mountain and Taylor's ridge, are beautiful, well watered, well cultivated and productive.

Tuesday, Oct. 25th.

General Baird started for Nashville this morning on ten days leave, and I accompanied him with the escort. The distance from our camp to Rome is about 25 miles, the road running about parallel with the Coosa River. We passed over the same road to-day that Col. Straight traversed with his ill-fated expedition against Rome in the Spring of 1863. I saw the place where his men stacked arms when he surrendered. I think there was no good reason why he should not have reached and destroyed Rome, at least, before surrendering. Spent the night in Rome at Genl. Corse's Head Quarters, sleeping on a sofa. Genl. Baird got off to Kingston to-night, by rail.

Wednesday, Oct. 26th.

Started from Rome, with the Escort at 10 A. M. and reached camp beyond Gaylesville, without incident worthy of note, a little after dark, but very tired for I have been in the saddle almost constantly for the past four days and have ridden at least 120 miles. Found Col. Este at Head Quarters on my return he having assumed command of the Division during Genl. Baird's absence. He has no business to assume command; Hunter is the ranking Colonel, and is entitled to the command, but he don't know it, and if Este can play Division Commander over Hunter for a few days, all right.

Thursday, Oct. 27th.

Division Stationary. Rain last night and to-day. Maj. Lowrie received notice of acceptance of his resignation. Serenade in the evening


by Band of 38th Ohio Vols. Evening chilly and clear. Rumors of an important and very extensive movement are circulating about different Head Quarters. Some hint that Sherman has his eye on Mobile, others on Savannah, but if there's anything in it at all, I incline to the opinion that Savannah is the point, for that brings us to what must become our next "objective" viz. Lee's Army, whereas Mobile would take us farther from it than we now are. One thing is certain, there is no use of this Army of 70,000 "gallivanting" up and down through Georgia after Hood and his 40,000 any longer, for its like an elephant chasing a mouse; he wont let us catch him, and unless we can catch him so as to whip him soundly, his 40,000 are worth more to the rebels, than our 70,000 are to us, for it takes less to clothe, feed and pay them. So I believe we are going to do something, but I hardly dare guess what, yet.

Friday, Oct. 28th.

Division Stationary. Orders received at 3 P. M. to move at daylight tomorrow morning, on the road to Rome. Our Division is to be in the rear and we are to burn the grist mill in Gaylesville and the bridge across the Chatooga after we have crossed.

Saturday, Oct. 29th.

Division moved promptly at daylight across the Chatooga; sent as a detachment back into town and burnt the mill with a large amount of wheat and flour in it, then burnt the bridge and started toward Rome. Encamped at dark 5 miles from Rome, having marched 20 miles. Placed pickets entirely around the Division to-night. Received mail to-night, and my share was 3 letters from Mary.

Sunday, Oct. 30th.

Division moved at 5:45 A. M. marched 5 miles, and encamped just across the river from Rome, on the bank of the Oostanaula near its confluence with the Coosa. Went over to Corps Head Quarters and met Maj. Newcomer, Pay Master, who promised to pay me if I would go up to his office in town. So I went up and got my pay in full up to to-morrow night in 7.30 Bonds, less the income tax, which these Pay Masters deduct, and thus save Uncle Sam some trouble in making collection. It is ridiculous to compel officers to pay 5 per cent tax on the salary they receive for services in the field. Those who stay at home and reap golden harvests out of the war should be compelled to pay the taxes.

Capt. Buttrick A. D. C. got back from Nashville this evening. Gave Maj. Lowrie $1,000 to express to Mary from Nashville, this evening. Stinchcomb in my tent this evening, drunk and filthy as usual. I know now why he resigned.

Monday, Oct. 31st.

Division Stationary. I guess we are preparing for a grand raid through Georgia, to strike the coast at Savannah if practicable, and


if not, then to strike it wherever we can. It's an extensive contract, but I like it, and hope we may undertake it for I'm sure we can get to the Coast somehow; I'd like very much to go home first, but I see no prospect for that now. Weather pleasant. Troops being paid off.

Tuesday, Nov. 1st.

Division Stationary. Orders received to march for Kingston tomorrow morning at daylight. I understand Rome is to be abandoned by our forces. All the cavalry except Kilpatrick's Division is to go to Nashville. More rumors about a great movement through Georgia. Night dark and rainy.

Wednesday, Nov. 2d.

Division marched at daylight crossing the Oostanaula on pontoon bridge, and passing through Rome. Like the Rome of Romulus and Remus it is situated on a number of hills, whether "seven" or not I can't say, for I didn't count them; the Coosa is its Tiber; why didn't they call it Tiber? I presume the Indian name is considered more euphonious. Since the Federal occupation of this place, it is said the Roman matrons and maidens have forgotten their absent lords, and turned Cyprians. Quite cold and disagreeable to-day; roads sloppy. Went ahead about noon to select camp. Head of column came in sight of Kingston for the third time this summer, about 3 P. M. and I placed it in Camp near our Camp of October 11th, our Head Quarters being almost exactly in the same place they then were. It is said we are to go to Atlanta from here, tearing up the R. R. as we go. I hope its true, there's something to stir the blood in such a bold operation as that.

Thursday, Novr. 3rd.

Division Stationary. Weather wet and disagreeable. Troops being paid off. It is now certain that we are to march to Atlanta destroying the R. R. as we go, burn that city, and then strike boldly through the heart of Georgia to Savannah, if we can get there, and if not, then to any other seaport. This is indeed a hazardous undertaking, but we must "trust to luck"; I wouldn't miss going on this expedition for 6 months pay. I hope I may see Milledgeville. I have wanted to see it ever since I was an urchin stumbling thro' my Geography in Newark. Doct. Sloat, Surgeon 14th Ohio Vols., tried to sell me his horse this evening; told him I'd think about it until to-morrow evening.

Friday, Novr. 4th.

Division Stationary. Windy, cold, unpleasant. Genl. Sherman orders estimates for clothing to be made out immediately. Bought Doct. Sloats gray horse "Frank" for $150. Cheap enough I think.


Saturday, Novr. 5th.

Division Stationary. Bright, sunshiny day. Great many officers asking for leaves, and tendering resignations. They are appalled at the idea of a winter campaign through Georgia; their timid souls are shrinking before the possible difficulties and dangers of the march; the idea of cutting loose from the North, and marching to the coast is too much for their nerves, and they are making every exertion to avoid it. Their conduct is disgusting, and they ought to be dishonorably mustered out of the service. If we succeed it will be glorious; if we fail it will be no more than Napoleon and his grand army did in the Russian campaign. I, for one, shall go, let our fortune be what it may.

Sunday, Novr. 6th.

Division Stationary. Weather cold and unpleasant. Genl. Baird returned from Nashville and resumed command of Division. Acheson and Buttrick quit the General's mess and came into ours this evening.

Monday, Novr. 7th.

Division Stationary. Weather dark and cloudy. Captain Biddle, Ordnance officer, ordered to Atlanta to procure arms and equipments for the unarmed recruits we may have with us when we reach Atlanta. Pretty rough initiation for these recruits, this Georgia march will be!

Tuesday, Novr. 8th.

Division Stationary. This is election day. I think Lincoln will be re-elected to-day, though we who are in the army know very little about the undercurrents of politics in the North, and we may all be surprised by finding McClellan elected.

There are comparatively few McClellan men in the army. In one brigade of our Division consisting of the 17th, 31st, 89th and 92d Ohio, 82d Ind. and 23d Missouri, the vote polled to-day stood Lincoln 1229, McClellan 101. Everything as quiet and orderly as usual in camp, the election creating no outward excitement.

Wednesday, Novr. 9th.

Division Stationary. Rained quite heavily this evening. 74th Indiana Vols. sent out to-night to try and catch some guerrillas who captured and murdered some of their comrades to-day.

Thursday, Novr. 10th.

Division Stationary. Weather rather cold. 74th Ind. Vols. returned from their guerilla hunt, bringing in the Captain of the band, and some suspicious citizens. I telegraphed to Charleston to-day asking Tirrill to inform me, by telegraph, of the result of my race for Prosecutor. By the suggestion of Genl. Davis, I directed him to send


his despatch to me at Atlanta, as he tells me we will be there before the despatch can reach the North and a return despatch get back; this being the case I suppose I shall hear nothing about my election until we reach the Southern coast. The telegraph tells us to-day that Lincoln has carried everything except Kentucky. Well, Kentucky, i. e., the "leading families" has always been as disloyal as South Carolina.

Friday, Nov. 11th.

Division Stationary. At noon to-day received orders to march to-morrow morning at 6 1/2 o'clock; so, I suppose, begins our part of the great campaign through Georgia. We can't exactly see our way through now, but I guess it will all come out right. What a flutter this marching order is creating amongst our weak knee'd brethren in shoulder straps; up to the last moment they are tendering resignations and clamoring for leaves on account of sick families, sick wives, &c., but all their applications meet with a flat, stern refusal. Thank fortune I have no sick family, my wife is well, and I know she wouldn't have me shrink from this expedition, at this time, on any consideration. Trains are constantly running from Atlanta to Chattanooga loaded with cannon, so I suppose the fortifications of that city will be dismantled and the city destroyed. The 20th corps is there now; and the 15th and 17th Corps somewhere near there; the 4th Corps has gone to Chattanooga to join Gen. Thomas, so Sherman's Army, for the Georgia Campaign, will consist of the 14th, 15th, 17th and 20th Corps and 2 Brigades of Cavalry under Kilpatrick.

Saturday, Novr. 12th.

Division moved through Kingston toward Cartersville at 8 A. M. Weather pleasant. As we were marching through Cass Station, we could see the one solitary church spire of Cassville, the rest of the village having been burned yesterday by our soldiers, on account of its being a guerrilla haunt. Cassville is or was about 3/4 of a mile N. E. of the road from Kingston to Cartersville, and is said to have been a very pretty little village. We reached Cartersville at 3 P. M. and on riding into the town with the General, found Genl. Sherman sitting on the hotel porch sending his last telegraphic message to the North. When the message was finished I saw the wire broken, and thus we were left "away down South in Dixie", without any means of communicating with friends at home. I knew the last train passed us this morning on its way from Atlanta to Chattanooga, and when I saw the wire severed — the "last link broken" — I must say I was forced for a few minutes to think about our isolated situation, and ask myself, in a variety of ways, the question, "What has Fate in store for us"? But in a few minutes we turned our backs on Cartersville, and the Division moved forward across the Etowah River, on the same bridge we crossed going northward on the 10th ult, and encamped at the ruins of the "Iron Works" near Allatoona. General Morgan's Division encamps to-night on the north side of the Etowah, and General Carlin's


between the river and our camp. We commence destroying the R. R. to-morrow morning. Morgan to commence at the Etowah River. During the day, orders were received to march to-morrow, at daylight, and commence the destruction of the R. R. at Allatoona Creek, destroying it from there to a point one mile beyond Acworth.

Sunday, Novr. 13th.

Division marched at daylight. Very cold this morning. Passed through Allatoona at 8 A. M. After getting through the town we found that Corse's Division of the 15th Corps, on its way from Rome to Atlanta, was blocking up the road ahead of us, and we would be compelled to halt, probably two hours; this was very annoying, as we were anxious to get forward and begin our work on the R. R. soon as possible, so that we might get it completed and get into camp before dark. The General was out of humor. I, however, remembered a bye-road which I had been on on our march north, and suggested to him that we could take that road, and reach the point for beginning our work without being interrupted by Corse's Division. At first he wouldn't listen to it — told me I didn't know the road &c but I quietly insisted that I did know the road, and after some time, prevailed on him to go with me and look at it. After going on this bye-road about a mile and making inquiries of some of the sallow, poverty-stricken, snuff-dipping women of the neighborhood the General became satisfied I was right and sent back an orderly to direct the head of the column to move forward. We reached our point on the R. R. without further trouble, destroyed our allotted portion of the Road — our soldiers burned the village of Acworth without orders, and we went into camp at "Big Shanty" about dark. Acworth has been a thriving R. R. village, but to-night it is a heap of ruins. I was the only one of the General's staff in the town when the fires first began, and I tried to prevent the burning, but while I watched one house to keep it from being fired, another some where else would take fire; so I concluded to give it up. I succeeded in saving a few houses, occupied by "war widows" and their families, but all the rest of the town went up in smoke. It is evident that our soldiers are determined to burn, plunder and destroy everything in their way on this march. Well, that shows that they are not afraid of the South at any rate, and that each individual soldier is determined to strike with all his might against the rebellion, whether we ever get through or not. If we are to continue our devastation as we began today I don't want to be captured on this trip, for I expect every man of us the rebels capture will get a "stout rope and a short shrift."

Monday, Novr. 14th.

Division marched promptly at daybreak. The General had us in the saddle while all the stars were still shining. This was a beautiful morning, bright and cold. Marched through line after line of entrenchments, built both by ourselves and the rebels last summer, and as we neared the spur of "Kenesaw" over which the Marietta road runs, I


couldn't help regarding that mountain with some of the same shy respect which I entertained for it last June, when we lay burrowing in rifle-pits at its foot, and its summit was crowned with rebel artillery, which so often at mid-day and at midnight thundered away at us, and encircled the mountain with wreaths of fire and smoke. But "Kenesaw" was quiet to-day, and as our troops emerged from the woods to the open plain at its foot, and beheld our own flag, flying where they had so long and anxiously watched the rebel flag, cheer after cheer rang out.

