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Reports of the Tullahoma campaign 23 June - 3 July 1863

1. William S. Rosecrans
2. George H. Thomas
3. Thomas J. Wilder
4. Braxton Bragg
5. Lieut. W. B. Richmond, aide-de-camp to Leonidas Polk
6. Patrick R. Cleburne
7. Thomas Leonidas Crittenden



1. William S. Rosecrans
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXIII/1 [S# 34] JUNE 23-JULY 7, 1863.--The Middle Tennessee, or Tullahoma, Campaign.
No. 1.--Reports of Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Cumberland.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Winchester, Tenn., July 24, 1863.
GENERAL: For the information of the General-in- Chief and the War Department, I respectfully submit the following report of the preliminaries and operations which resulted in driving the rebels out of Middle Tennessee, from the occupation of Murfreesborough, a point 212 miles from the nearest point of supplies:
To enable this army to operate successfully in advance of this position, it was necessary, first, to establish and secure a depot of supplies at this point, and, second, to organize an adequate cavalry force to combat that of the enemy, protect our own line of communication, and take advantage of the enemy should he be beaten or retreat.
The depot was established and in a defensible condition by the 1st of May, as has been reported, but the inferior numbers of our cavalry and the scarcity of long forage wore out our cavalry horses faster than we could replace them, and it was not before the 15th of June that we had brought what we had into available condition.
The General-in-Chief has been informed of the reasons why an advance was not deemed advisable until all things were prepared.
 <ar34_404>
THE POSITION OF THE REBELS.
Their main base of supplies was at Chattanooga, but a vastly superior cavalry force had enabled them to command all the resources of the Duck River Valley and the country southward. Tullahoma, a large intrenched camp, situated on the "Barrens," at the intersection of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad with the McMinnville branch, was their main depot. (See plan, &c.(*)) Its front was covered by the defiles of Duck River--a deep, narrow stream, with but few fords or bridges--and a rough, rocky range of hills which divides the "Barrens" from the lower level of Middle Tennessee.
Bragg's main army occupied a strong position north of Duck River, the infantry extending from Shelbyville to Wartrace, and their cavalry on their right to McMinnville, and on their left to Columbia and Spring Hill, where Forrest was concentrated and threatening Franklin.
The position of Bragg's infantry was covered by a range of high, rough, rocky hills, the principal routes passing southward from Murfreesborough toward Tullahoma and line of the enemy's communications.
1st. By McMinnville it is 75 miles to Tullahoma. Its length precludes it, while the intermediate by-roads between that and Manchester were so difficult as to be regarded as unsuited for the movement of an army.
2d. The Manchester pike passing these hills through Hoover's Gap and ascending to the "Barrens" through a long difficult canon called Matt's Hollow.
3d. The Wartrace road through Liberty Gap, which passes into the one along the railroad by Bellbuckle Gap.
4th. The Shelbyville turnpike, running through Guy's Gap.
5th. The Middleton dirt road.
6th. The road by Versailles, into the Shelbyville and Triune roads, both of which avoid passes and have few defiles.
The enemy held all these passes, and his main position in front of Shelbyville was strengthened by a redan line extending from Horse Mountain, on the east, to Duck River, on the west, covered by a line of abatis. (See accompanying drawings.) Polk's corps was at Shelbyville. Hardee's headquarters was at Wartrace, and his troops held Hoover's, Liberty, and Bellbuckle Gaps. Polk's corps was generally estimated by intelligent rebels and Union men at about 18,000, infantry and artillery; Hardee's at 12,000, infantry and artillery--making a total of 30,000 of these arms, and probably 8,000 effective cavalry.
Positive information from various sources concurred to show the enemy intended to fight us in his intrenchments at Shelbyville, should we advance by that router and that he would be in good position to retreat if beaten, and so retard our pursuit through the narrow, winding roads from that place which lead up to the "Barrens," and thus inflict severe loss without danger to their own line of retreat to the mountains toward their base. I was determined to render useless their intrenchments, and, if possible, secure their line of retreat by turning their right and moving on the railroad bridge across Elk River [boldface mine]. This would compel a battle on our own ground or drive them on a disadvantageous line of retreat. To accomplish this it was necessary to make Bragg believe we could advance on him by the Shelbyville route, and to keep up the impression, if possible, until we had reached Manchester with the main body of the army, as this point must be reached over a single practicable <ar34_405> road passing through Hoover's Gap, a narrow way 3 miles in length between high hills, and then through Matt's Hollow, a gorge 2 miles long, with scarce room anywhere for wagons to pass each other. These passes were occupied by the enemy but 8 miles from Hardee's headquarters, not more than 16 miles from their left at Shelbyville [boldface mine].
The plan was, therefore, to move General Granger's command to Triune, and thus create the impression of our intention to advance on them by the Shelbyville and Triune pikes, while cavalry movements and an infantry advance toward Woodbury would seem to be feints designed by us to deceive Bragg and conceal our supposed real designs on their left, where the topography and the roads presented comparatively slight obstacles and afforded great facilities for moving in force.
Events proved that this had the desired effect; and, accordingly, Bragg called forward Buckner and all the spare troops at his command from East Tennessee and the lines of the railroads, the last of them arriving on the very evening they began their retreat from their position in front of Duck River. The operations which followed these successful preliminaries were as follows:
On the 23d of June, Major-General Granger, under orders, sent General Mitchell, with his cavalry division, on the Eagleville and Shelbyville pike, to make a furious attack on the enemy's cavalry and drive in their infantry guards on their main line, while General Granger, with his own troops and Brannan's division, moved, with ten days' rations, to Salem, sending his sick and baggage to the camps at Murfreesborough. On the same day, Palmer's division and a brigade of cavalry were ordered to move, via Cripple Creek and Readyville, to the vicinity of Bradyville; his advance to seize the head of the defile leading up to the "Barrens" by an obscure road leading them to Manchester, by Lumley's Station. All the other troops were ordered to be in readiness to march, with twelve days' rations of bread, coffee, sugar, and salt; six days' meat on hoof, and six days' pork or bacon. General Mitchell accomplished his work, after a sharp and gallant fight, for the details of which I must refer you to his own report. General Granger arrived and took position at Salem, in pursuance of orders.
