|From the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph
|July 29, 1864
|Raid on the Montgomery & West Point
| The Yankee force that
committed such wide-spread depredation on the Montgomery & West
Point Railroad came down through North-eastern Alabama, and their
purpose was first suspected or understood when they reached the
neighborhood of Talladega. Gen. Clanton, with a small force of
cavalry, pushed on immediately from a position above Talladega to
intercept them. He encountered them twice in that region -- at Ten
Islands and at Greensport, on both of which occasions, small as his
force was, he arrested their progress and drove them back on the roads
by which they were advancing. But they had fleet and fresh horses,
selected for the daring enterprise, and were soon ahead and advancing
toward their line of operations. General Clanton followed as fast as
the wearied condition of his horses would admit. The Yankees struck
the railroad between Notasula and Auburn. At or near Chehaw they
encountered a force hastily organized and sent on from Montgomery and
other places, and a sharp fight here occurred, the particulars of
which have not yet reached us. It, however, checked the progress of
the raiders towards Montgomery, and they concentrated to destroy the
track, &c., to and east of Auburn.
| At Auburn they destroyed the
railroad and Government property of all kinds. It is by some said that
they did no damage to private property, and by others that they burnt
the Railroad Hotel, kept by Mr. James S. Moore. The report of their
killing three gentlemen of Auburn in cold blood is doubtless
unfounded. At Opelika two car loads of leather were destroyed, and the
raiders took as much bacon as they wanted themselves, and burnt and
distributed the balance among the poor. There was not over ten
thousand pounds of Government bacon there. They took all the horses
and mules they could get, and were thus enabled to keep their command
mounted on vigorous animals. From Opelika they advanced but a mile or
so in this direction, tearing up the track. They were still closely
followed by Gen. Clanton with his jaded force or not more than two
hundred cavalry and the citizen force from the western division of the
road, and had they been vigorously met at Opelika by a force from this
direction, there is little doubt that they would have sustained a
severe repulse and been compelled to take to the woods from a point
whence their escape to Sherman's lines would have been more difficult.
They arrived at Opelika on Tuesday, and left it the same evening.
| On the West Point branch they
tore up the track for about a mile and a half, when the pursuit from
the West, with the intimation, doubtless, that a warm reception
awaited them at West Point, compelled them to abandon the railroad
track and retreat in the direction of LaFayette. Gen. Clanton followed
them, with his small and worn out command, through LaFayette, and
there finding that they were far ahead, and were much better mounted
and making directly for Sherman's lines, he gave up the pursuit. He
captured, along his whole pursuing track, 25 or 30 prisoners, 70 or 80
horses, a number of guns and some ammunition, &c.
| The report that the Yankees
reached Tuskegee and burnt building there, was false, as was also the
report of their advance to Yoagesboro'.
| We learn that Mr. _____, of
Opelika, killed three of the raiders by bushwhacking them.
| The raiding force was a
division of cavalry, commanded by Gen. Rosseau, a lawyer of
Louisville, Ky., and consisted of 1,500 or 2,000 picked men,
splendidly equipped and mounted on choice horses.
| The raiders obtained
possession of an engine and tender sent up from this city for
observation, on Tuesday. The engine ran off the track near Opelika,
and was abandoned on the approach of the enemy.