Just before crossing the spur of the mountain Capt. Acheson's horse got into a quick sand hole and instantly sunk almost entirely under with the Capt. on his back. He and his horse were extricated with great difficulty. The General was mad, and I laughed until my sides ached. I guess the General was mad at me for laughing too, but I couldn't help it; covered with mud, and struggling in the mud hole with his horse he looked so ridiculous I should have laughed if he had never got out. When we reached Marietta we found that all the business part of the town was burned by Kilpatrick's Cavalry last night. Marietta was a very pretty town and its private residences are still beautiful. Halted to let the troops get dinner about 4 miles out from Marietta. Rode ahead with the General and General Davis across the Chattahoochee. The General then directed me to go on a couple of miles further toward Atlanta and select a camp ground. I did so, and when the trains came up to me placed them in park; had Division and Brigade Head Quarters put up on the ground I had selected, but it was now after dark and no troops came. I rode back to the river to find out what was the matter and there found the General very much out of humor for he didn't know where the troops were. Finally the head of the column came up, the men very much fatigued; the leading Brigade had taken the wrong road and marched to Turner's Ferry, the other Brigades of course following, and then had to march back to where we now found them; so we just let them march across the river and encamp anywhere they could. I got to bed about midnight. Moulton and Acheson were with the column, and of course they feel to some extent responsible for the blunder, although they were not in the least to blame. We are having sport with them about their hunting for new roads, and taking the Division along as an escort.

Tuesday, Nov. 15th.

Division moved at daylight toward Atlanta. The General directed me to go ahead to the city — to ascertain the streets on which we were to march through the city, so as to leave it on the McDonough road, and to select a camp ground east of and convenient to the city. I reached the city, accompanied by Capt. Acheson about 9 A. M. and found every street so crowded with troops and wagons that it was almost impossible to get along on horseback. I then tried to find our Corps Commander, Genl. Davis, to report to him that the head of the column would soon be up, and get orders from him what to do, as it was evidently impossible for our troops to get through the city for many hours; failing to


find Genl. Davis, I went directly to Gen, Sherman's and was directed by his Aide-de-camp, Capt. Dayton, to apply to Maj. Gen. Slocum for orders; after half-an-(hour) search for Gen. Slocum, I found him in the street on foot, trying to crowd his way back to his Head Quarters. I reported to him, and he told me that we should halt and mass the troops on arriving at the edge of the city, and that the troops and trains would be out of our way so that we could get through the city sometime during the afternoon. He also told me that our Corps would march out of the city on Decatur Street. With this information I rode back to where our column was to enter the city and there met the General, to whom I communicated it. Directing me to select the ground and mass the Brigades as they came up, he rode into the city, telling me I would find him at the Head Quarters of Col. Beckwith, Chf. Commissary, Mil. Div. Miss. at which place I soon joined him. About 1 o'clk P. M. our Division moved through the city, and encamped about 1/2 mile east. I managed to get the General to consent to having Head Qrs. in a house to-night — something very unusual. The 20th Corps marched out some distance toward Stone Mountain to-day; the 15th and 17th Corps (Right Wing) marched out toward McDonough, and Kilpatrick's Cavalry toward Jonesboro on the extreme right of everything. About dark to-night our orders came to march at daylight toward Decatur. General Sherman goes with this Corps (14th). Our Commissaries have been busily engaged all day in loading rations, and our Quarter Masters in issuing clothing and shoes to the troops. Up to about 3 P. M. this issuing was carried on with something like a show of regularity, but about that time fires began to break out in various portions of the city, and it soon became evident that these fires were but the beginning of a general conflagration which would sweep over the entire city and blot it out of existence; so Quartermasters and Commissaries ceased trying to issue clothing or load rations, they told the soldiers to go in and take what they wanted before it burned up. The soldiers found many barrels of whisky and of course they drank of it until they were drunk; then new fires began to spring up, all sorts of discordant noises rent the air, drunken soldiers on foot and on horseback raced up and down the streets while the buildings on either side were solid sheets of flame, they gathered in crowds before the finest structures and sang "Rally around the Flag" while the flames enwrapped these costly edifices, and shouted and danced and sang again while pillar and roof and dome sank into one common ruin. The night, for miles around was bright as mid-day; the city of Atlanta was one mass of flame, and the morrow must find it a mass of ruins. Well, the soldiers fought for it, and the soldiers won it, now let the soldiers enjoy it; and so I suppose Gen. Sherman thinks, for he is somewhere near by, now, looking on at all this, and saying not one word to prevent it. All the pictures and verbal descriptions of hell I have ever seen never gave me half so vivid an idea of it, as did this flame wrapped city to-night. Gate City of the South, farewell!


Wednesday, Novr. 16th.

The eventful day has come; we turn our backs upon Atlanta, and our faces seaward. How many prayers for our success went up from our Northern homes this morning. We must succeed. Not a man in this army doubts it. We'll march straight through and shake the rebellious old State from center to circumference. Division marched at 9 A. M., all our bands playing, flags flying and men cheering. We marched to-day over the ground where the bloody battle of July 22d and where the brave McPherson fell. That field is studded with the graves of our gallant comrades, and none lie there more thickly than the men of Illinois. We passed through Decatur about noon; it has an old, weatherbeaten, unpainted appearance. The Court House, a brick structure, plastered outside, stands in a square in the center of the town. The other buildings are nearly all frame, and very antique in style. Encamped on "Snapfinger Creek." Passed through very nice country to-day; open, level, and well cultivated. We left Stone Mountain several miles to our left. It is said to be a mountain of solid stone, devoid of a particle of herbage, and used to be considered one of the great natural curiosities of this continent. Head Quarters, to-night, being near a house, I went in after supper, to see what the natives looked like. There was the old man, the old woman, four marriageable but unmarried daughters and one married daughter whose husband, as she told me, had been "taken off in the conscript more'n a year ago, and she didn't know where the dickens he was." Supposing that they all used snuff (a safe presumption among the country people in the South) I asked the ladies how they managed to get snuff now, but they all denied using it; I however, took out my paper of fine cut tobacco and it was but a few moments until each one of them had a quid of it in her mouth "just to see what it tasted like"; they pronounced it "fust rate", "most as good as snuff." I discovered that they supposed we were out from Atlanta on a foraging expedition and thought we would return in a few days; they had no idea that we intended to keep right on. These people owned 100 acres of land there, but no negroes, and the girls had never been in a school house.

Thursday, Nov. 17th.

Division marched at daylight. Passed through Lithonia, on the R. R., at 9 A. M., where I noticed Gen. Sherman standing on the R. R. track giving directions as to how he wanted the track torn up and destroyed. Several buildings were burning as we passed through. We arrived at Conyers at noon, and as our Division had four miles of R. R. to destroy before moving any further, Capt. Acheson, who plays the piano finely, and myself started out to walk around through the town and find a piano, so that we could have some music while our soldiers were destroying the track. Meeting a little girl on the street who told us where there was a piano, we went to the house and on knocking at the door a grey headed, meek, ministerial looking old rebel opened the door and asked what we wanted. I had agreed to do the talking so I told


him "we wanted" to destroy the R. R. first, and asked him what he thought of it. The old gent looked wise and said nothing; I then asked him if he had a piano in the house; the old man looked worried and replied that his daughter had one. All right, said I, that's just what we want, we want some music; the old man said he didn't think his daughter could play, and looked incredulous when we pushed by him into the room, and the Captain sat down at the piano; but the Captain's fingers soon made the keys dance to the air of the Star Spangled Banner, and the old man sat there astonished at the thought that a rough, vulgar, brutal Yankee should be able to play so skillfully. Then the Captain played "Dixie" in excellent style; this made the old man talkative, brought in the daughter and some other young ladies, and we soon had them playing for us, while the Captain and I sat back and quietly enjoyed the discomfiture of the old man, and laughed at the efforts of the rebel damsels to appear composed. Finally, to cap the climax, we induced these Southern ladies to sing us the "Confederate Toast", which they told us was their favorite song, and one verse of it I remember, viz:

"Here's to old Butler and his crew,
Drink it down!
Here's to old Butler and his crew,
Drink it down!
Here's to old Butler and his crew,
May the devil get his due,
Drink it down! Drink it down! Drink it down!"

We left them, though, notwithstanding their elegant and patriotic songs — they, no doubt, hoping we might be shot before night. Our troops having finished their work on the R. R. we moved forward 4 miles, and encamped on Mr. Zachry's plantation having marched 15 miles today, and utterly destroyed 4 miles of R. R. Old Zachry has a son who is a Colonel in the rebel army in Virginia, and the negroes, i. e. his own negroes tell us tonight that the old sinner has a federal flag hid away in his house which his son captured and sent home from Virginia a year ago. We have searched the house all over for it, but can't find it yet, and the old man and old woman deny having it, but one of their house servants told me most positively tonight that it is in the house, and that they know where it is. If we don't get it before we leave tomorrow morning the old fellow's house will surely be burnt, for the soldiers have all heard of it. They did burn the old fellow's cotton gin, filled with cotton, tonight. Passed through fine country today. Conyers is a village of about 500 inhabitants, and Lithonia about 300, both stations on the R. R.; a good many negroes came into camp with us tonight; they are of all shades and sizes; and are apparently happy if they can be permitted to go along with us.

Friday, Nov. 18th.

After striking tents this morning I took old Zachry out one side, and with an air of great concern, and in the greatest confidence told


him that unless he produced that flag, the soldiers were determined to burn his house as soon as General Baird got out of sight. The old sinner was alarmed and asked me to leave him a guard until the soldiers all passed, at the same time protesting that he knew nothing about the flag. I, of course, told him that we never left guards, and parted from him, expressing deep sympathy, for I assured him that the soldiers would in all probability burn his house. In less than ten minutes the old rascal brought the flag out and delivered it up. I don't know whether his house was burned or not. I know he owns about 40 niggers less tonight than he did last night. We crossed "Yellow River" about noon, and commenced destroying R. R. just after crossing. We destroyed about 4 miles. Yellow River, where we crossed, is quite a deep clear stream, about 6 rods wide and with high bluff banks. I stopped at a dwelling on the east side of the river, which the occupants (Merriwether's) dignified with the name of "Airy Mount." Had quite a discussion here with a strong minded elderly woman, on Abolition and Amalgamation; the old lady forced it on me, and as there were three or four very light colored mulatto children running around the house, they furnished me an admirable weapon to use against the old lady's remark that the Northern people were Amalgamationists. She didn't explain to my entire satisfaction how her slaves came to be so much whiter than African Slaves are usually supposed to be. Marched on through Covington and encamped a short distance east of it. Covington is a place of some pretension, and on the whole is rather a pretty place. The houses are very neat, built in modern Southern style, and painted white. The good people of Covington only heard of our advance yesterday so they are all at home, not having had time to run away. The "leading citizens" were affable when we entered the place, and everybody invited officers to stay all night at their house. I was in the Court Room and Masonic Lodge, the door of which was open.

Saturday, Nov. 19th.

Division moved at daybreak and crossed the Ulcofauhatchee River. This stream is not very deep, rapid, without any well defined banks, the water spreading out and making a swamp on either side of the stream for a considerable distance. The name of this stream is pronounced by the inhabitants "Alcovy." Land in its vicinity looks very poor; the ears of corn only grow about 6 inches long, and the stalks are very light. An old man told us today that some of his land averaged 6 bushels of corn to the acre and some of it "don't average anything." There are no wealthy planters in the immediate vicinity of the "Ulcofauhatchee" along our line of march. The farms are all in hundred acre lots, but their owners call them "Plantations"; the citizens look at our troops as they pass, with the utmost astonishment; they have no idea where we are going, and the negroes stare at us with open eyes and mouths, but generally, before the whole column has passed they pack up their bundles and march along, going, they know not whither, but apparently satisfied they are going somewhere toward


freedom; but these wretched creatures, or a majority of them, don't know what freedom is. Ask them where they are going as they trudge along with their bundles on their heads, and the almost invariable reply is: "Don't know Massa; gwine along wid you all." Our men are foraging on the country with the greatest liberality. Foraging parties start out in the morning; they go where they please, seize wagons, mules, horses, and harness; make the negroes of the plantation hitch up, load the wagons with sweet potatoes, flour, meal, hogs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, barrels of molasses, and in fact everything good to eat, and sometimes considerable that's good to drink. Our men are living as well as they could at home and are in excellent health. Rain falling all the forenoon, roads heavy and marching difficult. Passed through Sand Town today about 2 o'clock. It is a little weather beaten village of about 250 or 300 inhabitants. The citizens were not much expecting us, but they heard of our approach day before yesterday and have spent the time since in carrying off and hiding in the swamp their valuables, but the negroes told the soldiers of these hiding places and most of these hidden valuables found their way into our camp tonight. Went into camp at dark. We have neither seen nor heard of any armed rebels yet, and we march along with as much unconcern as if we were marching through Ohio. We are beginning to talk about Milledgeville, and speculate on the probabilities of a battle there. There can't be much of a battle there though, for we have troops enough to eat up all the army Georgia's capital can muster.

Sunday, Nov. 20th.

Division moved at daylight, and at 9 A. M. passed through "Shady Dale." I have known for the past 3 days that our line of march led through "Shady Dale", and judging from the name I had fancied to myself that Shady Dale was probably a nice, clean, quiet, aristocratic country town, situated in some romantic, shaded valley, and as we started this morning I retouched my mental picture of "Shady Dale", so that I might have it entirely finished to my taste before seeing the place itself, and then have the satisfaction of determining whether "there's anything in a name" by comparing my ideal "Shady Dale" with the real "Shady Dale." I am now satisfied that "there is something in a name", but it was proven to me this morning in a manner that totally surprised me. As we rode along we came to a beautiful plantation, and by the roadside was a cluster of about 50 whitewashed negro houses, and in the midst of them an old fashioned frame house with porch all around it and dormor windows. The negro houses were filled with nice cleanly looking negroes of all ages and sizes, and as the head of our column came up with band playing, such a nest of negroes I never saw before; they poured out of those cabins to the road side in such numbers as to lead me to suppose they had been packed away inside like mackerel in a barrel. The music of the band started the young niggers at dancing, and they capered around like little imps; the old ones stood with uncovered heads, hands raised, mouths open and eyes turned up; the young negresses stood bowing and curtseying,


trying to bow to every soldier that passed; while each negro in his or her own style kept uttering ejaculations of wonder such as "Lawd, jest look at em"; "whar'd dey cum from"; "looks like de whole wuld was comin" &c, &c. Each one expressing his wonder in some original and quaint style. I sat on my horse and listened to and watched them, while I laughed at their comicalities until tears rolled down my cheeks. There is as much difference between the negroes we see in the North and the plantation negroes of the South, as there is between a cultivated gentleman and a clown in the circus ring.

Presently I asked a venerable old African patriarch where "Shady Dale" was, and he told me: "Dis is it massa"; why, said I, is it called "Shady Dale"? "Cos" said he grinning, "deres so many of us black uns here." Whereupon I laughed too, and rode on, satisfied that there is something in a name, when a plantation can figure on the maps as "Shady Dale", on account of the number of "Shades" living there. This plantation is owned by a man named "Whitfield", and it is the finest one I ever saw, but by the time our column has all passed Mr. Whitfield won't have a sweet potato, a pig, chicken, turkey, horse, mule, cow, and scarcely a nigger left. The negroes on all these plantations tell us their masters have given them no meat to eat during the past two years, and as a consequence the negroes have been in the habit of prowling about the country at night, foraging, as they call it; that is stealing chickens, hogs, &c, and killing them in the swamps. They raise turnips extensively through Georgia so far as we have been, and every turnip patch we pass is thoroughly stripped by the soldiers and negroes, who, by the way, make excellent foragers. Our stock of negroes is increasing rapidly; many of them travel on horseback now; they furnish their own, i. e., their masters, horses, saddles and bridles, so they are no expense to Uncle Sam; a great many of our privates are getting negro servants for themselves; the negro walks along beside the soldier, with his knapsack and cooking utensils strapped upon his back, thus relieving the soldier of his load, and helping him along. What soldier wouldn't be an abolitionist under such circumstances. We have marched through beautiful country today. Halted one hour for dinner. We made 18 miles today, and encamped 6 miles from Eatonton, and 27 from Milledgeville.

Monday, Novr. 21st.

Division moved at daylight. Crossed "Murder Creek" at noon, and went into camp 4 miles beyond, having marched only 9 miles today, and being, tonight within 18 miles of Milledgeville. Rain falling heavily all day. Roads in a horrible condition. Things have not looked promising today. What would become of us if this weather should continue two weeks? We couldn't march; would be compelled to halt here in the midst of a hostile country, and thus let the enemy have time to recover from his surprise and concentrate against us. Well, let the worst come, will get to the capital of Georgia anyhow, and my long desire to see it will at length be gratified. We are all wet through and covered with mud, and our horses jaded, but our supper of coffee,


fried chickens, sweet potatoes, &c, and a good sleep will bring us out all right in the morning, and if our horses give out, the stable of some wealthy Georgian must furnish us a remount. Citizens everywhere look paralyzed and as if stricken dumb as we pass them. Columns of smoke by day, and "pillars of fire" by night, for miles and miles on our right and left indicate to us daily and nightly the route and location of the other columns of our army. Every "Gin House" we pass is burned; every stack of fodder we can't carry along is burned; every barn filled with grain is destroyed; in fact everything that can be of any use to the rebels is either carried off by our foragers or set on fire and burned.

Tuesday, Nov. 22d.

Division moved at daylight, crossing Cedar Creek at 9 a. m., passing through the camp of Morgan's Division, and taking the advance for Milledgeville. Rather cold today. I spent most of the day in advance of the column searching for roads to the capital and picking up such items of information as I could get from negroes and white citizens in regard to the enemy, but I have not been able to ascertain that there are any rebel soldiers in the city. The negroes and others say that all the soldiers that were in Milledgeville have gone to Macon, under command of General Howell Cobb. We are encamped tonight on a plantation belonging to "General Cobb," and the 23d Missouri has received permission to burn all the rails and buildings on the plantation tonight. General Sherman has his tents pitched in the dooryard of the overseer's house on this plantation tonight. About 3 p. m. while the column was halted I rode ahead in the direction of Milledgeville, in company with General Baird, Colonel Poe, chief topographical engineer on General Sherman's staff, and Captain Buttrick of our staff. After we had ridden about a mile ahead of the column, admiring the beautiful country and speculating on the probability of taking Milledgeville without fighting, we suddenly discovered a mounted man in the middle of the road coming toward us. He was then about one-half mile from us and just on the crest of a little hill in the road. He discovered us at the same time we did him and we halted at the same time. Glasses were out in a minute and we discovered that his uniform was gray. Ah, ha! This, then, is the outer picket watching our approach to the capital. This settles the question; we'll have to fight for Milledgeville. The solitary horseman in rebel uniform turned his horse toward the city and disappeared behind the crest of the hill. There were some negro houses by the roadside about half way between where we were and where the gray clad horseman appeared. The negroes were out in the road looking at us. We were very anxious to get as far down the road as the negro houses, but didn't think it safe. In a few moments two gray clad horsemen appeared on the hill. They looked at us — were counting us evidently; they turned their horses around uneasily. Presently another horseman appeared, then another and another, until at least twenty were in sight on the crest of the hill. They were evidently too strong for us, even if we had been well armed,


which we were not. But they were at least half a mile from us and our column was only about a mile from us — the road behind us was good, we were well mounted and we felt that if they did make a dash at us we could run the mile back to our troops before they could overtake us. But what if one of our horses should stumble and fall in the chase? Oh, well! Let the rider jump over a fence and run as fast as he can somewhere, anywhere, to gain a few minutes time. But look! The gray clad horsemen are starting forward and now they are waving a white handkerchief. It must be a deputation of citizens coming out to surrender the capital to us. So the General thought; so we all thought. The General directed Colonel Poe to go forward and meet the party and see what they wanted and who they were. Forward dashed Poe, and there we sat watching the scene with intense anxiety. Can it be possible that we are to meet with such good fortune as to receive the formal surrender of Georgia's capital? Poe meets the horsemen, they halt a few moments, then Poe turns, and they all come on to where the General, Captain Buttrick and myself are waiting in the road. We ask each other what this means. Can there be treachery here? Do they mean to deceive us with a white flag and capture us all? They approach within 200 yards and we plainly see their rebel uniforms. Shall we run or stand? Moments are precious. They come steadily on. The General looks pale. I feel pale and nervous, but the General stands, and therefore I must. They reach us, rein up their horses and the gray clad officer riding at the head of the party salutes the General and announces himself and party as Kilpatrick's scouts just from Milledgeville; they say there is not a rebel soldier there. Hurrah! Milledgeville is ours, and our sensations are now quite different from what they were ten minutes ago. The scouts go on to report to General Sherman and we ride on to the negro houses ahead, which the negroes tell us belong to "Ginral Cobb." In the dooryard of the overseer's house stand three large new iron kettles for boiling sorghum. Poe picked up an axe and with a few blows shivered one of them into atoms. Buttrick took the axe and shivered the second one. I then took the axe and paid my respects to "Ginral Cobb" by shattering the third one. The General sent back and ordered the troops forward and placed them in camp on the arch rebel's plantation. General Sherman coming up in about an hour, placed his headquarters in the yard where we broke the sorghum kettles. About dark this evening, it is said, the old negro who is the commissary of the plantation told some of General Sherman's staff officers that he wanted to see the great General, just to see how he looked. He was taken to the door of Sherman's tent, and the old man took off his hat, looked at the General a few moments, then bowing respectfully turned and walked off, saying to himself as he walked off shaking his head: "He's got the Linkum head, the Linkum head, he's got the Linkum head." We are only ten miles from Milledgeville tonight.

Wednesday, Nov. 23d.

Division moved at daylight. A bright, beautiful day; roads excellent and surrounding country magnificent. We reached the capital at


about 9 a. m., but our troops didn't get up until noon on account of the 20th Corps, which came in from Eatonton, entering the city on the same road with us and in advance of us, as they struck the road first. Our troops encamped just outside the city limits on the west side. Our headquarters in the city in a dwelling house of some runaway citizen. General Davis' headquarters in the city near the Governor's mansion. General Sherman's in the mansion and General Slocum's at the Milledgeville Hotel, opposite the capitol square. Here I am, finally, at Milledgeville. My boyish desire is gratified, and I find that my boyish fancy in regard to the appearance of the city was quite correct. The dwellings are scattered and surrounded by large and tastefully decorated grounds. As one rides along its sandy streets, even at this season of the year, the faint perfume from every variety of tree and shrub, bud, blossom and flower fills the air with delicious fragrance. The exterior of the residences bespeak refinement within, and everything about the city serves to impress one with the idea that he is in an old, aristocratic city, where the worth of a man is computed in dollars and cents. The streets are regularly laid out and the capitol stands on a slight elevation rather east of the center of the city and overlooking the Oconee River. It is built of reddish looking sandstone and is a large square building, with rather a superabundance of fancy cornice outside. It has entrances on the north, south, east and west, each having a broad flight of stone steps. The offices and State library are on the first floor, the legislative halls on the second floor and also the committee rooms. Each chamber has life size oil paintings of the prominent old men of Georgia hung around its walls in plain gilt frames. I should have thought "Oglethorpe" would have appeared in this State picture gallery, but he does not. General Jackson does, though, tricked out in a line officer's coat with a general's epaulettes on his shoulders, a line officer's sash around his waist, and a sort of cross between a Turkish scimeter and an artillery sabre by his side. Our soldiers and even some officers have been plundering the State library today and carrying off law and miscellaneous works in armfuls. It is a downright shame. Public libraries should be sacredly respected by all belligerents, and I am sure General Sherman will, some day, regret that he permitted this library to be destroyed and plundered. I could get a thousand dollars worth of valuable law books there if I would just go and take them, but I wouldn't touch them. I should feel ashamed of myself every time I saw one of them in my book case at home. I don't object to stealing horses, mules, niggers and all such little things, but I will not engage in plundering and destroying public libraries. Let them alone, to enlarge and increase for the benefit of the loyal generations that are to people this country long after we shall have fought our last battle and gone into our eternal camp. The State penitentiary was burned last night. There are but few business buildings here, and the population never could have been more than ten thousand. I shall devote myself to looking around town tomorrow, as I understand we will not march in the morning.


Thursday, Nov. 24th.

A bright, beautiful morning, and as I slept in a house last night and on a real bed like "white folks," I slept rather late. A Mrs. Doct. Jarrett told me today of a sister of Mrs. Ficklin's of Charleston, Ills., who is at Scottsboro, four miles south of here, but that being outside of our picket line, I didn't go to see her. I am rather sorry I didn't go now, but it's too late to regret it; we march in the morning. I should have gone out to see "Oglethorpe University" today, but I got into the State library this morning and became so much interested in the musty old records of the Colony of Georgia that I found there, that I used up nearly the whole day in reading them, and had no time to visit the university, which is about two miles southwest of the city. I am surprised to see that all the churches of the city are built right around the capital in the same enclosure with it, and look more like public offices than they do like churches; indeed, I thought they were the offices of the State officials yesterday. The streets and most of the sidewalks are unpaved, but the soil is so sandy that I suppose they never become muddy. The names of all the streets are marked at each corner on neatly painted little signboards, attached to the buildings or fences. The houses are nearly all frame, except the business houses; they are of brick, and I don't think there is a building in the city over two stories high, except the "Milledgeville Hotel," which is three. Very few of the citizens show themselves on the streets, but the negroes are all out, draped in their gayest outfit, and looking as happy as clams at high water. All the troops except our division marched through the city today and crossed the Oconee. We march in the morning. I presume the citizens think that the whole of Sherman's army has gone through here. They don't know that there are 35,000 more Yankee vandals about 25 miles south of here, marching on parallel roads with us. As our division alone occupies the city tonight, I have entire charge of the picket line surrounding if. I'll try and preserve "Joe Brown's" capital from invasion by rebels until tomorrow morning anyhow, and after that we'll leave it for "Joe" to take care of himself. When we established our headquarters here yesterday I unrolled the flag we took from old Zachry on the 18th inst, made a staff for it, and raised it in front of our headquarters, where it is still flying. Little did the old sinner think, when he first received this trophy from his rebel son, that Yankee hands would ever unfurl it in triumph over the capital of his State.

Friday, Nov. 25th.

Division moved at daylight, the first and second brigades crossing the Oconee, while the 3d Brigade remained in the city to gather up all stragglers and prepare the State magazine to be blown up. About 9 o'clock everything being in readiness, and the citizens having been warned to keep out of the way, a soldier of the 18th Kentucky applied the torch and in an instant the State magazine was blown into the air with a terrific explosion. Our last troops then crossed the river and the kindling being all ready, our escort set fire to the bridge. In ten


minutes it was burned down and the broad Oconee rolled between us and Milledgeville, with no means of crossing it; but our men were all across and, of course, it's no business of ours whether anybody else gets across or not. The Oconee at this point is a muddy looking, rapid stream, about 350 yards wide, with low, sandy, crumbling banks, which are overflown at nearly every freshet. Milledgeville, when viewed from the east bank of the river, presents a very shabby, rickety appearance, as only the eastern edge of the city can be seen, and that appears to be the quarter in which the niggers and poor white trash are collected. The bridge across the river was a toll bridge, and the toll keeper, a fat, dirty, lazy looking citizen who made himself known to me as a Mason, lives at the east end of the bridge. He stood there looking at us with a woeful countenance as he beheld us fire the bridge. "Othello's occupation" was "gone"; yea, verily, it went up in smoke. He assured me he had "allers bin for the Union, and wus yit." He told me he was born on the Oconee and had never lived more than five miles away from it in his life. After seeing the bridge tumble into the river we bade farewell to Milledgeville and encamped fifteen miles nearer the Atlantic tonight. The 20th Corps is now on our right and Kilpatrick's cavalry on our left. I understand tonight that Kilpatrick has left all his wagons with our corps and the 20th and is off for a raid to cut the railroad between Savannah and Augusta and release our prisoners at Millen, as it is supposed there are 20,000 of them there.