The corps commanders met at headquarters in the evening, when the plan of the movement was explained to them, and each received written orders for his part, as follows:
Major-General McCook's corps was to advance on the Shelbyville road, turn to the left, move two divisions by Millersburg, and, advancing on the Wartrace road, seize and hold Liberty Gap. The third division was to advance on Fosterville and cover the crossing of General Granger's command from the Middleton road, and then move by Christiana to join the rest of the corps.
General G. Granger was to advance on the Middleton road, threatening that place, and cover the passing of General Brannan's division, of the Fourteenth Corps, which was to pass by Christiana and bivouac with the rear division of the Twentieth Corps.
The Fourteenth Corps, Major-General Thomas, was to advance on the Manchester pike, seize and hold with its advance, if practicable, Hoover's Gap, and bivouac so as to command and cover that and the Millersburg road, so that McCook and himself could be within supporting distance of each other.
Major-General Crittenden was to leave Van Cleve's division, of the Twenty first Army Corps, at Murfreesborough, concentrate at Bradyville with the other two, and await orders.
The cavalry--one brigade--under General Turchin, was sent with the <ar34_406> Twenty-first Army Corps to look out toward McMinnville. All the remainder, under Major-General Stanley, were to meet General Mitchell, coming in from Versailles, and attack the rebel cavalry at Middleton.
The headquarters of the army was to be established at Mrs. McGill's, at Big Spring Branch.
All these movements were executed with commendable promptitude and success, in the midst of a continuous and drenching rain, which so softened the ground on all the dirt roads as to render them next to impassable.
General McCook's taking of Liberty Gap was very gallant and creditable to the troops of Johnson's division, Willich's brigade leading, supported by Carlin's brigade, of Davis' division, on the right.
General Reynolds had the advance in the Fourteenth Corps, Wilder's mounted brigade leading. He surprised and carried Hoover's Gap, a defile 3 miles in length, before the main infantry support of the rebels (two brigades) could come up, and, when they did arrive, fought them and held the position until the remainder of Reynolds' division arrived. The enemy kept at artillery distance from them, and left us to hold the bridge across the Garrison Fork and the debouche of the Fairfield road. For the details of this fight, I refer to the reports of the immediate commanders of the troops.
As it was not yet certain whether the enemy would advance to test our strength on McCook's front, or mass on the flank of the Fourteenth Corps, near Fairfield, the orders for June 25 were as follows:
Major-General Crittenden to advance to Lumley's Stand, 6 miles east of Beech Grove, and open communication with General Thomas. General Thomas to attack the rebels on the flank of his advance position at the forks of the road, and drive the rebels toward Fairfield. General McCook to feign an advance, as if in force on the Wartrace road, by the Liberty Gap passes. General Stanley, with his cavalry, to occupy their attention at Fosterville, and General Granger to support him with his infantry at Christiana.
Should Thomas succeed, and find the enemy retreating toward Wartrace, he was to cover that road with a division and move with the remainder of troops rapidly on Manchester. McCook to move in and take his place at Beech Grove, holding Liberty Gap with a division, and finally withdrawing that, and following Thomas to Manchester. The incessant rain delayed the arrival of General Brannan to join the Fourteenth Corps on the Manchester pike; but everything was finally in position, and General Reynolds' division had advanced on the heights toward Fairfield, but did not attack the enemy, who appeared to show a disposition to contest our advance by that route. At Liberty Gap the enemy tried to regain possession, but finally retreated, leaving our pickets in position.
On the 26th, most of the movements ordered for the 25th were completed, amid continuous rains. Generals Rousseau's, Reynolds', and Brannan's divisions cooperated in a gallant advance on the enemy, who, after a short resistance, fled toward Fairfield, near to which place our pickets were advanced, while Reynolds' division and the baggage moved forward during the night toward Manchester, Wilder's brigade having seized Matt's Hollow early in the afternoon, and thus secured the passage.
June 27, headquarters reached Manchester, where General Reynolds' and part of Negley's division had already arrived. The remainder of Thomas' corps came in during the night. It was now manifest that the enemy must leave his intrenched position at Shelbyville, and that we <ar34_407> must expect him at Tullahoma, only 12 miles distant. It was therefore necessary to close up our columns on Manchester, distribute our rations, and prepare for the contest.
While this was progressing, I determined to cut, if possible, the railroad in Bragg's rear. Wilder's brigade was sent to burn Elk River Bridge and destroy the railroad between Decherd and Cowan, and Brig. Gen. John Beatty, with a brigade of infantry, to Hillsborough, to cover and support his movements.
General Sheridan's division came in June 28, and all McCook's corps arrived before the night of the 29th, troops and animals much jaded.
The terrible rains and desperate roads so delayed Crittenden, who on the 26th got orders to march to Manchester with all speed, that it was not until the 29th that his last division arrived, badly worn. The column being now closed up, and having divisions of the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps at Crumpton's Creek, orders were given for the Fourteenth Corps to occupy the center at Concord Church and Bobo CrossRoads, with a division in reserve; the Twentieth Corps to take the right on Crumpton's Creek, two divisions en echelon retired, one in reserve, and the Twenty-first Corps to come up on the left, near Hall's Chapel, one division front and one division in reserve.
It rained almost incessantly during the 30th, but the troops, by dint of labor and perseverance, had dragged their artillery and themselves through the mud into position. It is a singular characteristic of the soil on the "Barrens" that it becomes so soft and spongy that wagons cut into it as if it were a swamp, and even horses cannot pass over it without similar results. The terrible effect of the rains on the passage of our troops may be inferred from the single fact that General Crittenden required four days of incessant labor to advance the distance of 21 miles.
While the troops were thus moving into position, General Thomas sent Steedman's brigade, of Brannan's division, two regiments of Reynolds' division, and two regiments of Negley's division on separate roads, to reconnoiter the enemy's position, while General Sheridan sent Bradley's brigade, of his division, on another for the same purpose. These reconnaissances all returned and reported having found the enemy in force on all roads except the one leading to Estill Springs. Scouts all confirmed this, with the fact that it was the general belief that Bragg would fight us in his intrenchments at Tullahoma.
Wilder returned from his expedition, reporting that he found the enemy at Elk Bridge with a brigade of infantry and a battery, which prevented him from destroying that bridge, but that he had damaged the road considerably at Decherd, where his appearance with his mountain howitzers created great consternation, and within three hours brought down some heavy trains of infantry.
Meanwhile we had information that Stanley's cavalry, supported by Major-General Granger's infantry, and acting under his general directions, had attacked the enemy's cavalry and artillery at Guy's Gap, on the Murfreesborough and Shelbyville pike, and driven them from stand to stand, killing, wounding, and capturing as they went, until the enemy reached their intrenchments, from which they were soon driven by flanking and a direct charge, wherein the cavalry captured three pieces of artillery, some with loads in, but not rammed down.
From their intrenchments the rebels fled to town, where they made another stand, but in vain. Our cavalry came down with resistless sweep and drove them in confusion into the river. Many were killed and drowned, and Shelbyville, with large numbers of prisoners, a quantity of arms and commissary stores, were the crowning results of the <ar34_408> cavalry operations that day. It was worthy of note that the waving of flags and cheers of welcome from the inhabitants of this unconquerable stronghold of loyalty doubtless gave added vigor and energy to the advance of our troops. The reports from this cavalry battle showed also the enemy's withdrawal on Tullahoma, and the general expectation that he would fight there.
June 30, orders having been given General Morton to ascertain the practicability of moving by column in mass in line of battle from our position to gain the rear of the rebel position at Tullahoma, and who reported favorably thereon, preparations were completed, and Crittenden's second division was moved into position.
July 1, I received a dispatch from General Thomas that the enemy had retreated from Tullahoma during the night.
Brannan's, Negley's, and Sheridan's divisions entered Tullahoma, where the infantry arrived about noon. Negley's and Rousseau's divisions pushed on by Spring Creek and overtook the rear guard of the enemy late in the afternoon at Bethpage Bridge, 2 miles above the railroad crossing, where they had a sharp skirmish with the rebels occupying the heights on the south side of the river and commanding the bridge by artillery, which they had placed behind epaulements.
July 2, having brought forward the ammunition, McCook, with two divisions, pursued on the roads west of the railroad. Arriving at Rock Creek Ford, General Sheridan found Elk so swollen as to be barely fordable for cavalry, and the rebel cavalry on the south bank to resist a crossing, but he soon drove them away and occupied the ford. General Thomas found equal difficulties in crossing, for the enemy during the night burned the bridge and retired before morning. General Turchin, with a small brigade of cavalry, had pushed forward from Hillsborough, on the Decherd road, and found the enemy's cavalry at the fords of Elk, near Morris Ferry; engaged them coming up, and, re-enforced by the arrival of General Mitchell, they forced the passage of the river after a sharp conflict. Night closed the pursuit.
July 3, General Sheridan succeeded in crossing Elk River, and, supported by General J. C. Davis' division, pursued the enemy to Cowan, where he learned the enemy had crossed the mountains with his artillery and infantry by the University and Sweeden's Cove, and that the cavalry only would be found covering their rear. General Thomas got over his troops the same day. Negley's division moved on the Brakefield Point road, toward the University. Sheridan sent some cavalry from his position, and Stanley some from the main column, now in pursuit, but they only developed the fact that the enemy was gone, and as our troops were out of provisions, and the roads worn well-nigh impracticable from rain and travel, they were obliged to halt until their supplies could be brought forward from Murfreesborough, to which point the wagons had been sent for that purpose.
Thus ended a nine days' campaign, which drove the enemy from two fortified positions and gave us possession of Middle Tennessee, conducted in one of the most extraordinary rains ever known in Tennessee at that period of the year, over a soil that becomes almost a quicksand. Our operations were retarded thirty-six hours at Hoover's Gap and sixty hours at and in front of Manchester, which alone prevented us from getting possession of his communications and forcing the enemy to a very disastrous battle. These results were far more successful than was anticipated, and could only have been obtained by a surprise as to the direction and force of our movement.
For the details of the action at Liberty Gap, Hoover's Gap, Shelbyville, <ar34_409> and Rover, I beg to refer to the reports of Major-Generals Thomas, McCook, and Stanley, and the accompanying sub-reports.
Bearing testimony to the spirit and gallantry of all, both officers and men, I must refer to the reports of the several commanders for the details thereof. I am especially proud of and gratified by the loyal support and soldierly devotion of the corps and division commanders, all the more touching to me as the movement was one which they regarded with some doubt, if not distrust. It affords me pleasure to return my thanks to Major-General Granger and Major-General Stanley, commanding the cavalry, for their operations on our right, resulting in the capture of Shelbyville; and to General Granger for subsequently dispatching our supplies when they were so pressingly needed.
Colonel Wilder and his brigade deserve a special mention for long-continued exertions, enterprise, and efficiency in these operations. Colonel Wilder ought to be made a brigadier-general [boldface mine]. Colonel Minty, who commanded the advance on Shelbyville, for gallantry on that and many other occasions, merits the like promotion.
The management of the medical department was worthy of all praise. I cannot forbear to make special mention of the energy, ability, foresight, and devotion to duty of Dr. Perin. His superior in these qualities has not fallen under my observation.
All my staff merited my warm approbation for ability, zeal, and devotion to duty, but I am sure they will not consider it invidious if I especially mention Brigadier-General Garfield, ever active, prudent, and sagacious. I feel much indebted to him for both counsel and assistance in the administration of this army. He possesses the instincts and energy of a great commander.
The reports of the corps commanders herewith show our total loss during these operations was 14 officers killed and 26 wounded; 71 noncommissioned officers and privates killed, 436 wounded, and 13 missing. Total, 85 killed, 462 wounded, and 13 missing.(*)
We captured and preserved ---------- stand small-arms, 3 field pieces, 6 caissons, 3 limbers, 3 rifled siege pieces without carriages, besides arms destroyed by the cavalry. Quartermaster's stores: 89 tents, 89 flys, and 3,500 sacks corn and corn meal.
The total number of prisoners taken, as will be seen by the accompanying report of the provost-marshal-general, Major Wiles, is 59 commissioned officers and 1,575 non-commissioned officers and privates. Before closing this report, I call the attention of the General-in-Chief and the War Department to the merits and ability of Capt. W. E. Merrill, engineer, whose successful collection and embodiment of topographical information, rapidly printed by Captain [William C.] Margedant's quick process, and distributed to corps and division commanders, has already contributed very greatly to the ease and success of our movements over a country of difficult and hitherto unknown topography [boldface mine]. I sincerely trust the War Department will show its appreciation of the merits and services of this promising young officer, who fortified the frontiers of Western Virginia, lingered in a rebel prison for six months, was wounded at Yorktown, and who put in order and a state of defense the Kentucky railroad injured by Bragg and Kirby Smith.
