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EXCERPTS FROM BRIG. GEN. JOHN W. GEARY's RECONNAISSANCE REPORT written at Bridgeport, AL, on April 16, 1864

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  • Ann B. Chambless
    On April 16, 1864, Brig. Gen. John W. Geary wrote a very long Reconnaissance Report as commanding officer of the U.S. Army, Second Division, Twelfth Army Corps
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 15, 2010
      On April 16, 1864, Brig. Gen. John W. Geary wrote a very long
      Reconnaissance Report as commanding officer of the U.S. Army, Second
      Division, Twelfth Army Corps whose headquarters were then in Bridgeport,
      Alabama. The report is much too long for me to copy every word from the
      fine print found on six pages of THE WAR OF REBELLION OFFICIAL RECORDS
      OF THE UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES, Series I, Volume 32, Part 1, pages
      663-668. Therefore, I will include excerpts below that I think will be
      of the most interest to our group:
      "I have the honor to report the progress and results of an expedition
      down the Tennessee River, made in pursuance of orders of the
      Major-General commanding, under date of April 10 (1864).
      Owing to the high state of the water it was found impossible to pass the
      steam-boat Chickamauga, which reported from above on the 11th, by the
      main stream under the bridge at this point. The draw-bridge on the
      opposite side of the island (Long Island) being imperfect and
      inoperative, she was not ready for the embarkation of the troops until
      noon of the 12th.
      We steamed from Bridgeport at 2 o'clock on the afternoon of the 12th,
      having on aboard and in two scows alongside the Seventh and Sixty-sixth
      Ohio, detachments of the 18th and 147th Pennsylvania, and one section of
      Knap's Pennsylvania battery, in all about 800 men, with an ample supply
      of ammunition and ten days' rations. I manned a 12-pounder howitzer and
      a small mountain howitzer upon the boat. The additional pieces proved
      very serviceable.
      We passed down the river by Island and Widow's Creeks and Caperton's
      Ferry, Coon Island, and Coon and Mud creeks, Bellefonte Islands, and
      Riley's Creek (NOTE by ABC: We now know Riley's as Jones' Creek.)
      I had dispatched detachments of infantry and the cavalry along the south
      side to advance by way of Cedar Bluff (NOTE by ABC: Cedar Bluff was a
      little north of present-day John Snodgrass Bridge that links Stevenson
      with Sand Mountain via Hwy 117), Caperton's Ferry, and Crowton (Crow
      Town), to a point about 5 miles up Raccoon Creek, descending that stream
      and destroying all boats on it; thence to Riley's Creek, demolishing
      crafts secreted in the bushes. Riley's Creek was found to be a very
      rugged stream, difficult and of little importance.
      At 8:15 p.m. we arrived at Larkin's Landing (now Goose Pond Island),
      where we halted for the night.......
      Starting at 6:50 a.m. on the 13th, having been prevented moving earlier
      by a heavy fog, we passed below the pontoon below Larkin's Ferry. In
      South Sauta Creek, we found but two boats........."
      (NOTE by ABC: This expedition continued down river to Roman's Ferry
      (about 6 miles below Larkin's Landing) Seven-Mile Island, Buck's Island,
      Law's Ferry, Town Creek, and Gunter's Landing.....all in Marshall
      County. This expedition then continued on to Port Deposit (Fort
      Deposit), point where the Paint Rock River empties into the Tennessee
      River near the Marshall-Madison County line, and ended at Whitesburg in
      Madison County.)
      (NOTE BY ABC: Brig. Gen. Geary mentioned CSA troops stationed as pickets
      near Guntersville and Warrenton, that consisted principally of the
      companies of Captains (Henry) Smith; Buck May, Peter Whitecotton, Peter
      Dillard, and Lemuel Mead, in all about 250 to 300 men.)
      (NOTE BY ABC: Brig. Gen. Geary gives details of actions along this
      stated route that is too voluminous for this email.)
      Back to Geary's words:
      "At Bellefonte was stationed the Nineteenth Indiana but no pickets were
      found along the river. A party I sent ashore in front of that place
      took several prisoners, one a member of (CSA) Captain (Henry) Smith's
      company of cavalry. He fled and was fired upon before taken.......Of
      the rebels, 2 were killed and 5 wounded, one of whom was Captain Smith.
      At various points along the north side of the river I communicated with
      the citizens and instructed them as to what is required of them........
      Upon the return trip the repeated appearance of hostile groups
      necessitated the men being under arms as upon the outward journey..........
      Upon the expedition we destroyed 47 boats.......WE TOOK PRISONERS WITH
      ARMS: J. H. CUNNINGHAM, M. L. SWAN, G. J. BAIN, AND J. M. GUILITTE
      (Gullatt) (Clay's Gullatt family)."
      (NOTE by ABC: Cunningham, Swan, Bain, and Gullatt all lived in the
      vicinity of Bellefonte at this time.)
      Signed: Jno. W. Geary, Brigadier-General, Commanding