Crossed Buffalo and Bluff Creeks today (both small) and encamped on "Giles' farm" on the east bank of Bluff Crk. Passed through very poor "piney woods" all day. Grasshoppers couldn't live in these "piney woods." The pine trees grow so thickly in them that a man can scarcely walk through them. They grow tall, straight and without limbs for from 30 to 60 feet from the ground, and the ground is covered with a thick matting of the dead pine leaves that have fallen, so that when walking through these "piney woods" your feet feel as if treading on a carpet well stuffed with straw underneath. Citizens say that strangers traveling through these woods will get lost as readily as on a prairie if they go far from the road, and I can readily believe it, for we passed over many miles today in which every tree and spot looked exactly like every other tree and spot. Notwithstanding the extreme barrenness of these "piney woods," we now and then passed a miserable looking little cabin today, about which we generally found two or three sickly, sallow women and from five to fifteen children, all looking like persons I have read of called "dirt eaters"; I guess these are dirt eaters, and I think they must live on it, for I don't see place for anything except children to grow in these "woods." We are now going toward the Ogeechee, and citizens tell us we will find very poor country all the way from the Oconee to the Ogeechee. Our foragers came into camp tonight pretty well loaded, and I can't imagine where they found so much stuff through this country. I suppose the negroes assisted them. Where can all the rebels be? Here we are riding rough shod over Georgia and nobody dares to fire a shot at us. We burn their houses, barns, fences, cotton and everything


else, yet none of the Southern braves show themselves to punish us for our vandalism. Perhaps they are preparing a trap to catch us all, but I don't think we will go into their trap, if we can find any way to go around it. We don't care where we come out; would a little rather come out at Savannah, but if we can't do that we'll go somewhere else. Georgia is an excellent state for foraging. We are living finely, and the whole army would have no objection to marching around through the State for the next six months. Indeed, the whole trip thus far has been a holiday excursion, but a very expensive one to the rebels.

Saturday, Nov. 26th.

Division moved at daylight. Confound this moving at daylight. It's the only thing about this trip that's unpleasant. I am seriously opposed to rising so early in the morning. We marched through the same wretched looking "piney woods" again today; passed through Sandersville and encamped at the junction of the "Fenn's Bridge" and "Louisville" roads, about three-fourths of a mile northeast of the town. Wheeler and some of his rebel cavalry were in the town when the head of the 14th Corps reached here, but they were driven out without even halting our column; the men marched right into town loading and firing as they advanced; bands playing, flags flying, and Mr. Wheeler and his rebels, of course, running almost without returning a shot. So nicely timed was the marching of the two corps (14th and 20th) on widely separate roads that almost at the same moment the heads of the two columns entered the town, ours from the west and the 20th from the southwest. This cavalry in Sandersville today is the first show of opposition the left wing of the grand army has yet met with, but they were brushed out of our way as readily as if they had been only green flies. Still, it behooves us to move cautiously now and to be every moment on the alert, for this opposition may be greater tomorrow and may continue to increase from day to day, now that they have ascertained the roads on which our columns are moving. We understand that the right wing, 15th and 17th Corps, under Howard, have reached the Ogeechee some thirty miles south of here and are unable to cross, the rebels being in force and strongly posted on the opposite bank. We will reach the Ogeechee tomorrow, and if we find the rebels on the opposite bank, too, in force, it may give the whole army considerable trouble to get across. Indeed, we don't know but that the rebels are in strong force on the other side of the Ogeechee and intend to make that river their line of defense. It is said to be a difficult river to cross, and even if we don't find the rebels there tomorrow we may expect to find all the bridges burned and the roads blockaded, so that our advance must necessarily be very slow. Wheeler's cavalry are said to have orders to burn all bridges in our front and destroy all forage and provisions in the country. The rebel papers we get hold of from Augusta also call on all the citizens to turn out and fall timber across the roads — destroy their forage and provisions, and do everything possible to harass us and retard our march. Let them do it if they dare. We'll burn every house, barn, church, and everything else we come


to; we'll leave their families houseless and without food; their towns will all be destroyed, and nothing but the most complete desolation will be found in our track. This army will not be trifled with by citizens. If citizens raise their hands against us to retard our march or play the guerrilla against us, neither youth nor age, nor sex will be respected. Everything must be destroyed. This is the feeling that has settled down over the army in its bivouac tonight. We have gone so far now in our triumphal march that we will not be balked. It is a question of life or death with us, and all considerations of mercy and humanity must bow before the inexorable demands of self preservation. We are nearing the coast, threatening both Augusta and Savannah. The rebels are quite certain we are first going to Augusta, but we are not, and that erroneous opinion may relieve us of a large amount of the opposition we would otherwise encounter. Still, it is safe to presume that every step we advance will bring us more opposition. We'll get through, though; they can't stop us now, but I would like to be able to see about ten days into the future — the next ten days will be the crisis with us. Sandersville is rather a neat, quiet, thrifty looking county seat of about 500 population. The court house is a rather stylish brick building, plastered outside, and of a kind of yellowish color, with a dome on top. It stands in the middle of a public square in the center of town, and in the same square, without any enclosure, stands a very nice white marble monument to ex-Governor Jared Irwin of Georgia, who, according to the inscription on the monument, entered the Army of the Revolution as a private and was a General at its close. Kilpatrick's cavalry not yet heard from. As the rebel cavalry is immediately in our front, they must be between us and Kilpatrick; but I guess he'll turn up all safe some of these days, yet I don't believe he'll find any of our prisoners at Millen if he gets there. The rebels now have had notice enough of our advance and will, of course, remove to some place of greater safety. Orders received tonight for our division to march at daylight on the Fenn's Bridge road to Louisville, followed by Morgan's Division, while Carlin's Division, with all its trains, moves on the direct road to Louisville, so it is intended that we will be on the extreme left of the army and cover the trains that move with Carlin. I expect we'll have some fighting tomorrow and probably find Fenn's Bridge across the Ogeechee burned.

Sunday, Novr. 27th.

Division moved at daylight. Oh! these moves at daylight; I must groan over them, they interfere so much with my comfort and inclination ; but they can't be "cured", and so must be "endured"; never mind, when I get home, I'll have full satisfaction, by sleeping just as late as I please in the morning, and if Mary undertakes to order me to march at daylight I'll place her under arrest.

As we neared the "Ogeechee" we found the country growing better; more land cultivated, soil more productive, and plantations larger. Persimmons grow by the roadside in abundance; our orderlies gather them in their handkerchiefs as they ride along, and bring up to us, so


that we just ride along and eat persimmons, until we are almost tired of them. They are much finer than I ever supposed they were; tasting very much like excellent figs; I have eaten persimmons in Illinois, but they are very little like the persimmons of this part of Georgia. It appears rather strange to me, coming, as I do, from a country where the hay crop is an important one to find that no hay at all is raised in this country. I haven't seen a particle of hay in this State. The only "long forage" they have here for animals is "blades" as they call it, which consists of corn leaves, stripped from the stalk while green, and carefully cured in the sun like hay, then tied up in bundles as hay or wheat in the North, and either stacked in the field or stored away in barns for winter feed. Horses and cattle like these "blades" very much, but I don't think there is very much nutriment in them: We have found the road today, all the way as far as the "Ogeechee" filled with cavalry tracks going eastward, but, about ten rods west of the river we found that they had turned off on side roads to the right and left. We approached "Fenn's Bridge" cautiously, deploying two regiments and moving them forward in line, with a strong line of skirmishers in front of them. Being as full of curiosity as a woman, and being anxious to get the first sight of the rebels, I rode along with the skirmish line, watching every tree and stump, listening very intently, and moving as quietly as a cat in the sandy road, expecting every moment to hear the crack of a rifle from some concealed rebel; at such a moment the excitement is so intense that all thoughts of personal safety are forgotten, the senses of sight and hearing are extraordinarily acute, but they take no notice of anything passing, being intent alone on discovering the enemy before he discovers you; we moved up until we could hear the sound of the rushing water — no other sound could be heard; if at this moment my horse had neighed I should have been startled as if from a dream, but "Frank" was quiet, and moved steadily with his ears erect as if he too were looking for the graybacks; a little turn in the road brings us in sight of "Fenn's Bridge", a long frame structure spanning the "Ogeechee" — not a plank disturbed, and not a rebel in sight; Col. Este commanding our third brigade is with me; we hesitate a moment to assure ourselves that we are not mistaken then at once and with a shout put spurs to our horses, dash ahead of the line of skirmishers, cross the bridge the first ones, and send our orderly back on a gallop to the General to inform him that "Fenn's Bridge" is all right and we are across the "Ogeechee." This is a most important success, and we can scarcely credit our senses; we find ourselves on the east bank of the "Ogeechee", and so important a bridge undestroyed and undefended by the rebels, but it is all explained by the female toll collector of this bridge, who lives just at the east end of it, and who informs us that a large rebel force crossed the bridge this morning, going westward toward us, but that they turned off to the south just after crossing the river, telling her that they were going down to burn the bridge on the main road between Sandersville and Louisville, and intended to come back here tonight and burn this bridge, but we saved them that trouble by crossing all our troops over, and


then burning it ourselves. The Lord was "on our side" this time, surely, for if that rebel brigade had burned the bridge this morning when they were here, we would have been compelled to build one before we could cross, and we could not have built one at all if there had been a regiment of rebels on the east bank to oppose us, and at any rate we couldn't have crossed before tomorrow afternoon. Our passage here insures the passage of the whole army across the river for we can just sweep down the east bank and clear the way for those who are trying to cross lower down. After crossing we halted an hour for dinner, at the same time sending a regiment (38th Ohio) about 3 miles out on the main road to Augusta to burn a bridge there over "Rocky Comfort" Creek. After halting the hour, we started toward Louisville and encamped on "Wilkinson's Plantation" within 6 miles of it. Since crossing the Ogeechee the country looks better, and the roads are beautiful; weather warm as summer in the North; the roads look red, the sand being of a reddish cast, and reminded me of the roads in New Jersey. I had a chase after a rebel cavalryman today on the Augusta road, but he jumped off his mule and ran into the woods; some of our men got the mule, but the cavalryman escaped.

Monday, Nov. 28th.

Division marched a little before daylight — worse and worse. Reached "Rocky Comfort Creek", just in the edge of Louisville at 8 A. M. and the bridge being burnt, we had to lay down pontoons and make a bridge, which was completed at 3 P. M. at which time we commenced crossing. We marched through Louisville and encamped one mile east of it about 5 o'clock P. M. We understood last night, from negroes, that there was something of a rebel force in Louisville so we expected to meet with opposition in crossing "Rocky Comfort" which is a swift clear stream, spreading out on either side into a swamp, and the creek proper, as well as the swamp is filled with cypress trees and "Cypress Knees", the latter being the name for the young cypress trees; these "Cypress Knees" grow up out of the water, are very broad at the base and taper to a point; the water in the swamps through this cypress country has a dark tint, something like water pools in which large quantities of dead leaves have lain for a long time. The people call this "Bay Water", and say that its peculiar color is given it by the roots of a tree called the "Bay Tree", which somewhat resembles our "Dog Wood". We are now in the country where the "Spanish Moss" begins to show itself, and General Baird tells us that we will find it still more abundant as we approach the coast. It is a parasite like the mistletoe, has a dark grayish appearance, and hangs in ringlets from the limbs, draping the trees completely, and giving them a gloomy, funereal appearance; the General says that this moss is gathered, scalded with hot water, then dried and whipped, when all this outside coating of gray flies away in dust, leaving the black, glossy curly moss used by upholsterers. I reached the "Rocky Comfort Creek" this morning in company with a sergeant and 4 men of Kilpatrick's cavalry, a little after daylight, and at least an hour before


the Division came; when I reached the creek the fire was just fairly started on the bridge, but I was probably 20 minutes too late and couldn't save it. I could have reached it in time, but as we found the road barricaded about every mile by fences built across it, we had to approach very cautiously for fear of an ambuscade; and in this way we lost time. It was more risk than I ought to have taken for I was 4 miles ahead of the Division, with only 5 men with me, but it's all over now, and I'm not captured so it's all right. One doesn't think of these risks until they are passed. Louisville was the early capital of Georgia, is a somewhat old fashioned looking town, and has or had about 1,000 inhabitants.

Tuesday, Novr. 29th.

Division stationary. Weather warm and pleasant. Our headquarters are in the edge of a beautiful grove of pines. This grove was formerly cultivated land, and the marks of the furrows are as distinct now as if the land had been plowed two years ago. Yet there are many pines growing on it now that are a foot in diameter, and in most places the pines grow so thickly as to render it almost impossible to ride through them.

This is the kind of land that is called "Old Fields" in the South, and when this country was in possession of the Indians these "Old Fields" were frequently selected as places of rendezvous for war parties or for conferences amongst different tribes, and the "Fields" were known amongst them by their distinctive names, as our cities, towns and villages are now known to us. Citizens tell me that in about 20 years, a cleared field, if left uncultivated, will grow up into a forest of pines, but some of these "Old Fields" I think have not been cultivated for double that period.

"Broom Sedge" grows spontaneously here. It is a coarse, tall, wild grass, containing scarcely any nutriment. It looks somewhat like the "Cheat" of our Northern wheat fields. Farmers here never cut it, and at this season of the year, a field covered with it has the appearance of a field of rusty, weather beaten oats. It is very dry now, and along the line of our march every one of these Sedge fields is fired by the soldiers "just to see the fire run." The "Crackers" as the poor whites are called, and the negroes make a sort of broom out of this sedge. Louisville, near where we are now encamped was made the Capital of Georgia by the Constitution of the State, May 16th, 1795, and continued such until 1804, when Milledgeville became the capital. It is now simply the county seat of Jefferson county, the court house being built of the materials which formerly composed the state house. It was here that the papers connected with the celebrated "Yazoo Acts" were publicly burnt.

Major John Berrien, father of Hon. John M. Berrien of Georgia, lived and died in this county. I was awakened this morning before daylight, by somebody in my tent calling to me; it proved to be one of Kilpatrick's staff officers, and he was very much excited. He told me in broken sentences that they had been fighting day and night for


the past three days; that Wheeler's cavalry was all around them with a vastly superior force; that they were out of ammunition, and men and horses were utterly worn out; that Kilpatrick didn't know where our infantry was but had started him off at midnight last night to try and make his way to some infantry column and beg for support or they would all be lost. I have seen enough of Kilpatrick's Cavalry to know that their stories of hard fighting are cut after Baron Munchausen's style, but I also knew that Kilpatrick left us at the "Oconee" to make a raid toward "Augusta" and "Millen" and that he might possibly be seriously involved; this appeared more probable too on account of none of our infantry columns meeting with any serious opposition, so we couldn't tell but that the whole force of the enemy was closing around Kilpatrick. I jumped up immediately, went to the General's tent without dressing, told him the story, he called up the officer and talked with him a few minutes, then ordered one of our brigades to march immediately (without breakfast) to the relief of Kilpatrick. The brigade was in motion before sunrise, and after marching about five miles they began to hear sounds of skirmishing ahead; selecting a good position they immediately formed a line, and in about ten minutes Kilpatrick's jaded cavalry hove in sight, skirmishing with Wheeler and retiring before him; but when they saw the line of blue coated infantry drawn up in line across the road, and extending off into the woods on either side, they knew that they were saved, and sent up such shouts as never before were heard in these "Piney Woods" which our infantry responded to with right good will. Mr. Wheeler, taking the hint, from this shouting, prudently refrained from pursuing any farther, and quietly withdrew; while Kilpatrick moved in near our camp and went into camp. He reports that he has been near to Waynesboro, has burned a R. R. bridge on the road between Waynesboro and Augusta; has destroyed two or three miles of R. R. between Waynesboro and Millen, but didn't reach the prison pen at Millen as Wheeler, with some Georgia militia got after him; he says however, that our prisoners are all removed from Millen; that there is plenty of forage in the country ahead of us, but that Wheeler's men will destroy it all, and fall timber in the roads ahead of us. If they do this they will seriously annoy us, but as the enemy are still under the impression that Sherman first intends to take Augusta, before moving on Savannah, they may do most of their timber-chopping on the roads leading to Augusta, leaving the roads to Savannah comparatively clear. A lot of refugee negroes who are encamped near our headquarters got up a regular "Plantation Dance" tonight, and some of us went over and watched the performance which was highly amusing. The dress, general appearance, action, laughter, music and dancing of the genuine plantation negro is far more grotesque and mirth-provoking than the broadest caricatures of "Christy's Minstrels." They require neither fiddle nor banjo to make music for their ordinary plantation dances, and the dancers need no prompter, but kick, and caper and shuffle in the most complicated and grotesque manner their respective fancies can invent, while all who are not actually engaged as dancers stand in a ring around the


dancers, clapping their hands, stamping their feet, swinging their bodies, and singing as loud and as fast and furious as they can, a sort of barbaric chant, unlike anything I ever heard from the lips of white mortals; I observed, however, that there is a tone of melancholy (I know of no other mode of describing it) pervading all their rude music, which was plainly discernible even when the mirth of the dancers and singers had apparently reached its highest pitch. There is more fact than fiction in the saying that a "Soldier's life is always gay," for here we are in the midst of a hostile country, engaged in a campaign which probably the whole world, at this moment, is predicting will end in our complete destruction, and yet I have spent the evening laughing at the oddities of these negroes until my head and sides are aching.

Wednesday, Novr. 30th.

Division stationary. I have been doing the duty of Adjutant General yesterday and today, on account of Capt. "A" being ------. A report came in by some frightened cavalry man that the enemy were advancing on us in force this afternoon, and I rode out around our picket line to see that everything was in readiness to give them a proper reception, but they didn't come. These cavalry men are a positive nuisance; they won't fight, and whenever they are around they are always in the way of those who will fight. Our infantry have a very poor opinion of the fighting qualities of our cavalry, and very justly so, I think. We have orders to march tomorrow morning. All the business portion of Louisville is burned.

Thursday, Decr. 1st.

Division moved at 10 A. M.

The General pointed out to me on the map, this morning, our line of march for the next few days, and I find that our Division, together with Kilpatrick's cavalry is to form a flying column, to be detached from the main army, and strike ahead boldly toward Augusta, fighting Wheeler, and everything else that comes in our way, stubbornly, driving them before us, and demonstrating in such a way as to confirm the impression that the army is advancing on Augusta. All our surplus trains have been sent with the other two Divisions of the Corps, and all Kilpatrick's wagons have been sent there too, and they are to move by the most direct road to the line of R. R. from Millen to Augusta while we cover them on the left, and raid around through the country without any incumbrance except the rebel opposition we may meet with. We are now in the most "ticklish" position of any Division in the army. We are striking off boldly toward Augusta, possibly to be sacrificed for the purpose of saving the rest of the army, who knows?

Well, if such is the case I suppose we can stand it, but I would prefer having somebody else make the sacrifice; for I really never had any desire to be captured, and I am particularly unwilling to be captured on this campaign. Sherman don't know what is at Augusta,


or between here and there; neither do we know. A rebel army of 50,000 men may be on us before daylight tomorrow morning, for all we know, but I suppose that is just the reason Sherman has sent us off this way, and it will probably all turn out right. The whole campaign is an experiment — nothing more; but all the great campaigns of the world were nothing more during their progress, and if this campaign succeeds it will be a successful military experiment, that's all; but it will certainly be entitled to a distinguished position in the military history of the world. We are rapidly approaching the crisis. We have lived well and had fine times thus far. Everything has turned out as well as it possibly could, but the Lord only knows what's ahead of us. It is possible that we have already passed the dead point of danger, or we may not have reached it yet. It is this state of uncertainty that is more annoying than anything else. The enemy has been in our front all day today and the cavalry has been continually skirmishing with them. Our troops have marched today with some of the cavalry on the road in front of us, some more on the road in our rear, and the rest moving through the woods and fields on either side of the road; but it has been evident all day that in case we meet with a large force and serious opposition our cavalry won't help us much, for they act as if they thought the infantry was along for the purpose of doing all the fighting. So if we meet a force larger than our division can drive we shall be in a bad fix, for I know the cavalry will only be in our way. Confound the cavalry. They're good for nothing but to run down horses and steal chickens. I'd rather have one good regiment of infantry than the whole of Kilpatrick's cavalry.

We have marched through a tolerably fair country today, more oak land and less pine, but we saw no fine plantations. The roads are dry and sandy; the sand is loose and deep, making it rather hard walking, but it is much better than the hard, smooth limestone turnpikes and dirt roads we used to travel on in Kentucky and Tennessee. Hard roads affect men traveling on them as the paved streets of cities do horses; they stiffen them and wear them out, but these soft sandy roads do not. We are encamped tonight just east of Buckhead Creek. It was supposed when we started from Louisville that the rebels would be found on the east bank of this creek to resist our crossing, just as we had expected to find them at the Ogeechee. We were all surprised, though, when we reached the creek to find it a very small, insignificant stream, with solid banks and hard, sandy bottom. We had expected to find it a deep, swampy, difficult stream, with precipitous banks, and affording the rebels excellent opportunity for defending its passage.

The disappointment was a very agreeable one, but we learn that we have just crossed the headwaters and that the stream is as we supposed, farther to the south where the rest of the army has to cross it, but the rebels will not, of course, make any serious resistance to the crossing of the rest of the army, now that we are on the east side of it; and as they have known since 10 o'clock this morning that there was a column moving on this road, and yet made no serious opposition to our crossing. I am inclined to the opinion that we will find no considerable rebel force on this road, unless we go clear to Augusta.


The fact is our army is spread out into so many columns, marching in so many different directions, threatening so many different points, and careering over the country in such apparent disorder, yet really good order, that the rebels can't really make up their minds where we are going or what we intend to do, and fearing that we might catch them in some trap, are just digging dirt and hiding behind breastworks at Augusta and Savannah. That would be an excellent joke if it were true, but we are not "out of the woods" yet, and I won't crow.

Now that we are across the Ulcofauhatchee, the Yellow, the Oconee, the Ogeechee, the Rocky Comfort and the Buckhead, I can see that a rebel force of 20,000 men could have prevented us from crossing any of these streams for a long time, or perhaps entirely, and have compelled us to turn our course toward Mobile. Our headquarters tonight are on the south side of the road and near to it; the camp of the 2d Brigade is crowding up on us too much and the General is grumbling about it. He is evidently very much out of humor. It arises, I think, from the possible difficulties and dangers of our isolated position. I have placed 300 men on picket tonight, completely encircling our camp and that of the cavalry. If our camp should be surprised here, up I would go, for there is nobody here to charge with negligence in regard to the pickets but myself. Kilpatrick's headquarters are down the road a short distance from us in a house, he having no tents.

Friday, Decr. 2d.

Division moved at daybreak, and the cavalry also, in the same order as yesterday. Commenced skirmishing with the enemy before we had gone a mile. It became evident, very soon after starting this morning, that the rebel force in our front was largely increased above what it was yesterday, and on learning from negroes that Rocky Creek was about eight miles ahead from our camp of last night, we supposed that it was the intention of the rebels to resist in force our passage of that creek. This idea spread rapidly through the cavalry and they distinctly showed signs of nervousness, but as there had been nothing seen in our front but rebel cavalry, our infantry trudged along in the highest spirits, for our men well knew they could easily whip all the rebel cavalry Wheeler ever commanded. The General, however, and some of the rest of us didn't feel so confident about the result, for although nothing but rebel cavalry had thus far been seen, still we knew there might be a strong force of infantry and artillery on the east side of this creek and Wheeler might be falling back before us, without making much resistance, for the purpose of luring us on until we should suddenly find ourselves confronting a superior force; hence our movement was slow and extremely cautious, the ground ahead being well reconnoitred by our advance parties and skirmishers. The cavalry party in the advance came within sight of the creek at 10 a. m., and word came back from them that the enemy was holding the east bank of the creek in force. The division was immediately formed in line of battle, one regiment deployed in front as skirmishers, the cavalry


disposed so as to cover our flanks and protect our few wagons, and when everything was in readiness the bugle sounded the forward for our skirmish regiment; the line of blue moved steadily forward, out of the woods, into the open fields that lie along the west bank of the creek, the bright sun glittering on their burnished arms and a Sabbath like stillness pervading the scene. It looked beautiful, but I held my breath in suspense to catch the sound of the first shot. I expected it to be an artillery shot that would come crashing amongst us, tearing off heads and legs and arms from we couldn't tell who. Crack! goes a rifle shot from behind the neat white church on the left of the road and just on the bank of the creek. Our skirmishers don't stop to reply to it. Their foe is unseen. But with a yell like an Indian war whoop every one of them dashes forward at the top of his speed, without regard to order; each one anxious, alone, to be first at the church from whence that shot was fired. In almost less time than it takes to tell it our skirmishers were swarming around the church and scattered behind trees up and down the west bank of the creek, and nobody on our side hurt, but the rebels were on the east side, and we couldn't tell in what force. The General, however, was determined to push ahead, if possible, so the division was moved up to the creek in line of battle, and a regiment (the 74th Indiana) selected to cross the creek and attack the enemy on the opposite side.

While these movements were going on, I was sitting on the bank of the creek behind a large cypress stump, with General Baird and General Kilpatrick and a citizen, a young man (about 25) whom some of Kilpatrick's scouts had brought in about an hour before. While talking to him and asking him about the roads, &c., the rebels on the opposite side opened quite a sharp fire of musketry and the bullets rattled around our old stump and barked the trees around us quite lively. Just as soon as our citizen friend ascertained that they were bullets he threw himself flat on the ground with his face downward and commenced shouting in a piteous tone: "Oh, take me away, take me away; I can't stand this," &c., &c., which was excellent fun for all of us, and Kilpatrick after laughing at him a while, made him sit up, and frightened him still worse by assuring him that he would hang him if he lay down again. The fellow sat up, but curled himself into the smallest possible space, assuring us that he "wasn't used to such doins, and couldn't stand it like ‘you all’." As soon as the 74th got on the east side of the creek the rebels "lit out," as the men say. A couple of regiments of our cavalry crossed immediately and had a running skirimish with them for about two miles, which resulted in the death of two rebels, the wounding of three or four more and the capture of one, a Texan, with a wound through the arm. He told us that everybody knew we were going to Augusta, and that nobody supposed they could muster enough force to prevent us. He also told us that there was no rebel infantry outside of Augusta, and that Wheeler's cavalry was scattered all over the country; Wheeler not knowing what to do or where to go, for he found Yankees on every road in the State.


We halted at the cross roads one mile east of the creek, and after the men got dinner, turned and marched southward to our camp on Grisem's plantation. The cross roads spoken of are within six miles of Waynesboro, and we would have reached there by keeping straight ahead. Kilpatrick wanted the General to go straight on to Waynesboro, but that would be taking us still farther away from the other columns and the General chose the prudent course by turning southward so as to draw nearer to the rest of the army. If we get any communication from the rest of our corps tomorrow we may turn toward Augusta again.

Contrabands are still swarming to us in immense numbers. The General is a nephew of Gerritt Smith's and is quite an abolitionist. He delights in talking with these contrabands when we halt by the roadside and in extracting information concerning their "masters and mistresses" from them. He picked up quite an original character today who calls himself "Jerry." Jerry is a lively, rollicking, fun loving fellow, with a good deal of shrewdness; about 20 years old and rather a good looking boy. Jerry got an old horse, made a rope bridle, mounted bareback and rode alongside the General all the afternoon, talking to him continually. As we rode along Jerry was silent a few minutes, then he suddenly burst into a loud laugh, shook himself all over, and turning to the General, remarked: "Golly, I wish ole massa could see me now, ridin' wid de Ginrals."

After getting into camp tonight "Jerry" entertained us for two or three hours with his oddities. He told us about an old preacher in this neighborhood named Kilpatrick (Gen. Kilpatrick's headquarters are at his house tonight) and said he knew Old Kilpatrick's sermon, he had heard him preach it so often, so we got "Jerry" to preach Old Kilpatrick's sermon. I only remember part of it: "O Lord! suffer our enemees to Chaste after us no longer, but turn dem gently round, O, Lord, for we's got notin but our rights and our property, an if our enemees chaste after us any longer we won't have notin for our chillen. Bend dar hard hearts an probate necks, O, Lord, an suffer dem to Chaste after us no longer, but turn dem gently round." Jerry would roll up his eyes, and deliver this, and much more, in true ministerial style, until we almost split our sides with laughter.