 W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-general.
 Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.


2. George H. Thomas
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXIII/1 [S# 34] JUNE 23-JULY 7, 1863.--The Middle Tennessee, or Tullahoma, Campaign.
No. 7.--Reports of Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas, U. S. Army, commanding Fourteenth Army Corps.

HDQRS. 14TH ARMY CORPS, DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Camp Winford, Tenn., July 8, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit the following report of the operations of the Fourteenth Army Corps from the 24th ultimo to the present time:
The Third Division, Brigadier-General Brannan commanding, having, in accordance with orders previously given, reached Salem from Triune on the 23d, received orders to march with McCook's corps in the direction of Fosterville on the 24th, and on the 25th to join the other divisions of the Fourteenth Army Corps on the Manchester pike. The First Division (Rousseau's), Second Division (Negley's), and the Fourth Division (Reynolds') marched from Murfreesborough June 24, on the Manchester pike, Reynolds' division in advance, starting at 4 a.m., with orders, if possible, to seize and hold Hoover's Gap; Rousseau's division marching at 7 a.m., to move to the support of Reynolds, in case he called upon him for assistance. Negley's division marched at 10 a.m., in reserve. A few miles from our picket station, Wilder's brigade, mounted infantry, Reynolds' division, encountered the enemy's mounted vedettes, which he drove upon their reserve (Third Confederate Cavalry ), and drove the whole through Hoover's Gap and beyond McBride's Creek. Colonel Wilder then observing that the enemy were in force in the direction of Fairfield, and preparing to attack him, took up a strong position on the hills at the southern terminus of Hoover's Gap. The other two brigades of Reynolds moved into and occupied the gap in rear of Wilder's force, and prepared for an attack from the front, having marched 17 miles.
While the division was taking its position, the First Brigade was attacked by a superior force. The attack was promptly accepted by Wilders brigade, supported by the Second and Third Brigades, which were immediately ordered to the front, and posted on the ridge of woods on the extreme right, to prevent the enemy turning our right flank, which was being heavily engaged by a superior force. As these re-enforcements arrived, the enemy was forced to fall back from the woods, and the right made secure by posting three regiments of Crook's brigade in the woods from which the enemy had just been so gallantly driven by the Seventeenth and Seventy-second Indiana Volunteers and Ninety-third Illinois Volunteers, and the position maintained. General Rousseau was ordered to send forward one brigade to re-enforce Reynolds, which was done. Major Coolidge, commanding brigade of Regulars, reported soon after dark, and every preparation was made for an attack on the following morning. The First and Second Brigades of Rousseau's division encamped in supporting distance, near the Widow Hoover's house, and Negley's division at Big Spring, in rear of Rousseau's division. The disposition of General Reynolds' division remained unchanged on the morning of the 25th, with slight skirmishing with the enemy in front. Colonel Scribner's brigade, Second Division, having been ordered to the front in the early part of the day, was posted in position <ar34_431> to support the batteries in front and to form picket line on the extreme left. General Brannan's division, arriving from Salem, was ordered to go into camp near Rousseau, at Hoover's Mill. Orders having been previously given from department headquarters, General Rousseau's division was moved immediately in rear of General Reynolds' division, on the night of the 25th, preparatory to an attack on the enemy's position at Beech Grove. General Brannan's division moved up at 4 a.m. retake part in the attack. General Negley's division moved up at 8 a.m. to support the attack of the other divisions. After carrying the position of Beech Grove, Rousseau's (First) and Brannan's (Third) divisions were ordered to push the enemy in the direction of Fairfield, whilst Reynolds' division was to move along the Manchester pike, seize and hold Matt's Hollow, and push on to Manchester that night, if possible. During the night of the 25th instant it rained so continuously that it became almost impossible for troops to move, but, with extraordinary exertions, the divisions were placed in their respective positions by 10.30 a.m. Immediately after, the advance was ordered, when the enemy were driven steadily and rapidly toward Fairfield; Rousseau and Brannan operating on his left flank from the hills on the north of the Fairfield road, while Reynolds advanced against his front and right. The enemy had evidently prepared for an obstinate resistance, and attempted to enfilade my troops from the high ground on our right, but were effectually prevented by a gallant charge of the First Brigade, Third Division, Colonel Walker, and the Fourth (Regular) Brigade, First Division, Major Coolidge commanding. The steady and rapid advance of my troops forced the enemy to retire in the direction of Fairfield very rapidly, covering his retreat with two batteries of artillery and occupying positions behind strong bodies of skirmishers, flanked by a large cavalry force. The behavior of our troops was admirable--everything that could be desired.
On the morning of the 27th, at 8 o'clock, Reynolds' advance brigade, Wilder's mounted infantry, took possession of Manchester, capturing a guard at the railroad depot and taking the town completely by surprise. Negley's division, marching in support of Rousseau's and Brannan's toward Fairfield, turned into the Manchester and Fairfield road by way of Noah's Fork, and reached Manchester at 8 p.m. Rousseau and Brannan pursued the enemy as far as Fairfield. Ascertaining at that place, from what they considered reliable sources, that the enemy had retreated entirely, these two divisions, in compliance with orders, turned into the Fairfield and Manchester road, Brannan's division reaching Manchester at 10 p.m. and Rousseau's division at 12 midnight. In compliance with department orders, Colonel Wilder, with his mounted brigade, started at reveille on the morning of the 28th, by way of Hillsborough, to break the Chattanooga Railroad at some point below Decherd. The First and Third Divisions started at 2 p.m. in the direction of Tullahoma, camping at Crumpton's Creek, Third Division throwing out a strong party 1½ or 2 miles to its front, toward Tullahoma.
