Today in History:

918 Series I Volume XXXVIII-II Serial 73 - The Atlanta Campaign Part II


thought impracticable to attempt a crossing there, as we were not in a situation to bring on a fight that might last for some time, for we were very nearly out of ammunition. It was then agreed to follow up the Oconee River in the direction of Jefferson, and this intention communicated to Colonel Capron, who was then in reserve some two miles in the rear. For some reason, not yet known, Colonel Capron did not come on the road after us, but got off farther to the left. We came that night to a point about sixteen miles northeast of Lawrenceville, and halted at midnight, the command lying to horse, unsaddled, without going into camp. Our command was very much exhausted and worn out, but few having had any sleep or rest for four days and nights. August 3, started early; had gone about two and a half miles, when a soldier came galloping through the woods shouting "Capron has been attacked and cut all to pieces." Adams went on double-quick to the road on which we learned Capron's command had been attacked, and there soon discovered the evidences of a routed and defeated command. Learning the direction they had gone, Adams, with hid advance, charged after the rebels, overtaking the rear of their column half a mile distant. He charged them, driving them in great confusion, and wounding and killing, he thinks, some 40; but knowing his ammunition was nearly expended, and that there was still a rebel brigade pushing on to strike our left and cut us off from the river, we turned at right angles to the left, and came in the direction of the chattahoochee, knowing that our only hope was to cross it at some point before night. All the information we could in the mean time get from any one was, that General Sherman had fallen back north of the river, and if this was true, our situation was still more perilous. We struck the Chattahoochee about twenty-three miles northeast of Marietta; sun an hour high; found an old but difficult ford, and succeeded in getting the command all over about 9 p. m., and went into camp. August 4, started at daylight, and arrived at Marietta at 11 a .m. Colonel Adams returned with about 490 men, having lost some 40 on the 31st ultimo in killed, wounded, and captured, about 20 during the march here. Most of them were lost at night by getting behind, and falling asleep from exhaustion, and who, no doubt, became lost or were picked up by the enemy.

Great credit is due to Colonel Adams for the energy and management displayed by him in bringing his command out as safe as he has. The same remark would apply to Colonel Capron, had he not met with the misfortune in allowing his command to be separated from Adams, and in addition to this, his command was completely surprised on the morning of the 3d, the first intimation in his camp of the presence of the enemy being their charging over his men, who were asleep, with their horses unsaddled. It is said, however, that he had a strong picket in his rear, and that instead of his giving orders to unsaddle, that he had expressly forbidden it. Here statements seem to vary. I fear but few of his command will find their way into our lines. Not more than 100 have already come in, and I doubt whether as many more will arrive, although small squads are coming in all the time, and there may more get in yet than we had expected.

General Stoneman, Major Keogh, Major Brown (medical director), and Captain Perkins, of the staff, surrendered. Major Tompkins, Captain Lord, Captain Sea, and myself, of the staff, made our escape. Of the latter, all are now here but Major Tompkins, who, I