We asked "Jerry" how many "Yankees" he thought he had seen today, and he replied about "five hundred thousand." I have noticed that it is almost universal amongst the negroes in this country, when they first see our column come along on the road to exclaim: "Good Lord! looks like de whole wold was comin." Headquarters on the right of the road, in the edge of an old field — tents facing the west.

Saturday, Dec. 3rd.

Division moved at sunrise. Still continuing our course in a Southwesterly direction. About 9 A. M. we reached "Rosemary Creek", a small, clear stream, about one rod in width where it crosses the road, and found it necessary to build a foot bridge over it for the troops. While engaged in building the bridge Lt. Col. McClurg, Gen. Davis'


Chief of Staff, came up to us with information of the rest of the Corps, and with orders for us to proceed to the Waynesboro & Augusta R. R. at Thomas' station; Kilpatrick's cavalry to accompany us. So we let the foot bridge go, turned and marched back about three miles, then took the best roads we could find to Thomas station.

We crossed the head waters of Rosemary Creek about noon, and halted near a church, on the south bank for the men to get dinner. During this halt the General and myself narrowly escaped capture. It was only 5 miles to Thomas station, and as Kilpatrick with his cavalry had gone ahead, telling the General he would go on to Thomas station and go into camp, the General concluded he would ride on ahead to Thomas station himself; so, asking me to ride with him, and leaving orders for the troops to move forward after they had rested two hours, we started off, unarmed, except with swords, and without any escort, supposing of course the road was clear. We passed cross roads about 2 miles from where our Division was, and rode on, busily engaged in conversation, until we were within about 1 1/4 miles of the station when I noticed the road, and to my surprise discovered that there had been no cavalry along that road; it startled me, and I immediately called the General's attention to it, and he was as much surprised as I was, for not a horse track was to be seen, and the peril of our situation was immediately realized — either Kilpatrick had missed the road, or we had, and it made no difference to us which, for we were 4 miles away from any of our troops, without arms, and with cross roads half way between us and the troops, on which a party of rebels might come and cut us off entirely from help.

Says the General: "Major, this is a bad piece of business." "It is indeed, sir", I replied, "but let's run for it, and maybe we can reach the cross roads before any rebels do." "Agreed" said he, "we'll try it", and in a second we were off at the best pace of our horses. In a few minutes, the cross roads were in sight, and the road was clear; reaching the cross roads we checked our horses, and looking up the road to our right which led to Waynesboro, about half a mile distant, I saw a party of rebel cavalry, coming toward the cross roads at a full run, chasing after a couple of our foragers, who, mounted on mules had ventured out there in search of provisions and plunder. The General saw them coming too, and started at a round gallop to where we had left the troops. I saw by the gait they were traveling that I could outrun them with "Frank" very easily, so I remained and began shouting to our two foragers who were being pursued, in order to encourage them; the rebels seeing me and hearing me shouting checked up — I saw that brass would save the foragers, so I yelled "forward" as loud as I could, and spurred my horse forward as if to chase them — the dodge succeeded; one of them fired his pistol, and they all (about twenty) turned tail and ran like whiteheads, the foragers firing after them as they ran.

When the foragers came up to me I expect I swore at them a little, for venturing out in that way, and then rode on back to the troops, where I found the General, and we had many a hearty laugh


this afternoon and evening over our John Gilpin ride. It's a good joke now, but it would have been a serious affair for us if we had reached the cross roads three minutes later than we did; it might have furnished me a chapter on prison life, for my diary. "All's well that ends well" though, and "a miss is as good as a mile."

The Division reached "Thomas station" about 4 P. M. and was stretched along the R. R. for about a mile and a half to tear up the track, and now, ten o'clock at night, the men have about 2 miles of the track torn up, the ties piled up and burning all along that 2 miles, and the bars of iron laying across the piles of burning ties heating so that the men can twist them and render them useless. This place consists of a water tank, and an overseer's house, surrounded by about 20 whitewashed negro houses, it takes its name from the name of the owner of this plantation. It is eight miles from here to Waynesboro by R. R. and about 33 to Augusta. The rest of our Corps is about 10 miles south of us, tonight, on the R. R. at Lumpkins station, and Gen. Sherman is at Millen.

Five days ago this place was to us "terra incognita"; we sat around our camp fires and talked about this R. R. just as we would have talked of China; we thought we might get here, but we also thought very strongly that we might not get here; yet now we find ourselves here, and are almost inclined to wonder why we ever doubted our ability to get here. Five days ago we were imagining all sorts of dangers and opposition that might beset us in our progress to this R. R. but now we look back over the past few days and find a rich fund of amusement in talking about the feeble opposition of Wheeler and his fugitive cavaliers.

I wonder what the next five days will bring to us? Long continued success is apt to make men over-confident and careless. I hope it may not be so with us. Our getting possession of this road cuts R. R. communication between Savannah and Augusta, except around by way of Charleston. The rebels up the track toward Waynesboro can see the burning ties and will know, of course, that we are destroying the R. R. so I presume the Augusta people, after their long suspense, will breathe free tonight, for they will receive dispatches from Wheeler saying that he has driven off the Yankees and compelled them to turn toward Savannah.

But they are mistaken if they think that, for we have received orders from Gen. Sherman tonight that will again make the hearts of the Augustans quake tomorrow, for Kilpatrick and ourselves are to move up the R. R. tomorrow and drive Wheeler across Briar Creek, 5 miles north of Waynesboro, for the purpose of keeping up the idea that we are moving on Augusta. The soil here is nothing but poor pale looking sand; it is good for raising melons though, and peanuts. Indeed I have forgotten in this diary, to notice the peanut crop of Georgia, and I ought not omit so important an item as that, for peanuts are a luxury to northern urchins, and many a time, while a lad, munching away at my "cents worth of peanuts", have I wondered where they grew, and how they grew, and wished I could see them growing. The


ground for planting them is prepared and marked out like corn ground, only the hills are but about two feet apart; two peanuts are dropped in a hill and covered lightly with a hoe; in about 6 weeks the sprouts from each hill have grown up in a thick bunch, not unlike a bunch of young boxwood; when in this condition a hoe full of dirt is placed on top of the center of each bunch, bending the young shoots down and causing them to spread out in every direction and lie flat on the ground, the shoots then run along the ground like sweet potato vines (for which I have frequently mistaken them) and the nuts grow in the ground at intervals along the vine, just as melons do, except that the melons grow above the ground.

The crop is gathered after frost in the fall by pulling up the vines and picking off the nuts. All the negroes raise little patches of them for themselves, and many planters raise from 5 to 100 acres of them for the market. I think the average crop is from 30 to 50 bushels per acre. The negroes, and most of the whites too, call them "Gookas", "Gooka Peas", "Gronnuts", i. e. (Ground nuts) "Hog Peas", "Hog nuts", "Ground Peas" and "Pea Nuts", the latter name not being very generally used.

Sunday, Dec. 4th.

The rebels bothered us last night, but we paid them for it today. About midnight last night they got a piece of artillery on the R. R. track and fired down the track at our camp fires. I believe they killed one cavalry man. Of course, the General and all his staff had to get up, had our horses saddled, and as I was the only one about headquarters that knew how to get to our pickets up the R. R., I had to act as guide through the woods in the dark. It was very dark and after we had gone some distance, and everything had become quiet again, the General declared that we had already gone too far, that we were already outside of our pickets, and that if they followed my lead we would all be captured. The experience of yesterday had made him very cautious, but after some parleying I convinced him I was right and we went ahead to our pickets. But as the fuss was all over, and we could see nothing, we returned, getting to bed again, in bad humor, about 2 this morning. Kilpatrick drew up his whole division of cavalry in the open fields this morning at 7 o'clock, ready to commence operations for driving the rebels up the R. R. to Waynesboro and through that place. So many cavalry in line in an open plain make a beautiful sight. But it's all show; there's not much fight in them, though Kilpatrick's men have behaved very handsomely today. They did all the fighting and whipped Wheeler soundly, killing, wounding and capturing about 300 of his men, and losing only about 50 themselves. But then Kilpatrick's men had the moral support of two of our brigades that were formed in line right behind them and kept moving forward as they moved, so that our cavalry all the time knew that there was no chance of their being whipped. This has been a regular field day, and we have had "lots of fun" chasing Wheeler and his cavalry. Kilpatrick is full of fun and frolic and he was in excellent spirits all day, for


Wheeler and he were classmates at West Point, and he was elated at the idea of whipping his classmate. A cavalry fight is just about as much fun as a fox hunt; but, of course, in the midst of the fun somebody is getting hurt all the time. But it is by no means the serious work that infantry fighting is. Wheeler himself had to run at an ingloriously rapid rate through the streets of Waynesboro today. That must have been very humiliating to this proud cavalier. We entered Waynesboro about noon and pushed on after the flying rebels to Briar Creek, 22 miles from Augusta. I presume the Augustans were frightened again today when they heard we were coming so close to their city.

Waynesboro is the county seat of Burke County, the county having been so named in 1777 in honor of Edmund Burke, the British champion of American independence. Waynesboro was incorporated in 1812 and I should think contained about 1,000 inhabitants. In 1850 this county contained a free white population of little over 5,000, while it contained a slave population of over 10,000. An engagement took place in this county in 1779 between the British and Americans, in which the old flag came out victorious just as it did today. The soil in this county is said to be very productive. Cotton and corn are the staples. Since crossing the Oconee we have seen scarcely any stone. The wealthiest planters we have seen thus far through the State have not spent much money in building fine houses. We left one of our brigades, with our wagons, at Thomas Station this morning, and after we had pushed Wheeler across Briar Creek the General ordered that brigade to take the trains and march direct to Alexander. We left Waynesboro at 3 p. m. and taking the Savannah road met our other brigade and wagons at Alexander about dark, but we had to march until 8 o'clock this evening in order to get a camping place near water.

We left Kilpatrick in Waynesboro, with part of his force at Briar Creek. He will withdraw from there and follow us some time tonight, so that Wheeler will not know until after daylight tomorrow but that we intend to push right on toward Augusta.

We heard from the rest of our corps tonight and from the extreme right of the army. General Sherman with the right wing is probably within 20 miles of Savannah tonight. Our withdrawal from Waynesboro and march to this place this afternoon closes all demonstrations against Augusta. We have kept up the delusion of an attack on that place as long as we can, and with the sunlight of tomorrow the true design of our campaign will break upon the bewildered minds of the rebels. It is over a hundred miles tonight between the two extremes of our army, and tomorrow morning we commence closing up as rapidly as possible. The road we are encamped on tonight leads straight to Savannah. I heard tonight that General Davis turned back a lot of contrabands at Buckhead Creek, and I don't doubt it, for he is a copperhead.

The village of Alexander has but two or three houses in it.


Monday, Decr. 5th.

Division moved at sunrise and marched via "Sardis Church" to "Jacksonboro," a distance of about 19 miles. Our pickets were fired on a little before daylight this morning, so we expected to be annoyed by parties of rebel cavalry or guerillas during the day, but were not troubled by them. Wheeler must "have been chagrined this morning on discovering that instead of being in our front, as he supposed himself, he is in our rear, and far in our rear, too — so far that it will now be impossible for him to get in our front until we are battering away at Savannah. Most of our march today has been through the "piney woods" country, and the few women and children we have seen look utterly ignorant and stupid. Very few negroes are owned in the section through which we have passed today. Our line of march now is parallel to the Savannah River and so near to it that no column of rebels will dare to march between us and that river, hence all reinforcements for Savannah must go down on the north side of the river. Jacksonboro looks, on the map, as though it might be quite a village, but on reaching it we find it to consist of a single two-story frame farm house, with the usual log outbuildings. It was formerly a county seat, but before Jacksonboro had time to grow any the seat of justice was removed to Sylvania, and Jacksonboro remains in statu quo. Our troops are encamped tonight on Beaver Dam Creek. We should have moved three or four miles farther, but it was 4 o'clock when we reached here and we found the bridge across the creek burned and so much timber felled across the ford and road that it will take about two or three hours to remove it, so the General concluded to encamp here and clear out the obstructions tonight. The rest of the corps is near us tonight on a road perpendicular to the road we have been traveling. Kilpatrick's headquarters are at the house of Jacksonboro tonight and our headquarters are in tents in the dooryard. Kilpatrick came out in his bare head and shirt sleeves to the fire in front of our tents this evening and regaled us with an anecdotal history of his student days at West Point. He told us many anecdotes of our General McCook and the rebel, General Wheeler. He says McCook at West Point was a lazy, pompous ass and Wheeler a great sloven.

Kilpatrick is the most vain, conceited, egotistical little popinjay I ever saw. He has one redeeming quality — he rarely drinks spirituous liquors, and never to excess. He is a very ungraceful rider, looking more like a monkey than a man on horseback.

Went to bed feeling quite unwell.

Tuesday, Dec. 6th.

Division moved across "Beaver Dam" Creek at 8 A. M., marched about 12 miles and went into camp at "Black Creek" about dark.

Country very poor and sandy, and abounding in swamps. It would appear, from the reports brought in by the cavalry scouts, that the enemy, are expecting us to cross the Savannah River somewhere near where we are now, and march against Charleston. They find rebels on the opposite side at all the fords and ferries to prevent our crossing.


ing. They are perfectly safe so long as they stay there, for we don't intend to cross the river now. South Carolina is reserved for a future day; Sherman intends to finish Georgia, before beginning on South Carolina.

The country being so poor here the men don't find a very large supply of provisions, but they are still finding enough, and if it gets no worse we will get along very well.

At intervals during the day we heard heavy cannonading, apparently very distant, and in the direction of the coast; the conjectures as to its whereabouts have been various, but everybody inclines to the opinion that it may be the bombardment of Charleston. It seems strange to think that we are within hearing of our guns in Charleston Harbor, and if it is really true that we heard them today I have no longer any fears about the ultimate success of our campaign.