On the morning of the 29th, headquarters and the Second and Fourth Divisions were moved to Crumpton's Creek, the Fourth Division camping at Concord Church, at the point where the road to Tullahoma leaves the Manchester and Winchester road, and relieved the two regiments of Brannan's division on outpost at Bobo's Cross-Roads. The Second Division camped at Bobo's Cross-Roads, where the road from Tullahoma to Hillsborough crosses the Manchester and Winchester road. General Beatty, with his brigade, joining the Second Division at that point from Hillsborough, where he had taken position on the 28th, to support Colonel Wilder in his operations against the railroad, Van Derveer's brigade, <ar34_432> from the Third Division (Brannan's), was thrown forward on Tullahoma road, and engaged the enemy's outposts and vedettes, driving them back toward Tullahoma, killing and wounding many; the rebel General Starnes reported among the number killed. Our loss 2 men slightly wounded. Van Derveer's brigade was relieved about 6 p.m. by Steedman's (Second) brigade. The road from Manchester to this point was rendered nearly impassable by one of the heaviest and most continuous rains ever experienced.
June 30, Steedman's (Second) brigade, Third Division, started at an early hour, supported by a brigade from General Sheridan's division on the right and two regiments of Reynolds' division on the left, and pushed forward during the evening to within 1½ or 2 miles of Tullahoma with comparative ease, General Steedman reporting that he was opposed by two regiments of cavalry and one section of artillery, at the same time reporting a loss of 15 men in his command, also killing and wounding many of the enemy, but could not report the number, as they were carried from the field by the enemy. The two regiments of Reynolds' division also reached a point about 2 miles from Tullahoma, where they came upon a regiment of the enemy's cavalry, which retired after feeble resistance. The officer, believing it was intended to lead him into an ambuscade, did not pursue farther. Two regiments from Negley's division moved out on the Manchester road 4 or 5 miles without encountering or seeing the enemy. Colonel Wilder with his brigade returned to-day, having succeeded in striking the railroad and doing considerable damage near Decherd.
Early on the morning of July 1, having heard from a citizen that the enemy were evacuating Tullahoma, Steedman's brigade, Third Division, supported by two regiments of Reynolds' division on his left, were ordered to advance cautiously and ascertain if the report was true. Meeting with no opposition, he entered Tullahoma at 12 m., capturing a few prisoners; General Brannan, commanding Third Division, reporting that the last of the rebel infantry retired during the night, and their cavalry commenced evacuating at daylight. General Reynolds was accordingly ordered to Tullahoma with his division, and the two divisions (Reynolds' and Brannan's) ordered to rejoin the corps at Heffner's Mill on the following morning. General Negley was directed to march to Heffner's Mill, and take post there for the night, General Rousseau to support him. In executing this order, Negley came upon the enemy about 4 miles from Bobo's Cross-Reads, and drove them steadily until they retired just at nightfall beyond Heffner's Mill. He then went into camp for the night, throwing out strong pickets to the right and front. General Rousseau was instructed, after forming his camp, to throw pickets to the rear and left. The enemy made a stubborn resistance through the pass of Spring Creek, wounding a good many of our men, but were steadily driven back until darkness prevented farther pursuit through the thick brushwood bordering the hillsides of the pass.
On the 2d, the Third and Fourth Divisions joined on Spring Creek, and the enemy were followed to the Winchester road crossing of Elk River. The bridges having been burned by the rebels, and the river not fordable, the First, Third, and Fourth Divisions were moved up the river to Jones' Ford, and one brigade of Rousseau's division thrown across the stream, the remainder of the command camping on the north side. The ford being very deep, it was with great difficulty that the brigade effected a passage, damaging much of their ammunition by the water getting into their cartridge-boxes. Colonel Hambright, commanding this brigade, reported that the enemy had left the vicinity of the <ar34_433> ford, and was informed by rebel prisoners that their retreat was by way of Pelham and Cowan, and across the mountains.
On the morning of the 3d, Rousseau's and Brannan's troops crossed the river at Jones' Ford, and took up a position on the Winchester and Hillsborough road, crossing their artillery and trains of both divisions. Negley's division and entire train crossed the ford on the Winchester and Manchester pike. The troops of Reynolds' division crossed at the same place, leaving his ordnance train on the north side of the river, to be crossed in the morning.
On the 4th, Rousseau's division marched to the Decherd and Pelham road, and took up a position at Featherstone's. Negley took up a position at Brakefield Point. Reynolds' division encamped at Pennington's, and Brannan's division at Taite's; the two latter positions on the Decherd, Winchester, and McMinnville road. The order to halt was received at 2 p.m. this day, and the details directed to be made for the repairs of roads were ordered. Location of corps headquarters on the Winchester and McMinnville road, half way between Taite's and Pennington's.
The positions of divisions of my corps are substantially the same to this date.
Without particularizing or referring to individual merit in any one division of my command, I can render willing testimony to the manly endurance and soldierly conduct of both officers and men composing my corps, marching day and night, through a most relentless rain, and over almost impassable roads, bivouacking by the roadside, ever ready and willing to "fall in" and pursue the enemy whenever ordered, with cheerfulness and determination truly admirable, and no less commendable when confronting the enemy; fearless and undaunted, their columns never wavered, giving the highest proof of their veteran qualities, and showing what dependence can be placed upon them in time of peril.
For particulars, incidents, and the part taken by the different divisions, brigades, and regiments of my corps in the engagements mentioned in my report, I respectfully refer you to the accompanying reports of the division commanders.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 GEO. H. THOMAS,  Major-General U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
 Brig. Gen. JAMES A. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff, Department of the Cumberland.
Casualties.
O Officers. W Wounded.
M  Enlisted men. M Missing.
K Killed. A Aggregate.

                               ------O------- -------M-------
Command. K W M K W M A
First.Division .... 3 .... 4 39 .... 46
Second.Division 1 .... .... 1 5 2 9
Third.Division .... 1 .... 4 59 1 65
Fourth.Division .... .... .... 15 47 .... 62
Total(*) 1 4 .... 24 150 3 182



3. John T. Wilder
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXIII/1 [S# 34] JUNE 23-JULY 7, 1863.--The Middle Tennessee, or Tullahoma, Campaign.
No. 20.--Report of Col. John T. Wilder, Seventeenth Indiana Infantry, commanding First Brigade.

