Today in History:

83 Series I Volume XLIV- Serial 92 - Savannah


through the belt of timber beyond until they reached an open prairie like field, which was in possession of large rebel cavalry forces. General Walcutt halted here just long enough to correct his line, caution his skirmishers and supports to be prepared for a cavalry dash, and then they emerged into the open field and made for the rebels, who, throwing away the best chance that can be desired by an intrepid cavalry, fled in confusion. General Walcutt followed rapidly, capturing many horses, equipments, &c. When beyond Griswoldville the rebels, who were commanded by General Wheeler in person, took different roads; and as I had some knowledge of Wheeler's way of maneuvering- which is not formidable in the dash of arms, but sometimes successful by great activity and circumspection-I ordered General Woods to have General Walcutt's command rallied and take a defensive position near the open field mentioned above. The position selected was in the edge of the timber and along a slight rise in the ground, at the base of which a kind of marshy swamp formed a natural obstruction to the approach; the right and left of the position was pretty well secured by swamps, &c. Light breast-works, built of rails, were put up to cover our men, and a section of artillery of Captain Arndt's (First Michigan) battery was ordered there. These preparations were considered sufficient to meet any of General Wheeler's reconnaissances, which he might undertake after finding out that he was no longer pressed, but had to stand a more severe trial. In the afternoon the rebel commander brought forward four brigades of infantry and a battery of artillery, supported by a strong cavalry force, to dislodge General Walcutt from his position. For several hours their attempts were repeated with the greatest impetuosity. Their artillery threw a terrific fire into the frail works of Walcutt, while their columns of infantry marched in heroic style to within fifty yards of our line. It was all in vain! Walcutt and his brave brigade proved that superior skill, coolness, and valor made up for the great disparity in numbers. When night came the enemy retired, leaving over 300 dead on the battle-field and a number of wounded, who were taken care of by our medical corps; also a number of prisoners were taken. Our loss was comparatively light. The brave General Walcutt was wounded by a piece of shell during the fight, and Colonel Catterson assumed the command of the brigade.

During these operations at Griswoldville the division of General Hazen had passed behind General Woods and taken a defensive position in his support two miles south of Gordon. General Smith entered Gordon and General Corse passed by Clinton. A portion of General Woods' command during the day was employed in destroying the railroad track from Griswoldville to within three miles of Gordon, and General Smith, immediately after his arrival, put his men to work to meet General Woods' parties. General Smith finished the work of destruction in the next two days.

General Hazen advanced on the 23rd within seven miles of Irwinton, and Woods intrenched a line south of Gordon commanding all the approaches from the west and south. Both divisions marched the following day to Irwinton. At last, on November 24, General Corse's division and the brigade of Second Division (Colonel Jones) arrived with all the trains at Gordon, relieving us of a great deal of anxiety. These officers the highest credit for their faithful execution of orders under difficulties almost insurmountable. They brought a train of many hundred wagons fifty miles and over roads whose condition beggars all description. General Corse encamped for the night in the position