It is certain that those guns were not fired by any part of this army, and it is equally certain that they were fired either at or by Federal troops eastward of us; in either case it is an assurance to us that some of our forces on the seaboard are cooperating with us. I wish I could know just what is going on there; this blind, groping of our way through the swamps and forests of Georgia, knowing nothing of what our friends are doing to help us, or what our enemies are doing to oppose us, is the greatest annoyance of this campaign, but thank fortune, we are not relying upon our friends for assistance, and as to our enemies we dared them to do their utmost when we severed our communication with the north and started from Atlanta, and we will not fear them now.

Wednesday, Dec. 7th.

Division moved at daylight, Kilpatrick's cavalry being in our rear, and the other two divisions of our corps in advance. Our march was very much impeded, all day, by the slow movement of the troops in advance of us, and on reaching the very deep and difficult ravine of Mill Creek, it was evident that we could not get over it until some time after dark, so the General determined to go into camp without attempting the crossing tonight. Just about dark, the cavalry in our tear came rushing past us pell-mell, and the sounds of musketry informed us that the rebels in some force were following our rear closely so our headquarters were taken down again, preparations for supper suspended, wagons reloaded, and the troops disposed in proper order to resist an attack; our lines were opened and Kilpatrick's frightened cavalry permitted to come through and take shelter behind us; about this time came orders that we must cross Mill Creek and move on to the vicinity of "Sister's Ferry" some 7 miles beyond, if it should take us all night. This was hard, for we were all tired and hungry, but there was no time for rest, so about 9 o'clock we got started out again, and after marching all night we reached "Sister's Ferry" at 4 o'clock next morning. I think this was the hardest night march I ever made. Just before the troops began to cross the "Mill Creek"


ravine, word came to the General that the enemy was in our front just on the opposite side of the ravine, and I went ahead to see about it; collecting about ten men who were straggling on ahead I made them load their guns, and took them with me as I cautiously groped my way through the dark ravine, but I found no enemy on the opposite side and sent word back to the General accordingly; I was exceedingly sleepy, and laid down on a brush pile by the road side where I slept an hour, until the General came up with the rear brigade, when we all started ahead; I slept on my horse as we rode along, and at every halt I dismounted and laid down beside my horse to snatch a little sleep, being afraid, all the time, that by some unfortunate mischance, the column might move on and leave me.

During all the march of this day and night we passed through a low, level sandy country, timbered with "Pine" and "Jack Oak."

We passed, today, the house of Doct. A. Longstreet, a relative of the rebel General Longstreet; there was nothing about it to attract attention except the fact of its owner being a "Longstreet."

For many days past the "Spanish moss" has been found in great abundance. It gives the forest an exceedingly gloomy (funereal, best describes it) appearance. "Sister's Ferry" is on the Savannah River, and the wagon road at this point is within about two hundred yards of the river. On some of the maps it is called "Two Sisters' Ferry", and it is said the name originated from the fact of two sisters belonging to some of the German families that first settled this neighborhood having been drowned here while attempting to cross the river in a canoe. At "Sister's Ferry" the bank on the Georgia side is high while that on the Carolina side is low and swampy. Morgan's Division of this corps, which is in the advance on this road, finds the road blockaded and some slight show of an enemy in front; this may detain us somewhat but Savannah must surely be ours now, for we are within 35 miles of it, and I am sure nothing can save it.

We heard the distant cannonade again to-day and all night

"Nearer, clearer, deadlier than before";
I have heard it suggested to-day that it may be Foster of the Dept. of the South making a demonstration in our favor, by a land attack on some point on the coast. Wouldn't it be a "bore" to have "Foster" attack Savannah now and take it before we get there? He won't do it though. Those eastern fellows never do anything clever, and, as we used to say up in Tennessee over a year and a half ago, "we'll have to go over there and do their work for them yet."

During the night the General and staff rode along at the head of our rear brigade, so as to be near at hand in case the enemy should attack our rear; at one time the column halted about an hour, and we couldn't imagine what caused the long halt, so we rode along, picking our way amongst the tired, sleeping men as they laid along the road, and on reaching the head of the column found Col. Este, the commander of our leading brigade, and all his staff, lying down in the road asleep. The Colonel explained by saying that he was halting to let the wagon


train ahead get out of his way, but the fact was that there was no wagon train within 3 miles of him, but he had halted for a rest, and falling asleep, overslept himself.

Thursday, Dec. 8th.

Division moved forward again at 7 o'clock, everybody tired, sleepy and worn out. I tumbled down on the ground by a burning stump at the road side about 5 o'clock this morning, slept until 6 o'clock, got a tin cup full of coffee for breakfast, gave my horse some corn, and by half past six was on the road for the day. I don't think I could stand this kind of soldiering more than a month or two without some rest. After marching about 3 miles, and crossing a small creek, which, I believe is nameless on the maps, we were compelled to halt, Carlin's and Morgan's Divisions which were in front of us being detained by the destruction of the "Ebenezer Creek" bridge. Early in the afternoon the cavalry which was in our rear, being pressed by a superior force of the enemy (as they said), passed through our Division; we formed line of battle facing to the rear, and the Cavalry took position on our right, between us and the river; the enemy continued during the day to threaten an attack, and thus kept us on the alert all day, which was very annoying as we were all very sleepy. At 12 1/2 midnight we withdrew in the utmost silence, not a bugle being sounded nor a loud command being given, and resumed our march, crossing Ebenezer Creek and encamping just south of it at 6 A. M. This night's work was harder than that of last night, and I never was so utterly exhausted and worn out as I was when the sun rose the morning after crossing Ebenezer Creek. The crossing of Ebenezer Creek was a very delicate undertaking, for the enemy was just in our rear, undoubtedly listening for every sound that would indicate a movement on our part, and to cross the creek we had to pass through at least a mile of the most gloomy, dismal cypress swamp I ever saw, on a narrow causeway, just wide enough for a wagon to drive along; if the enemy had discovered our movement and had planted a piece of artillery in the road to rake that causeway while we were on it they could have killed or wounded three-fourths of the men in the division, and we should have been utterly helpless to defend against it. We were fully aware of the danger of our undertaking though, and every possible precaution was taken to preserve silence. If there was no other road to approach Savannah except by this one over Ebenezer Creek, five thousand rebels could defend the city against the world. I don't believe they thought we would be foolish enough to try to cross here. Rebel gunboats in the Savannah threw shells over into our road to-day, but did no harm so far as I can learn.

The plot really begins to thicken; rebel gunboats begin to oppose us, and the heavy cannonading we have heard for two or three days past has been more distinct and very rapid all day. Where can it be? Not a soul in this army knows though; not Sherman himself; but who it is or where it is makes but little difference to us, for it assures us that there is an active Yankee force somewhere near us, and that is


enough to encourage any of us who may be faint-hearted. There is no longer any doubt that we shall immediately infest Savannah, but the provision question is beginning to be a serious one with us, however it may be with the right of the army, for we are squeezed in amongst swamps, rivers and sand hills, where, even in most flourishing times the inhabitants must have had hard work to live, and in a very few days we will eat up everything within our reach, so that some steps must be taken to supply the army with means of subsistence before we can think of entering upon a protracted siege; still, may be I am "reckoning without my host" — we are not yet besieging Savannah — we are not yet within sight of its spires — we know not what miles of "Ebenezers" and of breastworks and what thousands of grey clad soldiers may yet be found to oppose, retard, harass our march, and possibly prevent us ever reaching within sight of the city; the army that took Atlanta though, must not fail before Savannah.

When the head of the column reached the "Ebenezer Causeway" I went ahead with one of Genl. Davis' aids who had come back to point out our ground for camping, and as I reached the bridge, I found there Major Lee, Provost Marshal of the Corps, engaged, by Genl. Davis' order, in turning off the road, into the swamp all the fugitive negroes that came along. When we should cross I knew it was the intention that the bridge should be burned, and I inquired if the negroes were not to be permitted to cross; I was told that Genl. Davis had ordered that they should not. This I knew, and Genl. Davis knew must result in all these negroes being recaptured or perhaps brutally shot down by the rebel cavalry to-morrow morning. The idea of five or six hundred black women, children and old men being thus returned to slavery by such an infernal copperhead as Jeff. C. Davis was entirely too much for my Democracy; I suppose loss of sleep, and fatigue made me somewhat out of humor too, and I told his staff officers what I thought of such an inhuman, barbarous proceeding in language which may possibly result in a reprimand from his serene Highness, for I know his toadies will repeat it to him, but I don't care a fig; I am determined to expose this act of his publicly, and if he undertakes to vent his spleen on me for it, I have the same rights that he himself exercised in his affair with Nelson. I expect this will cost me my Brevet as Lieut. Colonel, but let it go, I wouldn't barter my convictions of right, nor seal my mouth for any promotion. The creek "Ebenezer" received its name from the first settlers, who were refugees from religious persecution in the village of "Berchtolsgaden", Germany. The first company consisted of 42 men with their families, in all 78 persons. They arrived at Charleston S. C. in March 1734, where they met Oglethorpe who conducted them to Georgia, landing them first at Savannah.

History says: "they expressed a desire to be removed to some distance from the sea, where the scenery was diversified with hill and dale and they might be supplied with springs of water." (Hist. Coll. of Georgia — White.)

Knowing this to be their desire, Oglethorpe, who appears to have been nothing but a shrewd old land speculator, led these poor Dutchmen


away up amongst these dismal swamps, and settled them here on Ebenezer Creek, where nothing but alligators ever ought to live.

These religionists were called Salzburgers and it is said their first act after selecting the site of their new settlement was to erect a stone which they found lying near by, and called it "Ebenezer" ("Stone of help", I believe, for it is said they felt that the Lord had helped them in selecting so beautiful a location). They must have been very easily satisfied, to be content with such a place as this; if I were compelled to live here I should feel as if the Lord were punishing me for my iniquity.

Friday, Decr. 9th.

Division marching again at 11 A. M. I drank a cup of coffee and ate a piece of corn bread about 7 1/2 o'clock this morning, and then lay down to snatch a little sleep, for I was almost sick for want of it, and it was so with the General and all the rest of the staff, but we only had about two hours sleep until we were compelled to march. The first thing I shall do after Savannah is captured, will be to take a nap about 48 hours long; so much loss of sleep, and night marching begins to make me feel old. If any one at home thinks an officer in the Army has fine times, no hard work, and plenty of pay, I wish they could have my experience of the past six months; I rather think they would "see it" in a different light. It is a perfect dog's life, and I am almost surprised at myself sometimes, for not quitting it; but that would never do; the young man, who in these eventful times is found at home, is but a drone in the hive.

We marched 6 miles to-day, taking a by-road to the right of the main Savannah Road, thus going around the heads of Lockner's and Kogler's Creeks, and encamping in Piney Woods, near the junction of our by-road with the main road. These Piney Woods where we are encamped have once been cultivated probably by the pious, persecuted Salzburgers whom Oglethorpe swindled; but the trees are giants and moss grown as if the storms of centuries had beaten on them; looking at them, so completely overhung with the long streamers of dingy grey "Spanish Moss" one can almost fancy they were thus adorned for some fairy festival long ago, all traces of which have now disappeared except the soft yielding carpet of pine leaves, and the faded drapery overhead. In White's "Historical Collections of Georgia", I find the names of the original German settlers of this section of Georgia and I also find that the same names exist here yet, and the same families, or rather descendants from them, are the proprietors of the lands. Slaves are not very plenty amongst them, but this I think arises from the fact that slave labor cannot be made profitable on this very poor soil. These people through here were not original Secessionists and are now in favor of a reconstruction of the Union on any terms. They do not, however, represent the Chivalry of the South, nor do they claim to, I believe. This County, "Effingham", is almost entirely settled and owned by them. The principal export of the county has always been lumber, but one enterprising Yankee up in Maine would export as much lumber from his own farm as they do from the whole county.


We are encamped within 18 miles of the city to-night, and no sounds of fighting in front yet. We hear that Hardee with 17000 troops is in the city to defend it. P'shaw! our corps alone whipped that many veterans under Hardee's management at Jonesboro last September, and if he is the only Savior the rebels have for their city they may say "good-by Savannah."

The rebel gunboats in the river did some more shelling to-day, but they couldn't so much as frighten a mule. The distant cannonade was heard again about due east of us to-day. It must be in the vicinity of Charleston. I suppose the people in the North know where it is from the newspapers, but we who are within hearing of the guns do not.

Foster was to make an attempt to cut the R. R. between Savannah and Charleston about Christmas, and that may be what is going on. A negro who came in from South Carolina to-day says that there was a battle over near that R. R. a few days ago and that he heard the white folks say the Yankees had been whipped, so I shouldn't wonder if Foster had tried to strike that Road and failed; all these eastern fellows appear to fail in everything they undertake.

We hear, to-night, that the right wing of the army is within 4 miles of the city, and has met no formidable opposition yet; the rebels must have a very short line of defence, but it must be very close to the city, and the result will be, if they fight stubbornly, that the entire city will be destroyed by our artillery. I saw one city (Atlanta) destroyed, and that was enough for me. I want Savannah to fall, but not in ruins.

Saturday, Dec. 10th.

Division moved at 9 A. M. marched 6 miles and went into camp within 12 miles of the doomed city, in a strip of low piney woods lying between the road and the rice plantations along the River. About noon to-day our Second Brigade, commanded by Col. Gleason 87th Ind. Vols. was sent off to the left for the purpose of striking the Charleston and Savannah R. R. and if possible destroying the R. R. bridge across the river. They succeeded in destroying about 2 miles of the road but they found the bridge held by the rebels, and as the only means of approaching the bridge was by a trussle work about a mile in length across a swamp it was deemed impracticable to attempt to reach it. The artillery firing in the direction of the city has been very heavy all day, and I should think the tug of war was just about opening. From present appearances it would seem that our division is to be used to cover the rear, and protect the trains of the left wing of the army. The R. R. to Charleston being now destroyed, Savannah is entirely isolated from the rest of the Confederacy, and its fall is now only a question of time, unless we should find it impossible to procure subsistence. A fleet of transports loaded with rations for us is probably in the offing before Savannah now, but the question is how are we to communicate with that fleet, and how get the rations landed? Our first fighting must be for something to eat. The R. R. from Charleston to Savannah is cut, but there is one good wagon road running from Savannah to Charleston on


the north side of the river, and unless we can throw our lines across the river so as to get possession of that road the garrison of the city can escape by that road.

