Decatur, July 24, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that your instructions have been carried out My dispositions were such as to enable me to take every point by surprise and insure my safe return, with a loss of only 2 killed. Results: Three road bridges and one railroad bridge (555 feet in length) over the Yellow River, and open road and one railroad bridge (250 feet in length) over the Ulcofauhachee, were burned. Six miles of railroad track between the rivers were well destroyed. The depot and considerable quantity of quartermaster and commissary stores at Covington were burnt. One train and locomotive captured at Conyers and burnt. One train (platform) was burnt at Covington, and a small train (baggage) at station near the Ulcofauhachee captured and burnt. The engine to the last train was detached across the river. Citizens report a passenger train and a construction train, both with engines, cut off between Stone Mountain and Yellow River. Over 2,000 bales of cotton were burnt. A large new hospital at Covington, for the accommodation of 10,000 patients from this army and the Army of Virginia, composed of over 30 buildings besides the officers, just finished, were burnt, together with a very large lot of fine carpenters’ tools used in their erection. In the town of Oxford, two miles north of Covington, and in Covington was over 1,000 sick and wounded in buildings used for hospitals. The convalescents able to walk scattered through the woods while the firing was going on in town, and I did not have time to hunt them up before dark. Those in hospital, together with their surgeons, were not disturbed. Having received no reports from my brigade commanders, I am unable to give any further particulars. Yesterday at 12 m. I sent one brigade a little to the north to come to this place by Blake’s Mill. It has not yet arrived. From the two other brigades I have received 140 prisoners and 11 officers, and about 200 negroes, who have been sent to the provost marshal, Army of the Tennessee. I cannot mention too highly the zeal and promptness of my whole command, and to their good conduct and earnestness I am indebted for this success. Since leaving Marietta this division has been so constantly in motion it is now very much out of condition, and I would be pleased to have a few days’ quiet to shoe horses and repair equipments. I was absent from Decatur less than three days, and as a division marched over ninety miles, and at the time of the receipt of the order, twelve hours before starting, was scattered from McAfee’s Bridge to Decatur, guarding all the roads to the east and south of this flank of the army.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier General Kenner Garrard,