[ar34_457 con't]
HDQRS. 1ST BRIGADE, 4TH DIVISION, 14TH ARMY CORPS, Camp near Duck River Bridge, July 11, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the late movements, resulting in driving the rebel forces under General Bragg south across the Tennessee River:
On the morning of June 24, 1863, at 3 o'clock, my command moved from camp, 6 miles north from Murfreesborough, and taking the advance of the Fourteenth Army Corps, on the Manchester pike, moved forward to Big Spring Branch, 7 miles from Murfreesborough. Here my scouts gave notice of the proximity of rebel pickets. The command was halted until the infantry closed up, when we immediately moved forward, the Seventy-second Indiana, Colonel Miller, being in advance, with five companies, under Lieutenant-Colonel Kirkpatrick, thrown out as an advance guard, and a party of 25 scouts, of the Seventeenth and Seventy-second, as an extreme advance guard. One mile from the creek we came upon the rebel pickets, who opened fire on the advance, which was returned by our men, driving the rebels to a hill thickly covered with cedars, where the rebel reserves were drawn up under cover of the hill, and opened a rapid fire upon our men, who advanced rapidly to the foot of the hill, when Colonel Kirkpatrick deployed one company on <ar34_458> each side of the road, and, without halting, drove the rebels from their position, capturing 2 prisoners, without loss on our part. I directed the advance to push speedily forward and take possession of Hoover's Gap, and, if possible, to prevent the enemy from occupying their fortifications, which I learned were situated at a narrow point of the gap, 16 miles from Murfreesborough.
The orders were handsomely executed by Colonel Kirkpatrick, who dashed forward along the pike, pushing the enemy so fast that they had not time to deploy into their works before he had possession, the rebels breaking and scattering through the hills [boldface mine], with a loss of their battle-flag (a beautiful stand of embroidered silk colors, presented to the regiment, First Kentucky, by the sister of General Ben. Hardin Helm, while in Kentucky, under Morgan, last year) and several prisoners. Learning that a regiment of cavalry [Third Confederate) were stationed at the Garrison Fork of Duck River, 1 mile farther on, and that a brigade of infantry were encamped 2 miles to the right, I determined to take the entire gap, and, if possible, hold it until the arrival of the infantry column, now some 6 miles behind us, believing that it would cost us at least a thousand men to retake the ground we now held, if it was reasonably contested by the rebel force close at hand. My whole command was rapidly moved forward to the southern extremity of the gap, and while being placed in position we heard the long-roll sounded in the rebel camp at our right, 2 miles down the Garrison Fork.
The advance pushed on 2 miles farther, and captured 7 wagons belonging to the rebels. They were soon recalled, and were hardly in position before our pickets were driven in by a large force of rebel infantry from the direction of Fairfield. My dispositions were: The Seventy-second Indiana, Colonel Miller, stationed to the right side of the gap, and thrown forward to a hillock on which there was a graveyard; two mountain howitzers at their front, on the point of the hillock; four pieces of 10-pounder rifled Rodmans, of Captain Lilly's Eighteenth Indiana Battery, stationed on a secondary hill, facing toward Fairfield, on the right side of the gap, supported by the One hundred and twenty-third Illinois, Colonel Monroe; the Seventeenth Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Jordan, and the Ninety-eighth Illinois, Colonel Funkhouser, in rear of a high hill in reserve. I ordered two companies of the Ninety-eighth Illinois to take position on the hill at the left of the gap, and four companies of the Seventeenth Indiana to take possession of a high wooded hill about a quarter of a mile to our right, and to throw skirmishers forward to some cleared hills to their front, both for the purpose of observation and to prevent a sudden attack from that quarter. The enemy in the mean time advanced rapidly, and opened on our left from two batteries a rapid crossfire, which killed 2 gunners and the animals of one of the mountain howitzers. They were promptly replied to by Captain Lilly, who dismounted one of their pieces and compelled both of their batteries to change position several times. In the mean time I observed a column of the enemy moving behind some hills toward our right, and immediately ordered the remainder of the Seventeenth Indiana to take position on the wooded hill before spoken of, with orders to look well to their right, and send me word if any attempt was made to flank them. They had hardly reached the hill when a heavy and rapid fire was opened from both sides, the rebels charging boldly up the hill and cheering loudly. :not hearing from Colonel Jordan, but seeing that he was hard pressed, I sent Colonel Funkhouser with the remainder of the Ninety-eighth Illinois to his assistance. He reached the ground just as the rebels had succeeded in turning Colonel Jordan's right flank. <ar34_459> Colonel Funkhouser immediately deployed his command to the right, thus outflanking the rebel left, and opened a rapid, raking fire upon them, caused them to break in disorder down the hill. The fighting for a few moments had been desperate, most of it at a distance of not over 20 yards between the combatants. In the mean time, on the left, two rebel regiments attempted to take our battery. Colonel Monroe, by my direction, ordered three companies, under Lieutenant-Colonel Biggs, forward to a ravine about 75 yards in front of Captain Lilly's position. They had hardly got in position before the rebels came over the hill in their front. They delivered a cautious and deliberate fire upon them, and Captain Lilly gave them a few rounds of double shotted canister from his guns, while Colonel Miller, of the Seventy-second Indiana, opened an enfilading fire upon them, which caused them to first fall to the ground to escape the tornado of death which was being poured into their ranks. But finding no cessation of our leaden hail, they crawled back as best they could, under cover of the hills, and made no further attempt to take our left. They, however, made another attempt with five regiments on our right, but were easily driven back by Colonels Funkhouser and Jordan, with not over 700 men of the Seventeenth Indiana and Ninety-eighth Illinois engaged. The rebels now fell back all along the line, and opened a furious cannonading upon our battery, without doing much harm or receiving harm in return, they being under cover of the hills.
General Reynolds now arrived with two brigades of infantry, and placed one of them in support of and on a prolongation of our right. About dark we were relieved by a brigade of Rousseau's division, and at 2 o'clock next morning were again in line, and were held in reserve all day. Our entire loss in the action of the 24th of June is 1 commissioned officer killed (J. R. Eddy, chaplain Seventy-second Indiana), 1 commissioned officer mortally wounded (Lieut. James T. Moreland, Seventeenth Indiana), and 12 enlisted men killed and 47 wounded.
The conduct of both officers and men was all that the most sanguine could ask. To speak of individuals when all did their whole duty would be unfair. Each officer seemed to appreciate the importance of taking and holding the very strong position of Hoover's Gap, and the men were eager to obey and sustain their officers. Their conduct was the same whether in driving in the rebel outposts or defending their position against fearful odds, or when lying in support of our battery, exposed to a terrible cross-fire of shot and shell, or when advancing against the rebel columns; always earnest, cool, determined, ready, and brave, seeming best pleased when necessarily in greatest dangers.