      Ann B. Chambless








      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ann B. Chambless
      I can t remember if I have posted this Union general s report before or not, but, just in case I have not, will do so today because it contains names of
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 20, 2012
        I can't remember if I have posted this Union general's report before or
        not, but, just in case I have not, will do so today because it contains
        names of interest to members of this group:







        On April 16, 1864, Brig. Gen. John W. Geary wrote a very long
        Reconnaissance Report as commanding officer of the U.S. Army, Second
        Division, Twelfth Army Corps whose headquarters were then in Bridgeport,
        Alabama. The report is much too long for me to copy every word from the
        fine print found on six pages of THE WAR OF REBELLION OFFICIAL RECORDS
        OF THE UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES, Series I, Volume 32, Part 1, pages
        663-668. Therefore, I will include excerpts below that I think will be
        of the most interest to our group:
        "I have the honor to report the progress and results of an expedition
        down the Tennessee River, made in pursuance of orders of the
        Major-General commanding, under date of April 10 (1864).
        Owing to the high state of the water it was found impossible to pass the
        steam-boat Chickamauga, which reported from above on the 11th, by the
        main stream under the bridge at this point. The draw-bridge on the
        opposite side of the island (Long Island) being imperfect and
        inoperative, she was not ready for the embarkation of the troops until
        noon of the 12th.
        We steamed from Bridgeport at 2 o'clock on the afternoon of the 12th,
        having on aboard and in two scows alongside the Seventh and Sixty-sixth
        Ohio, detachments of the 18th and 147th Pennsylvania, and one section of
        Knap's Pennsylvania battery, in all about 800 men, with an ample supply
        of ammunition and ten days' rations. I manned a 12-pounder howitzer and
        a small mountain howitzer upon the boat. The additional pieces proved
        very serviceable.
        We passed down the river by Island and Widow's Creeks and Caperton's
        Ferry, Coon Island, and Coon and Mud creeks, Bellefonte Islands, and
        Riley's Creek (NOTE by ABC: We now know Riley's as Jones' Creek.)
        I had dispatched detachments of infantry and the cavalry along the south
        side to advance by way of Cedar Bluff (NOTE by ABC: Cedar Bluff was a
        little north of present-day John Snodgrass Bridge that links Stevenson
        with Sand Mountain via Hwy 117), Caperton's Ferry, and Crowton (Crow
        Town), to a point about 5 miles up Raccoon Creek, descending that stream
        and destroying all boats on it; thence to Riley's Creek, demolishing
        crafts secreted in the bushes. Riley's Creek was found to be a very
        rugged stream, difficult and of little importance.
        At 8:15 p.m. we arrived at Larkin's Landing (now Goose Pond Island),
        where we halted for the night.......
        Starting at 6:50 a.m. on the 13th, having been prevented moving earlier
        by a heavy fog, we passed below the pontoon below Larkin's Ferry. In
        South Sauta Creek, we found but two boats........."
        (NOTE by ABC: This expedition continued down river to Roman's Ferry
        (about 6 miles below Larkin's Landing) Seven-Mile Island, Buck's Island,
        Law's Ferry, Town Creek, and Gunter's Landing.....all in Marshall
        County. This expedition then continued on to Port Deposit (Fort
        Deposit), point where the Paint Rock River empties into the Tennessee
        River near the Marshall-Madison County line, and ended at Whitesburg in
        Madison County.)
        (NOTE BY ABC: Brig. Gen. Geary mentioned CSA troops stationed as pickets
        near Guntersville and Warrenton, that consisted principally of the
        companies of Captains (Henry) Smith; Buck May, Peter Whitecotton, Peter
        Dillard, and Lemuel Mead, in all about 250 to 300 men.)
        (NOTE BY ABC: Brig. Gen. Geary gives details of actions along this
        stated route that is too voluminous for this email.)
        Back to Geary's words:
        "At Bellefonte was stationed the Nineteenth Indiana but no pickets were
        found along the river. A party I sent ashore in front of that place
        took several prisoners, one a member of (CSA) Captain (Henry) Smith's
        company of cavalry. He fled and was fired upon before taken.......Of
        the rebels, 2 were killed and 5 wounded, one of whom was Captain Smith.
        At various points along the north side of the river I communicated with
        the citizens and instructed them as to what is required of them........
        Upon the return trip the repeated appearance of hostile groups
        necessitated the men being under arms as upon the outward journey..........
        Upon the expedition we destroyed 47 boats.......WE TOOK PRISONERS WITH
        ARMS: J. H. CUNNINGHAM, M. L. SWAN, G. J. BAIN, AND J. M. GUILITTE
        (Gullatt) (Clay's Gullatt family)."
        (NOTE by ABC: Cunningham, Swan, Bain, and Gullatt all lived in the
        vicinity of Bellefonte at this time.)
        Signed: Jno. W. Geary, Brigadier-General, Commanding

        Ann B. Chambless








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