Sandtown, Ga., August 23, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command in the late expedition against the enemy’s communications in the rear of Atlanta:
At 11 p. m. of the 18th instant, with my command of 13 officers and 292 men, I left the main column at Stevens’ farm, seven miles from the railroad at Fairburn. Agreeably to instructions, I tore up a portion of track and telegraph wire, and at 2 a. m. 19th moved on Fayetteville road, reaching that place at 7 a. m., meeting a small force and capturing some prisoners, 40 mules, and 20 wagons, the latter of which were burned. Moved on Griffin road to near Mount Zion Church, turned to left, crossed Flint River, eight miles from Fayetteville and eight miles from Fayette Station, on Macon railroad, at which point I intended striking, but, by a mistake of our guide, struck railroad four miles above Fayette, at Bear Creek Station at 11 a. m.; commenced fearing up track and telegraph wire, destroying over 1 solid mile of track at intervals of three miles railing road toward Lovejoy’s Station, and 3 miles of wire, taking it down, reeling, and hiding it. The railroad ties were piled up and iron laid on them and burned. At Bear Creek captured a train of 9 cars loaded with whisky, meal, wheat, lard, and railroad trucks. This train was run off railroad in a deep cut, and burned. When three miles toward Lovejoy’s heard another train coming and succeeded in cutting it off between Lovejoy’s and the destroy track, but I found the guard of infantry too strong, and was disposing of my force for a united attempted to take it, when a cavalry force came in on my flank, compelling me to defend myself in that quarter. In charge some prisoners were captured, from whom I learned that Ferguson’s and Armstrong’s brigades of cavalry were upon me, and Reynolds’ infantry brigade also advancing. Under the circumstances, I deemed it prudent to get out of there. I had one road open, across the bridge I had come over it the morning or I could have gone toward Griffin, which would have been certain capture, for I had given up the prospect of meeting the remainder of the expedition. Not being able to hear from them from prisoners captured on the train through rom Chapman’s or from Ferguson’s men i decided to fall back on the road I had come, and put my decision in immediate execution, leaving railroad at 4.30 p. m. 19th. When I reached the bridge across Flint River, I found it torn up by the enemy; but a friendly rail fence supplied the place of plank, and my column was soon over and the bridge in flames. When within two miles of Fayetteville the enemy came in on my rear, via the ford road from Lovejoy’s to Fayetteville, and kept up a brisk fire with my rear guard, warming up as we neared the town, when they opened on us in front, being posted in front and in the town. We scattered them by a saber charge, and were not much harassed by them afterward. I passed through Fairburn at 7.30 p. m., one hour and a half after and infantry force, intending to intercept us, and moved farther down on anticipation of meeting us there. I remained the balance of the night near Stevens’ farm, reaching Sandtown at 11 a. m. 20th instant. I brought in with me 17 prisoners and 40 mules. My casualties were 2 men wounded and 3 captured.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.
Captain L. G. ESTES,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Third Cavalry Division.