Today in History:

32 Series I Volume LIII- Serial 111 - Supplements

Page 32 Chapter LXV. S. C., S. GA., MID. & E. FLA., & WEST. N. C.

Report of Major General Henry C. Wayne, Adjutant and Inspector General, Georgia Militia.

STATE OF Georgia, ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE. Milledgeville, February 6, 1865.

YOUR EXCELLENCY: An accidental injury to my right had has prevented a report carlier of the operations of the militia under my command since the evacuation of Milledgeville by the State forces on the 19th of November, 1864. Parting with Your Excellency on the evening of the 19th of November at Gordon, where I had been ordered by you at the request of General Cobb, C. S. Provisional Army, dispositions for the night were made as well as could be done. The command consisted of the Corps of Cadets, Pruden's battery of artillery, Talbot's company of cavalry, Williams' company of militia, the factory and penitentiary guard, and the Roberts Guards (convicts); in all, nominally, 500 men, with 460 aggregate actually fit for effective service, and all under Georgia Military Institute, whom I had appointed executive officer.

On Sunday morning the 20th, my telegraphic communication with Macon was cut at Griswoldville by the enemy about 10,30 a. m. At 12 m. I learned that the enemy in force were moving on my right toward Milledgeville. Further information ofement on Milledgeville reached me in the afternoon. At 8 p. m., having received no communication from Macon since the cutting of the wires in the morning, and feeling in consequence that I was thrown upon my own responsibility, I determined, on consultation with my principal officers, to abandon Gordon, as its occupation was of no value either for the protection of property (all trains and stores having been sent off) or as a military position, and to fall back to the Oconee bridge as the most important point on the Central railroad to be defended. Telegraphing for a train from below to move down to this new position, one was sent up on Monday about 12,30 p. m. The guns and baggage were immediately put on, and at 4 p. m., as the men were getting on, a report of the enemy in heavy force three miles off was brought in. Talbot's cavalry was sent forward to hold them in check while the train moved off, and did so handosomely, overing it also from a flank movement on our right did so us off, and the retreat of the artillery horses sent down with their drives by the Irwinton turnpike. A few scattering shots as the train moved off dropping harmlessly around it announced the entrance of the advanced guard of the enemy's Fifteenth Corps into Gordon. We brought off everything safely and arrived at the Oconee bridge at 6,30 p. m. At the bridge I found a guard of 186 men, consisting of Heyward's company of South Carolina Cavalry, a section (two pieces) under Lieutenant Huger, and a company of the Twenty-seventh Battalion of Georgia Reserves, under Major Hartridge, C. S. Provisional Army, sent up two days before by General McLaws from Savannah.

Tuesday, the 22d, was spent in examining the ground and in preparations. The orders from my superiors were to hold the bridge to the last extremity. The movement of the enemy was not a little raid, but his army marching on Savannah. The bridge could be flanked on the right from Milldegeville, Buffalo Creek only interving, and on the left by Ball's Ferry, eight miles below, as well as attacked in front. The long and thick swamps on our side of the river prevented the use of artillery or cavalry at either the bridge or Ball's Ferry. An infantry defense only could be mad3 and rough field-works to be hastily thrown up, as there were no previous preparations for cover. Major Hartridge

Page 32 Chapter LXV. S. C., S. GA., MID. & E. FLA., & WEST. N. C.