HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION
HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS,
MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Macon, Ga., May 18, 1865.
MAJOR: On the evening of the 7th instant the major-general commanding directed me to make immediate arrangements to prevent the escape of Jeff. Davis across the Ocmulgee and Flint Rivers, south of Macon. I already had pickets at all fords and ferries as far south as Hawkinsville. I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Pritchard, commanding Fourth Michigan Cavalry, to march at 6 p.m. with his regiment, move as rapidly as possible to Spalding, Irwin County, and there establish his headquarters, leaving pickets at all fords and ferries between Haw-kinsville and that place, and also to picket from there to the mouth of the Oconee River, but if he found that Davis had already crossed the Ocmulgee to follow and capture or kill him. I also sent 150 men to Cuthbert, Randolph County. The next morning I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Howland, commanding Second Brigade, with the Seventh Pennsylvania and Third Ohio Cavalry to strengthen and extend the pickets as far down as the mouth of the Ohoopee River. At Abbeville Colonel Pritchard struck the trail of Davis and his party. This was reported to Colonel Howland at or near Hawkinsville. He immediately sent Lieutenant-Colonel Andress with the best mounted men of his regiment (the Seventh Pennsylvania) to co-operate with Colonel Pritchard, and, taking the best mounted men of Iris own regiment (the Third Ohio), marched rapidly toward Albany for the purpose of intercepting Davis if he attempted to escape in that direction. Colonel Pritchard found a detachment of the First Wisconsin Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Harnden on Davis' track ahead of him: he then took a circuitous route, and by marching until 2 a.m. on the 10th instant succeeded in gaining Irwinville was while Davis three quarters of a mile north of that place. He immediately surrounded the camp, and shortly before daybreak closed in and captured the entire party. This had scarcely been accomplished when the First Wisconsin advanced from the opposite direction, and, by an unfortunate mishap, each party mistaking the other for the enemy, a skirmish ensued, resulting in 2 men killed and 1 officer wounded in the Fourth Michigan and 7 or 8 wounded in the First Wisconsin. Herewith I hand you the report of Captain Hathaway,(*) commanding the Fourth Michigan Cavalry (Colonel Pritchard having taken Mr. Davis to Washington), together with a list of names of officers and men engaged in the pursuit, and also a list of those immediately engaged in the capture(+) In this latter list Company H is not represented; that company was in the advance in the pursuit, and south of Abbeville was detached to guard a ford on the Ocmulgee River. In the dispatch of the honorable the Secretary of War mention is made of honorary medals and the reward offered for the apprehension of Mr. Davis. I would respectfully suggest that medals be conferred upon all the officers and men engaged under Colonel Pritchard in the pursuit of the rebel President, and that the reward be equally divided among the 153 officers and men immediately engaged in the capture.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. H. G. MINTY,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Cavalry Corps, Mil. Div. of the Mississippi.
HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Macon, Ga., May 19, 1865.
A comparison of the inclosed reports with that of Colonel Harnden, First Wisconsin Cavalry, will show that Colonel Pritchard acted strictly in good faith with Colonel Harnden. I would, therefore, in view of all the facts, respectfully recommend that medals of honor be given to the officers and men of both regiments actually engaged in the pursuit south of Abbeville. In the distribution of the reward the families of the two men killed should be amply provided for.
J. H. WILSON,