Today in History:

1132 Series I Volume XLVII-I Serial 98 - Columbia Part I

Page 1132 Chapter LIX] OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA.

The enemy came up in strong force, and a column of infantry attempted to charge across the bridge. Three color-bearers of the leading brigade fell dead within fifty feet of my position. They then retreated out of range and made no further pursuit whatever. March 23, I moved through Smithfield and picketed the front of our army, skirmishing daily with the enemys foraging and scouting parties. April 2, I marched to Raleigh with 2,000 men, bnt returned immedi- ately. April 10, General Shermans entire force advanced, driving us back toward Raleigh. April 13. On the morning of the 13th we evacu- ated the city and the enemy occupied it in large force. General Ku- patrick pushed out after me, charging our rear. I placed the Alabama brigade in position, met and counter-charged the enemy, driving Kil- patrick back some two miles, killing or capturing some of the enemy, among whom was the major of the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. At Morrisville Station the enemy again appeared that evening, hut after severe skirmishing retired toward Raleigh. April 14 and 15. On the 14th I moved on to Chapel Hill, and on the 15th the enemy approached but after firing a few shots without effect again retired. Pursuant to orders I now moved my command back of Chapel Hill, with orders not to engage the enemy unless attacked. Thus ended the campaign, the war, and the military power of the Confederacy. For an entire year my troops had been constantly together, enduring, encountering, triumphing. During that year the enemys cavalry had been frequently met and always had our arms been crowned with success. The spirit of my brave men was as buoy- ant, unbroken, and determined as in the first days of our countrys existence. Unity, concord, good-will, devotion to duty and country, and I might add nearly all elements which grow out of continued success, and which I felt would insure success to me in the future, pervaded my command from the highest officer to the youngest trooper. The reports of Colonels Mason and Henry, of General Johnstons staff, Colonel Portlock, from the War Department, and Colonel Jones and Captain Whitehead, of General Hardees staff, all of whom had but recently thoroughly inspected my commapd, give combined testimony that the discipline, drill, and order of my corps was not sur- passed by any mounted troops in our service. The effective force under my immediate command, which was 4,442 at the commencement of the campaign, had, by bringing back detailed and detached men, been so increased that my reports of February 16 showed an effective force of 5,172 men, and my report of April 17, the last one ever made, showed an effective force of 4,965. This report showed the number absent without leave to be 306 men, the greatest number that had been absent without leave during the campaign. I will here mention that a year previous these same organizations num- bered but 4,000 men. My losses in killed and wounded during the year were 13 division and brigade commanders and 3,200 subordinate officers and enlisted men. Notwithstanding this, by discipline and by using every opportunity to recruit my ranks behind the enemys lines in Ken- tucky and Tennessee gradually increased. ,my rank and file was not only kept full, but I cannot express too earnest thanks to the gallant officers who have been of most valuable service to me during a long series of campaigns. Major-General Allen, Generals Humes, Dibrell, Anderson, and Hagan I had seen twice wounded while most nobly carrying out my orders upon the field. Generals Robertson, Harrison, and Ashby, Colonel~ Crews, Cook, and Pointer still are disabled from wounds received in

Page 1132 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA.