Diary of Orrin Brown—Nov 25, 1864

Joseph Wheeler (c.1862-1865)

Diary of Orrin Brown, Between Milledgeville and Sandersville, Georgia

Friday–Nov. 25th

We were on the road again this morning at 6 Oclock and marched very slow till 10.30 AM, then they put us right through till noon, we had a heavy frost this morning and it is cool and cloudy today. Wheelers Reb Cavalry atacted our foragers today we lost 9 killed and one wounded, 5 of the killed was out of our Regt. We haulted one hour for dinner and did not move again till 9 PM then we fell into line and marched about 3 miles the most of the way though a muddy swamp went into camp at 1 Oclock AM.

While certainly stung by the sacking of the state capital, Gen. Joe Wheeler wasn’t close to giving up.  He and his cavalry prevented the Union right wing from crossing the river at Ball’s Ferry the night of the 24th, then engaged the converging Union armies at Sandersville on the 25th and the 26th, before falling back as Kilpatrick’s Union Cavalry crossed from right to left and started raiding toward Augusta.  Apparently Wheeler didn’t make much of an impression among Federal troops moving through the “piney woods” and swamps below the piedmont.  Maj. James Connolly, who supervised the burning of the toll bridge, later that day wrote in his diary:

We are now going toward the Ogeechee, and citizens tell us we will find very poor country all the way from the Oconee to the Ogeechee… Where can all the rebels be?  Here we are riding rough shod over Georgia and nobody dares to fire a shot at us.  We burn their houses, barns, fences, cotton and everything else, yet none of the Southern braves show themselves to punish us for our vandalism.  Perhaps they are preparing a trap to catch us all, but I don’t think we will go into their trap, if we can find any way to go around it.



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