Wednesday, November 30, 1864

Barton Station, Georgia

We are taking easy marches of about 10 miles a day and thoroughly destroying the railroad.
Today, the 17th Corps crossed the Ogeechee River and we camped in Burton. Tonight, the depot and other railway facilities were completely destroyed.

HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, GA., Station Numbers 9 1/2, November 30, 1864: 3 p. m.
Major-General SLOCUM, Commanding Left Wing:

Your dispatch of 7 p. m. 29th instant just received, and the General-in-chief directs that you move your whole command by all practicable roads in the direction of Millen, keeping well to the north, in the neighborhood of Bark Camp, Birdville, and Buck Head Church, making a lodgment on the railroad north of Millen, destroying a section of track in the direction of Augusta, and turning on Millen in case you hear the sound of battle. We are at Station 9 1/2 – marked Barton on our map – and will finish the railroad up to Millen. As we are a day ahead you will have to march pretty briskly.

L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

Near Louisville, GA., November 30, 1864: 12 m.

Major-General SHERMAN:
Captain Audenried no doubt has reached you by this time and furnished you with a detail of account of my operations since leaving Milledgeville. I am now encamped five miles from Louisville, on the road to Millen. General Wheeler, with about 6,000 cavalry, including several bands of from 50 to 200 each, commanded by partisan leaders, such as Lyllie, Jewett, Slie, and others of lesser note. I encamped upon the enemy’s road between Augusta and Millen during the night of the 27th, employing one-third of my entire force in tearing up track, the enemy keeping the majority of my troops constantly on the alert in repulsing determined and persistent attack. Learning positively that our prisoners had been removed from Millen, and hearing that a considerable force had been concentrated at that point under General Hardee, I deemed it prudent to return within supporting distance of the infantry. I fell back to this point under the most difficult circumstances, but successfully, and, with slight loss, repulsed the repeated and reckless attacks upon my rear and flank. From the enemy’s first attack at Sylvan Grove, on the evening of the 26th, up to his final attack and repulse near Buck Head Creek, just enemy is known to have suffered severely. From reports of deserters, negroes, and prisoners, his loss could not have been less than 600 killed and wounded. I regret, General, that our prisoners had been removed before I could reach them. Every man of them had been taken away two days before I struck the railroad. I left Milledgeville at 6 o’clock on Thursday evening, and reached the railroad, with my advance at Waynesborough, at 11 p. m. Saturday evening, having marched upward of ninety miles in fifty-three hours, and this in the face of much opposition on the part of the enemy. I passed within five miles of the stockade above Millen in which our prisoners had been confined, and would have rescued them, as I promised, had they not been removed. My ambulances are now full of our wounded; wagons, however, will be emptied, so that none will be left behind. My command is in good condition, and as ready as ever for any enterprise. In the absence of any orders from your headquarters I will move upon the left and in advance of the Fourteenth Army Corps.

Hoping, General, that our efforts this far to carry out your orders and fulfill your expectations have won your approbation.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
J. KILPATRICK, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

P. S. – I learn that a considerable force of the enemy, which has been concentrated for the last few days at Augusta, has been ordered to Millen, and that an effort will be made at that point to check our further advance. The Tenth and Twentieth North Carolina Regiments reached Augusta day before yesterday. Convalescent soldiers, soldiers home on furlough, the old and young, all are rapidly being concentrated at the country towns, and from these points are hurried to Augusta and Millen. With all their efforts, however, I do not think they can concentrate a very considerable force; yet I do not hesitate in saying, from my own experience within the last few days, that every effort will be made to check our farther advance. The enemy will boldly and recklessly attack whenever the opportunity offers.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. K.

General Kilpatrick wishes to know what he shall do with prisoners. I have several officers of rank that I wish to retain as hostages. Several of my men have been killed after taken prisoners; others have been found with their bodies mutilated, throats cut, &c. I ask permission to send communication to General Wheeler, who is now in my immediate front, informing him of these facts, that I have prisoners of rank who I intend to retain as hostages, and will retaliate.

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