On the morning of the 26th, we again moved forward, my command, on horseback, debouching into the valley of Garrison Fork, and filing over the chain of hills between that stream and McBride's Creek, flanking the rebel left, and causing it to hastily fall back before the infantry column of General Reynolds, who was advancing on the line of the Manchester pike. We then moved up McBride's Creek to the tableland, and marched rapidly around the head of Noah's Fork for the purpose of turning the strong position of Matt's Hollow; but on arriving at the Manchester pike, after it reaches the tableland, we found that the infantry column was passing, having met no enemy, they having retreated in the direction of Fairfield. We camped that night 6 miles from Manchester, and at daylight next morning moved forward, cutting off a rebel picket post, and were in Manchester before the few rebels there knew of our approach. We captured about 40 prisoners, including 1 captain and 3 lieutenants. Pickets were immediately thrown out, <ar34_460> and, on the arrival of General Reynolds, I dispatched Major Jones, with four companies of the Seventeenth Indiana, and Captain [Lawson S.] Kilborn, with a detachment of pioneers, to destroy the trestle-work on the McMinnville Railroad, 4 miles from Tullahoma. Their object was fully accomplished, and they returned to camp that night. The next morning we started to get in the rear of Tullahoma, to destroy the rebel communications. We moved rapidly to Hillsborough, leaving two companies of the One hundred and twenty-third at that place, until relieved by a brigade of infantry, under General Beatty, and from thence toward Decherd; but, on arriving at Elk River, found that the incessant rains had so swollen that stream that we could neither ford nor swim it, the current being so rapid that our horses were washed down stream. There was a bridge at Pelham, 6 miles farther up. We turned our course for that place, sending Colonel Monroe, with eight companies of the One hundred and twenty-third Illinois down Elk River, to destroy, if possible, the road and railroad bridges over Elk River at Estill Springs, with orders, if successful, to come down the railroad and join me at Decherd, or below. On his arrival at the railroad, he found a division of infantry guarding the bridges and a large wagon train. He immediately fell back to Hillsborough, finding it impossible to accomplish anything further, being pursued by a force of rebel cavalry, without any loss to himself, although skirmishing with and holding them in check for several miles. The next morning he moved forward, and safely joined us on the top of Cumberland Mountains.
On leaving the direct road to Decherd, and going in the direction of Pelham, we were compelled to ford streams that swam our smallest horses, and compelled us to carry our howitzers' ammunition on the men's shoulders across the streams. When near Pelham, we learned that a party of rebels were at the bridge, with the intention of destroying it on our approach. I immediately ordered the advance, under Lieutenant-Colonel, Kitchell, Ninety-eighth Illinois, and about 30 scouts of the different regiments, to go forward on a run and prevent the destruction of the bridge. They dashed forward, not only saving the bridge, but taking 2 of the party prisoners, and capturing a drove of 78 mules, which were sent back to Hillsborough in charge of a company. We soon reached the South Fork of Elk River, and found the water deep enough to swim our tallest horses. The stream, though rapid, could by crossing diagonally, be swum; and, by tearing down an old mill, we made a raft that, by being towed with our picket ropes, floated our two mountain howitzers over [boldface mine]. The crossing occupied about three hours. We immediately moved forward toward Decherd, half fording and half swimming another stream on the way. We reached the railroad at 8 o'clock in the evening, and immediately attacked the garrison of about 80 men, who, protected by a stockade and the railroad cut, made a pretty good resistance. We soon dislodged them, however, when they took a position in a deep ravine, with timber in it, completely protecting them, while our men had to approach over a bare hill to attack them, exposing themselves to sharp fire at 60 yards' range. I ordered up our howitzers, and a couple of rounds of canister silenced them and drove them out. We immediately commenced destroying the railroad track and water-tanks on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, and blowing up the trestle-work on the branch road to Winchester. The railroad depot was well filled with commissary stores, which we burned. We also destroyed the telegraph instruments. A large force was by this time approaching from the north side, and, having destroyed about 300 yards of track, we left, after skirmishing <ar34_461> with their advance guard and capturing some 4 or 5 prisoners, who, on being questioned separately, stated that six regiments of infantry were about to attack us. Believing that I would have but little chance of success in a fight with them, on account of the darkness and our total ignorance of the ground, we moved off in the direction of Pelham, and, after going about 6 miles, went off the road into the woods at 2 o'clock, and bivouacked without fires until daylight.
When we started again up the Cumberland Mountains, on the Brake-field Point road, I determined to break the road, if possible, below Cowan. When partly up the mountain we could plainly see a considerable force of infantry and cavalry near Decherd. We moved forward to the Southern University, and there destroyed the Tracy City Railroad track. From there I sent a detachment of 450 men, under Colonel Funkhouser, of the Ninety-eighth Illinois, to destroy the railroad at Tantalon, and went forward myself in the direction of Anderson, intending to strike the railroad at that place. Colonel Funkhouser reported to me that three railroad trains lay at Tantalon, loaded with troops, and my scouts reported two more trains at Anderson. Both places being approachable only by a bridle-path, I deemed it impossible to accomplish anything further; besides, the picket force left at the railroad, near the university, were driven in by cavalry, who preceded a railroad train loaded with infantry. They were now on my track and in our rear. I collected my force, and determined to extricate them. Leaving a rear guard to skirmish with and draw them down the mountain, I started on the road toward Chattanooga. When about 8 miles from the university, during a tremendous rain, which obliterated our trail, I moved the entire command from the road about 2 miles eastward into the woods, leaving the rear guard to draw them forward down the mountain, which they did, and then escaped through the woods and joined us, some not coming up until next morning. As soon as the rebel column had passed us, we struck through the mountains, without guides, in the direction of Pelham, and came out at the place we intended to strike, and reached the foot of the mountain, at Gilham's Cove, over a very rocky and steep road. We bivouacked at 10 p.m., and next morning at daylight started for Manchester, just getting ahead of Forrest, who, with nine regiments of cavalry and two pieces of artillery, aimed to intercept us at Pelham.
