Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck,
Washington, D. C.:
We have had pretty lively times to-day generally, closing in, taking some 200 or 300 prisoners. Under the pressure I got two divisions across the head of Utoy Creek, well toward the railroad, and to-morrow will push still more on that flank. General McCook, after all, has got in, bringing 1,200 of his men. He reports that on July 29 he broke the West Point road at Palmetto, and then crossed over to the Macon road, at Lovejoy's, where he took up 2 miles of track, burned 2 trains, 100 bales of cotton, and 5 miles of telegraph. He fell upon the rebel wagon train and burned over 500 wagons and killed 800 mules. He captured 72 officers and 350 men, but his progress eastward and north, according to the plan, was stopped by a superior force of cavalry and he turned toward Newnan, where he was completely surrounded. He ordered two of his small brigades to make their way to the
W. T. Sherman,
Headquarters Department of the Cumberland,
August 1, 1864 -- 9pm
Colonel Brownlow reports that McCook destroyed twelve miles of the Macon railroad, and a bridge over the White Water, longer than the Chattahoochee bridge. He also destroyed over 500 wagons, Hood's, Hardee's, and other headquarters wagons among them. Unfortunately he then turned back and his old route and commenced to destroy the West Point road, when he was attacked on the 29th (30th), near Newnan, by infantry and cavalry in overwhelming numbers, surrounded, and all who did not cut their way through were either killed or captured. There are nearly 500 now in
Geo. H. Thomas,
Thirteen Miles Southwest of
On the morning of the 29th (July) I cut the
E. M. McCook
Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman.
Hdqrs. First Brigade, First Cavalry Division,
At Newnan Colonel Harrison's brigade took the rear, and we followed the artillery in rear of the Second Brigade. Several miles southwest of Newnan, the general commanding the division rode back to the head of my brigade, advised me that the enemy were in front and on our right flank, and directed me to put my command in position, covering a road leading to the right. The regiments were wheeled right into line, the Eighth Iowa on the left, the First Tennessee on the right, and what of the Fourth Kentucky was there in the center. The whole dismounted and moved forward 100 yards. Skirmishing began and continued some time in front of my right and of the brigade on the right; the latter were ordered forward, the enemy soon driven off, and I was ordered to mount my brigade and move on. The general commanding the division informed me that the rebels were on the road in front and between us and the advanced brigade. He directed me to send a regiment down the road to open communication. The Eighth Iowa, Major Root commanding, moved on, passing the pack-train and prisoners, and charging in column of fours down the road, which led through and almost impenetrable forest. The enemy had planted himself across this road and determined to hold it. The Eighth Iowa dashed upon them and drove them out, captured a number of prisoners and a large number of horses, and finally forced their way through. The enemy, however, who were dismounted and hidden in the dense woods on either side of the road closed upon the flanks of the charging column, severing and driving it either way.
The First Tennessee had been sent out to reconnoiter a right-hand road. The Fourth Kentucky, many of whom had no ammunition, were thrown into the woods on the right of the road, and General McCook, who was on the ground, ordered up a detachment of the Second Indiana on the left. This checked the enemy, who, though repeatedly attempting it, never emerged from the woods, but held tenaciously to his position there. Afterward the First Tennessee came up, and placed in position on the left and in rear of the line so as to cover that flank. Shortly afterward a part of Colonel Harrison's brigade came up, relieved mine, and tried to make its way through, but failed. In the mean time the enemy was appearing on all sides, and as far as I could tell, we were completely surrounded. After Colonel Harrison's brigade had failed to open the road I proposed to the general commanding the division that I would take my brigade, or what was left, and try and find my way out. He consented, and the regiments were ordered to prepare for the movement. Colonel Dorr, who had been severely wounded the day previous, left the ambulance and gathered up the remnant of his gallant regiment. I rode out with Colonel Brownlow to a large open field through which I proposed to move and across which ran an impassable ditch. After some time I found a bridge by which it could be crossed, and ordered him to bring on his regiment, and sent an officer to bring on the remaining two. We had just crossed the bridge when the enemy made a furious attack on our lines just where I had left Colonel Dorr, with the Eighth Iowa Cavalry, and apprehending some difficulty in his getting out in the confusion, I halted the First Tennessee on a high ridge in the open ground beyond the ravine and formed it in line facing the enemy. In a short time the enemy were repulsed and the firing ceased. I saw the Fourth Kentucky coming up, followed by what I supposed was the Eighth Iowa, and immediately ordered Colonel Brownlow to move.
John T. Croxton,
Col. Fourth Kentucky, Comdg. First Brig., First Div.
Captain Le Roy,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry Division.
Hdqrs. First Cav. Div., Dept. of the
General: I have the honor to submit the following brief report of operations of this command from July 28 till the present time:
On the morning of July 28 we crossed the
Our loss will not exceed 2,000 killed, wounded, and missing, 2 pieces of artillery, and 6 ambulances. I will send in a detailed account to-morrow.
