From Atlanta To The Sea

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Nov. 24th. Thanksgiving. Well, we had the roast turkey.… By order of Gen. James D. Morgan a detail of 150 men was sent back to the residence of Col. Jordan, C.S.A. where our foragers were captured yesterday with instructions to clean the thing out in case they would not procure the bodies of our men. It having been ascertained that the premises were made a rebel resort, I being anxious to see the fun, volunteered to go along. We started at 7. It being but two miles of course we were soon there. The house was found to be hid almost entirely from the road by shade trees and its gardens. Mistrusting [due to] information received from Negroes before we arrived there that some of them might still be there, we formed our men so as to approach the house from 3 sides, I taking 40 men and passing around to the left. No sooner had we come in sight than sure enough Johnny was there and commenced firing at the line which was approaching from the right. Our boys promptly returned the fire and Johnny ran, three of them running directly into my line and the other four directly into the line advancing from the front. Of course they were kindly taken in out of the wet and had I been the ranking officer, I would have hung them to the first tree, but they were taken into camp as prisoners of war. We then went to the house which proved to be one of the richest furnished things I ever saw in my life. To attempt the description of the same is beyond my time, but I will endeavor to give a faint outline of the same. The furniture was of the most costly kind, chairs were all rosewood trimmed with satin, sofa the same. All the crockery was china of best material (and to settle all doubts in the matter look upon our supper table this eve). All the stands and bureaus were marble top. Such was the sitting and dining rooms, but we will step into the parlor. The handsomest carpet I ever saw covered the floor. On the center table was a chandelier beautiful beyond description, costing I was told $300. The window curtains reaching from the ceiling to the floor were satin lined with straw colored silk. Two large mirrors reaching from the floor to the ceiling and everything else in keeping. All that money could purchase to make a house beautiful was there. Its rooms above were equally well furnished. I was told by those that pretended to know that it cost over $25,000.00 to furnish the house. The silver plate but little of it could be found, it having been removed. They had any quantity of bedding of the best articles besides large quantities of wearing apparel. Now for a scene far different. The boys were drawn up on a line and ordered to stack arms and then to go in and clean the concern out and now a scene was enacted which beggars all description. They completely demolished everything. It looked wicked to see such splendid furniture go to pieces. The house was ransacked from cellar to garret and everything they did not want to carry away was destroyed. Crash followed crash and all the comforts and luxuries of a splendid home were soon in ruins. The garden was also beautiful, two large hot houses containing all kinds of choice plants and flowers were destroyed. The out buildings were in keeping. A splendid barouche carriage shared the same fate and after all this had been done the torch hid it from view. But such has been the fate of several plantations. In fact, nearly all. … We then moved into Milledgeville, capitol of state. The Legislature was in session the day before but they adjourned in great rapidity to meet again when convenient. We marched into the city without any opposition, colors flying and bands playing. The city contains about 2000 inhabitants. It is far from being a handsome place although it contains a few fine residences. The State House is (or at least was) a very imposing structure, built of brick and plastered upon the outside and made to represent granite. The interior was very handsomely finished containing the life size portraits [of political leaders], besides several other paintings. It contained a splendid library which together with all the public papers and records were scattered to the four winds of Georgia. The State House was burned together with all public buildings, otherwise, property was not much destroyed. Of course all eatables were taken. The ladies were quite numerous but they were very rebellious. One of them covered her face as the stars and stripes were carried by. Poor thing! We remained in the city three hours giving the boys ample time to see it all. I visited the cemetary which contained several beautiful monuments. Every grave was covered with a wealth of fresh flowers or had a bouquet sitting at the grave. It had the appearance as if they had visited their friends for the last time and wished to leave a memento of affection. The description we received in regard to the adjournment of the legislature was decidedly rich. It is said that Gov. [Joseph E.] Brown left so fast that a person could play cards upon his coattails. The Hon. Members ditto. I hardly think that they will convene again soon, or in case they do, they will have to occupy some smaller building for state purposes. Crossing the Ogeechee River, we passed over, camping 7 miles beyond the city for the night having marched 10 miles.…