Sunday, Dec. 11th.

We sent a regiment (2d Minnesota) over to the R. R. again this morning to make another attempt to destroy the R. R. bridge. The General went over too, and myself. We could get only a short distance out on the trussle work though, for the rebels had a locomotive on the track at the South end of the bridge, with a platform car in front of it, on which was mounted a heavy piece of artillery. As soon as our working party commenced work at the trussle the rebels opened on us and we all had to hide behind sand piles and logs, for their shells came tearing right down along the R. R. and burst right where we had been at work, we being unable to reply to their fire or silence it, for we had no artillery with us. We succeeded however in burning a considerable portion of the trussle. I saw a regular cane-brake near the trussle today and some very large magnolia trees, over two feet in diameter. I have not seen a rice plantation yet — they are further down the river — neither have I seen a palmetto tree.

Division moved out after dinner, marched three miles, crossing St. Augustine Creek, and encamping immediately south of it, alongside the R. R. and within 9 miles of the city. While we were at the R. R. this morning, some rebel cavalry came down the road on which the Division lay, and fired a few shots at our pickets, but they soon withdrew. The firing toward the city has been heavy and continuous today; I think the rebels must have some heavy guns there.

Monday, Dec. 12th.

Division stationary. Mine eyes have beheld the spires of the city!

This forenoon Capt. Biddle and myself rode down to the river, visited the rice plantations, and rice mills, saw a rebel steamboat, captured by our foragers yesterday, saw the spires of Savannah, saw the sacred soil of South Carolina, saw and talked with the real genuine plantation nigger, and indeed were surfeited with sights to us entirely new. There is as much difference between niggrs on rice plantations and "up-country" ones, as there is between negroes and baboons.

Many of those I saw to-day were scarcely a single remove from brutes, and they speak a broken sort of English that I can scarcely understand.

On one plantation I saw about 150 niggers principally women and children, and nearly every one of them sick, not a mouthful for them to eat on the whole plantation, except the rice which was stacked up, in the straw, in huge ricks that look like large wheat ricks. The stubble on a rice field looks very much like the stubble on a wheat field or oats field, but the straw is much more tender, and never becomes harsh and brittle like wheat stubble.


Rice plantations must be on low ground, so that they can be flooded with water; ditches are cut through them, dividing the fields into squares or rectangles about 40 yards by 80, all these ditches communicating with one main ditch or canal which opens into the river. The land is plowed in March I believe, And the rice sown with drills, like wheat, then the gates of the main canal are opened and water permitted to flow into the ditches until the whole field is covered with water about a foot deep; the rice sprouts under the water, and in about two weeks the water is drawn off, then the "hands" have to wade into this muddy field, sinking into the mud over knee deep, and pulling out the weeds, when the weeds are pulled out the field has been dried by the hot sun, and the negroes hoe the rice, then the field is flooded again nearly two feet deep; this is done to make the rice stretch, i. e., to make it grow up tall; it stretches up out of the water, and the head forms above the water, looking like the head on oat straw, but much larger; when the grain is full the water is drawn off again; in a few days of hot southern sun the rice field changes from a pale green to a deep, rich yellow, and the negroes with sickles cut the crop, bind it in sheaves like oats, "shock" it, and as soon as convenient carry it off the field to the high ground where they rick it as a northern Dutch farmer ricks his wheat. This is the mode of rice culture, as I have gleaned it from the filthy, ignorant wretches who have almost worn out their lives at it; my description may be inaccurate, probably is, in some of the details, but in the main is, I believe, correct. Negroes employed on rice plantations live but a few years, and I suppose from this fact, the idea has become prevalent that white men could not stand it to labor on southern plantations. If they would take any decent care of their negroes on rice plantations, they would live as long as on any other plantations, but the proprietors of rice plantations live in cities or in Europe. Everything is done by overseers, and the negroes are treated with just the same brutality as our army mules; profits are large, and if a nigger dies it makes but little difference, another can easily be bought. Orders received to move early next morning. After returning from my visit to the rice plantations I gave the General a description of what I saw, and he went down himself this afternoon.

Tuesday, Dec. 13th.

Division moved at sunrise, taking the road to Savannah until reaching the mile posten we took a by road to the right, crossing the C. & S. R. R. and moving in a southwesterly direction through "Piney Woods" we crossed "Pipe Maker's Creek" — the Macon R. R. — and the Louisville Road, taking position on the Macon R. R. and Louisville Road, facing to the rear, so as to cover the rear of the left wing of the army. Our Head Quarters to-night are between four and five miles from the city, directly on the Louisville Road. Considerable artillery and musketry firing on the lines in front of the city during the day.

Just as we struck the Louisville road this morning we met Lieut. Col. Ewing, Inspr. Gen., and other officers of Genl. Sherman's Staff, who told us they were on their way to see the attack on Fort McAllister


at the mouth of the Ogeechee. All day we were engaged in discussing the probability of the success of the attack on Fort McAllister, but it is over, and McAllister is ours — captured by Hazen's Division of the 15th Corps — so I suppose Sherman will have communication with the fleet to-night, and with daylight in the morning the news of our success will be on its way with all the speed of steam to electrify the millions of the north who are awaiting news from us with breathless interest. We all breathe freer to-night than we have for three months past. Our work of course is not done, Savannah is not yet ours, but the capture of McAllister settles the provision question, and there is now no doubt about the fall of the City. Our men are now living almost entirely on rice; we have no meat and no crackers, "but little coffee and very little sugar; the whole rice crop of this year is on the plantations though, and I guess we can worry along on rice until some means are devised for getting rations from the fleet. It is not known yet amongst the camps that Fort McAllister has fallen, but the men are living contentedly on the rice which they get in the straw and clean for themselves, for they know that rations will be plenty as soon as Sherman can provide them.

Our horses and mules are living on rice straw, and the Lord only knows how the ten or twelve thousand fugitive negroes within our lines are living, but they appear to be cheerful and happy, grinning and bowing to everybody; they are encamped — all around — everywhere — in squads of ten to a hundred; their little fires form a complete circle around our Head Quarters at night; I believe they have taken a fancy to our Head Quarters, for they come to us with all their little complaints ; get all the waste victuals from our mess, and make their little camps as close to us as they dare; indeed the General lets them camp closer to our Head Quarters than he would like to have the soldiers; they appear to shun Davis' Head Quarters though — they find no sympathy there — I think Davis is a copperhead because of that Kentucky Indictment pending against him for the murder of Nelson; he don't know but that he may, some day, be tried for that offense before a jury of Kentucky copperheads, and he is anxious to propitiate them.

Wednesday, Dec. 14th.

Division stationary. Order received from Genl. Sherman announcing the fall of Fort McAllister. Our loss in the assault only 91 killed and wounded. Copies of order sent to brigades and regiments, and the men have been cheering and yelling like Indians all day. Everybody feeling jolly — bands all playing, batteries all firing, flags all flying, and everybody voting everybody else in this army a hero. The enemy rather quiet, they fired but little during the day.

In the midst of all our joy though we must eat, so we sent out a large detail this morning with wagons, and they came in this evening loaded with rice in sheaf, so our men and horses will have something to eat for a few days longer.

Finding I would probably have an opportunity of sending a letter North to-day, I wrote just a line to Mary to let her know I am still alive and able to eat rice — had neither time nor opportunity to write more.


Thursday Dec. 15th.

Division stationary. Weather continues warm and pleasant as mid summer. Capt. Buttrick and myself went to Fort McAllister this morning and returned this evening very tired, having ridden about 40 miles to-day. We rode along the lines of the entire army, and I obtained a good idea of our position in front of the city. If we have to assault the enemy's works we will have a great deal of trouble there are so many swamps and bayous between us and the enemy's lines. On our way to McAllister this morning we met Genl. Sherman coming back from his first visit to the fleet; his orderlies riding behind him were carrying huge bundles of late New York papers. I saw the well known head lines of the "Herald" and "Tribune" as they passed me, and I was almost tempted to ask Mr. Sherman if he couldn't spare me one. I saw my first Palmetto tree to-day; it was about fifty feet high, which, I am told, is unusually high for them. The stalk looked like that of a huge overgrown cabbage stalk.

I also saw a rice field containing probably 400 acres, with the rice shocks scattered over it as thickly as they stand on our best wheat fields in the North. We couldn't get to the Fort, as it is on the opposite side of the Ogeechee from us, but we viewed it from the top of a rice mill, where Genls. Sherman and Howard stood while the assault was going on. We saw our monitors and fleet of transports in Ossabau Sound, and two of our monitors that were engaged in slowly shelling a rebel battery on the side toward the city. I am no hero-worshipper, I think, but what I have seen to-day, convinces me that General Sherman is a leader, of genius equal to that of Napolean in the field, if not in the cabinet.

None but an unusually bold man would have undertaken this campaign, and none but a man of genius could have succeeded as he has. We consider the campaign finished; Sherman says Savannah is virtually his, and everybody feels so; true there are some rebels in there, under the command of Hardee, but we can easily work them out and ourselves in, now. On our way to-day we crossed the Gulf R. R.

Friday, Dec. 16th.

Division stationary. Weather still quite warm. Heavy artillery firing after dark. A large train was sent from our corps to-day to King's bridge on the "Ogeechee" up to which point large vessels from the fleet, can sail. This train is to bring our mails; we are all more hungry for letters now than for anything else. I suppose, of course, I will get a good supply of letters; if I should be disappointed and get none — can't think of it. The distant cannonading which we heard some days ago proves to have been an attempt by Foster to cut the Charleston and Savannah R. R. near "Coosawhatchie" in which he signally failed. Foster is an old granny anyhow.

Saturday, Dec. 17th.

Division stationary; weather warm and pleasant; this is a very easy sort of siege for us; we are rather short of the necessaries of life,


and I am on my last paper of fine cut, but things are progressing as well as we could wish, and if we have good luck we will soon have an abundance of everything.

Sherman sent in a flag of truce to-day, and demanded the surrender of the city; Hardee asked 24 hours to deliberate; he should remember what is said of woman "If she hesitates she is lost." Our mail came to-day; I received letters from Mary (2), Ella (1), Willie (1), Tirril (1), the latter informing me that I received 960 majority in Coles County for Circuit Attorney.

That is certainly a very fine vote to receive at one's own home, and I am abundantly satisfied even though I am beaten in the Circuit. This is the first time I ever was a candidate before the people, and I congratulate myself on the fact that this time I asked no man for his vote.

Heavy artillery firing on our right from 4 to 5 o'clock this afternoon.

From Willie's letter, I find he is at Hilton Head, S. C.; I must go up and see him as soon as we get the city.

Sunday, Dec. 18th.

This has been the most quiet day we have had, since we have come within sight of Savannah. Probably Hardee went to church this morning. A flag of truce from him, to-day, brought a reply to the summons to surrender. He refuses. "Barkis" ain't "willin'", this time. Orders received this evening for the army to hold itself in readiness to make an assault on the enemy's entire line; this means business. Sherman having served a "notice to quit" on Hardee, and Hardee refusing to quit, Sherman brings an action of ejectment against the gentleman ; I'm on the docket for Sherman; case to be tried by "wager of battle" — any gentleman wishing to take my place in this trial can have it. I wrote out a rough draft of a letter to-day relative to Genl. Davis' treatment of the negroes at Ebenezer Creek. I want the matter to get before the military committee of the Senate; it may give them some light in regard to the propriety of confirming him as a Brevet Major General. I am not certain yet who I had better send it to.

Monday, Dec. 19th.

Another quiet day; preparations going forward for an assault on the enemy's lines; the fugitive negroes were collected to-day throughout this wing of the army, and marched off to King's Bridge on the Ogeechee, from whence they will be shipped to Hilton Head, S. C. It was a strange spectacle to see those negroes of all ages, sizes, and both sexes, with their bundles on their heads and in their hands trudging along, they knew not whither, but willing to blindly follow the direction given to them by our officers. At least 5 thousand of them must have marched by our Head Quarters.


All our surplus mules and horses were sent off to-day too. The decks are being cleared for action, and if it must come, I care not how soon.

Tuesday, Dec. 20th.

Another quiet day; but the bustle of preparation for the assault can be seen on all hands, and everybody feels confident of the result. Weather warm and pleasant; it is well for us that we are here in winter for we couldn't live here a month in the heat of summer.

Wednesday, Dec. 21st.

With the first streak of dawn our pickets — the fingers of our army — felt their way amongst the tangled vines, and gloomy swamps on the left of our line until they found themselves within full view of the deserted works of the enemy. Almost with electric speed the word ran around the entire lines of our army: "Savannah is evacuated," and in less time than it takes to tell it, the heaviest sleepers in the army, as well as the lightest, were out, some dressed, and some en deshabille, shouting and hurrahing from the bottom of their lungs. This was indeed a joyful morning. Savannah is ours. Our long campaign is ended. If the world predicted our failure, the world must acknowledge itself mistaken. I am glad I was permitted to have a part in this campaign. Geary's Division of the 20th Corps marched in and took peaceable possession of the city this morning. Savannah is a beautiful city — the finest I have seen in the South. The rebels left all their heavy artillery, and considerable field artillery — they didn't dare to remove it, lest we should discover them, and make an attack. They left the city on a pontoon bridge, and took the only road left them, toward Charleston.

Here my Diary must end.

Thank God that I am yet alive, and permitted thus to end it.

These notes are for myself and my wife, alone.

If strangers read them they must pardon whatever of egotism appears in them, for I have endeavored to note here, incidents connected with myself, knowing very well that no one else will do it.

I must also apologize to myself for the exceeding carelessness of the composition of these notes. In them I find I have terribly mangled the "King's English." My excuse is that they were written in camp — on the march — or anywhere I might chance to take a notion to make a minute of anything.