Jas. P. Brownlow,
(Brig. Gen. W. L. Elliott, Chief of Cavalry.)
Hdqrs. First Brigade, First Cavalry Division,
Department of the Cumberland,
Marietta, Ga, August 5, 1864
On the 30th the Fourth Kentucky, Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly commanding, being the rear guard, was attacked by Humes' division, and after repulsing five desperate charges of the enemy were overpowered and the majority captured. After moving northwest and in the rear of the town (Newnan) the command was surrounded by a large force of cavalry, infantry, and artillery, which we fought till 5 p.m., when Colonel Croxton, commanding the brigade, received orders from General McCook to cut his way out and move south in the direction of La Grange. Colonel Croxton moved in the direction indicated, but soon became lost from his brigade, when I assumed command and moved in the direction of the river, which was reached at Rotherwood at on the 31st. I immediately commenced to cross the brigade, but having only two small canoes the work was very slow, and I had crossed but 250 of the command when I was attacked from both sides, the enemy having crossed above me, and the remainder killed, wounded, and captured. I believe more would have escaped if the brigade had moved in the direction suggested by General McCook.
It is impossible at present to state the loss of the command, as stragglers are coming in daily, and many now missing will come in before the end of the week.
I embrace this opportunity of tendering the thanks of the First Brigade to General McCook for the brave and masterly manner in which he led us on this daring expedition, and did such good service in behalf of the Division of the
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Jas. P. Brownlow,
Capt. Robert Le Roy,
In the Field,
Sir: I have the honor of reporting the part taken by the Eighth Iowa Cavalry in the late raid.
The command started from Camp July 27, crossing the Chattahoochee River to the west side, moving southwest below Cambellton, recrossing the river on the morning of the 28th, thence moving eastwardly, striking the Atlanta and West Point Railroad at Palmetto. Here the regiment received orders to move south along the railroad and destroy it, which was done effectually for one mile and a half. Then the command moved east, striking the
At daylight, the morning of the 30th, the rebels attacked the Fourth Kentucky, which was acting as rear guard, and captured two companies. The command moved on; succeeded in reaching Newnan, where we found a large cavalry force in our front and flanks; also two brigades of infantry, numbering 2,500 men, so reported by prisoners taken by my command. Here the command was ordered to strip for fight. The Eighth Iowa was ordered out as skirmishers, and, if possible, to fink the enemy's lines. Pushing forward, I found the enemy had nearly encircled us, their lines running around in a horseshoe shape, and the only place left open was to the south. At this time I received orders to mount my command and charge down a road leading to the river. Advancing cautiously until in sight of the enemy the charge was sounded. The command found themselves confronted with Ross' Texan brigade; charging through their lines, driving them back, clear through and past where their horses were held, capturing at least 500 horses of the brigade. Here a part of the eighth Iowa charging on a squad of officers who were fighting desperately, capturing and killing all who were in the road, and they, being examined, proved to be General Ross and another, Lieutenant Williams; I sent them forward to General McCook, but learned that they never reached him, as they must have been recaptured at the time the Eighth Iowa was engaged. The fighting all along the line was terrific. As my orders were from the general commanding to cut my way through and clear the road, my command lost largely in killed and wounded, as I found myself surrounded several times and cut through at least three times, holding the road for at least one hour; but the number of the enemy being at least five to one, I was compelled to fall back and try to get out the best I could. The enemy's dead and wounded lay in heaps all along the road, and could not have been less than 100. In this charge I lost Lieutenant Loomis and Lieutenant Cobb and 10 privates killed. In trying to return to the command I found myself cut off by the enemy's infantry. I then moved in another direction, meeting the enemy in force on all sides. I ordered the officers left to cut their way through to the command. Myself with two officers and ten privates attempted to get out the best we could, which we accomplished, meeting the command under General McCook cutting its way out. Proceeding to the river, and crossing on the morning of the 31st, we then marched the 1st and 2d and arriving the 3d at
It is out of my power at present to give the casualties of the regiment, but will furnish, it as soon as possible. I would beg leave to call to the notice of the general commanding Captain Dance and Lieutenant Morrow for their daring and bravery whilst under fire and in the masterly manner of handling the commands, but it is useless to distinguish, for all did nobly. The enlisted men fought like tigers.
Major, commanding Eighth Iowa Cavalry.
Brig. Gen. E.M. McCook,
Commanding First Division, Dept. of the
Hon. J. A. Seddon,
Secretary of War, Richmond:
On yesterday and the day before our cavalry, under Generals Wheeler and Jackson, fought near Newnan the raiding party of the enemy which had intercepted our communication with Macon, completely routing them, killing a large number, capturing all their artillery, ambulances, most of the arms and equipments, with a large number of prisoners, including 2 brigade commanders and 12 surgeons, and recapturing all property and prisoners previously taken from us. Major-General Wheeler reports the expedition entirely broken up.
J. B. Hood,