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idaho native

Army of the Ohio Nashville to Savannah

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While Grant's army was sailing up the river and getting settled at Pittsburg Landing Gen. Buell with 5 divisions of his Army of the Ohio was marching from Nashville to Savannah. On the 15th Brig. Gen. A. McD. McCook's 4th Division moved out. At intervals up to March 20 it was followed in order by the 5th Division (Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden), the 6th Division (Brig. Gen. T J Wood) and the 1st Division (Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas), 37,000 men in all.

Having no pontoons Buell built a bridge over the Duck Creek. This would have caused little delay later in the war, but to fresh troops who yet had to learn the business of military service, it was a formidable task, and was not completed until the 29th. While building the bridge Buell learned Grant's Army was at Pittsburg Landing on the west side of the Tennessee River. General Nelson at once asked permission to ford the Duck River and push rapidly to Savannah. Permission being obtained the division, with Ammen's brigade, the 24th Ohio, 6th Ohio and 36th Indiana in front, began their march early on the morning of the 29th, the men stripped of their pantaloons, carrying their cartridge boxes on their necks, the ammunition boxes of the artillery taken from their limbers and carried over on scows, and tents packed in the bottom of the wagon beds, to lift ammunition and stores above water.

The bridge was finished and the march resumed the same day. Nelson having secured the advance, his eagerness gave an impetus to the entire column. The divisions was ordered to camp at night 6 miles apart making a column 30 miles long. It made Buells advance slow but it prevented troops from being worn out and brought them in good condition to the field. Gen. Nelson however moving faster than was expected drew the division behind him through Waynesboro, on the road to Savannah, before Gen. Buell issued the order and so unconsciously defeated the intension. Nelson's brigade reached Savannah during April 5, Crittenden's division camped that night a few miles distant and Gen Buell himself reached Savannah or its outskirts some time in the evening of the 5th.

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