We reached Manchester at noon, having been in the saddle or fighting about twenty hours out of each twenty-four for eleven days, and all the time drenched with rain, our men half starved and our horses almost entirely without forage, yet our officers and men seemed willing and cheerful, and are now only anxious for another expedition, if by such they can accomplish any good. We did not lose a single man in our expedition to the rear of Tullahoma. If our course had not been impeded by the streams flooded beyond all precedent, we must have captured one or two railroad trains, one of them having General Buckner and staff on board; we should have had ample time to have thoroughly torn up the railroad in daylight at several points, whilst on account of the darkness we were compelled to follow the main roads, and the time lost in going via Pelham enabled the rebels to throw a large force in pursuit of us.
I am, very respectfully,
 J. T. WILDER,  Colonel Seventeenth Indiana Infantry, Commanding Brigade.
 [Maj. JOHN LEVERING, Asst. Adjt. Gen., 1st Brig., 4th Div., 14th Army Corps.]



4. Braxton Bragg
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXIII/1 [S# 34] JUNE 23-JULY 7, 1863.--The Middle Tennessee, or Tullahoma, Campaign.
No. 89.--Reports of General Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army, commanding Army of Tennessee.

[ar34_583 con't]
TULLAHOMA, June 27, 1863.
(Received at Richmond June 28.)
Yesterday the enemy in large force passed my right after skirmishing sharply along my whole front for two days. The line of Shelbyville being too long to be held successfully by my force, I to-day resumed my position in my intrenchments at this place to await the full developments [boldface mine].
 BRAXTON BRAGG.
 General S. COOPER.
-----
DECHERD, July 1, 1863.
(Received at Richmond July 2.)
Finding my communication seriously endangered by movements of the enemy, I last night took up a more defensible position this side of Elk River (which now, by reason of heavy rains, is impassable except at the bridges), losing nothing of importance.
 BRAXTON BRAGG, General, Commanding.
 General S. COOPER.
 <ar34_584>
BRIDGEPORT, ALA., VIA CHATTANOOGA, July 3, 1863.
(Received at Richmond July 4.)
Unable to obtain a general engagement without sacrificing my communications, I have, after a series of skirmishes, withdrawn the army to this river. It is now coming down the mountains. I hear of no formidable pursuit.
 BRAXTON BRAGG, General, Commanding.
 General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.
-----
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
July 3, 1863.
GENERAL: My last advices to the department represented the enemy advancing upon us in heavy force. We were immediately ready to receive him, and offered him battle, but he declined, and while holding a strong position, which we could not successfully attack, threw a force to our right and rear by which he successfully assailed our communications. No adequate force could be placed at these several points along the line without too much reducing our main body. I accordingly withdrew to Tullahoma, and reached there just in time to prevent an attack upon its feeble garrison.
The enemy established himself again in strong position on the defensive, and moved another heavy column against our bridges over Elk River, now swollen by heavy rains. By making a rapid march and using the railroad successfully, we saved all our supplies, and crossed the Elk just before a heavy column appeared at the upper bridge. We were now back against the mountains, in a country affording us nothing, with a long line of railroad to protect, and half a dozen passes on the right and left by which our rear could be gained. In this position it was perfectly practicable for the enemy to destroy our means of crossing the Tennessee, and thus secure our ultimate destruction without a battle. Having failed to bring him to that issue, so much desired by myself and troops, I reluctantly yielded to the necessity imposed by my position and inferior strength, and put the army in motion for the Tennessee River [boldface mine]. Should we succeed in crossing it successfully (and I hear of no formidable pursuit up to this morning), the Tennessee will be taken as our line.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 BRAXTON BRAGG, General, Commanding.
 General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding, &c., Jackson, Miss.
-----
HDQRS. ARMY OF TENNESSEE, VIA CHATTANOOGA, July 7, 1863. (Received July 8.)
Since my report from Bridgeport, the whole army has crossed the Tennessee. The pursuit of the enemy was checked and driven back at University Place, on the Cumberland Mountains. Our movement was attended with trifling loss of men and materials.
 BRAXTON BRAGG.
 General S. COOPER.



5. Leonidas Polk, notes
O.R.- SERIES I-VOL. XXIII/1 [S# 34] JUNE 23-JULY 7, 1863.-The Middle Tenn., or Tullahoma, Campaign. No. 102.-Notes of Lieut. W. B. Richmond, aide-de-camp to Lieutenant-General Polk, on movement of the Army of Tenn. from Tullahoma to Chattanooga, June 26-July 7, 1863.(*)

<ar34_618>
FRIDAY, June 26, 1863.
The commanding general having learned that the enemy had withdrawn his forces from Franklin, Triune, and all other points, and relieved even the trains of all guards, for the purpose of concentrating on Murfreesborough all available strength, and to make a formal movement; and it having been learned also that his right was in front of Liberty Gap and threatening that position, while his right extended to the right of Hoover's Gap, General Bragg sent for General Polk this afternoon to hold a conference in regard to the situation of affairs.
General Bragg wished General Polk to move his corps out to Guy's Gap, on the Murfreesborough pike, that night, and by daylight next morning to move to the right and assail the enemy before Liberty Gap in flank and rear, it being understood that Hardee would press him from the east side at the same time. Owing to the character of the country, the heavy cedar growth, and the peculiar topography, the general objected, considering the position he was about being thrown in nothing short of a man-trap. General Bragg having later in the day learned that Hardee had been warmly engaged with a good part of his command, sent General Polk the following note:
SHELBYVILLE, June 26, 1863---5 p.m.
Lieutenant-General POLK, Present:
By note an hour since I informed you that the movement proposed for to-morrow was abandoned. The reason is this: At 9 p.m. the enemy, with a force supposed to be as large as Hardee's corps, was turning the left of General Stewart, stationed between Fairfield and Hoover's Gap. Under this statement the general wishes your judgment as to whether it be possible to hold a line this side of Tullahoma, to strike the enemy successfully this side of Tullahoma, or is a retreat to Tullahoma a necessity!
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. MACKALL, Chief of Staff.
At a later hour it was discovered that Stewart's right had also been turned, and a movement to Tullahoma became imperative. At 11 p.m. the general received orders to move his command at the earliest practicable hour next morning to Tullahoma, and at once issued the following order to Generals Cheatham and Withers:
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Shelbyville, June 26, 1863--11.30 p.m.
Major-General CHEATHAM Commanding Division :
General: The lieutenant-general commanding directs that you move your division from its present position to Tullahoma by the Schoefner Bridge and Rowesville road turning to the right at Rowesville. Let the movement be commenced at the earliest hour possible to-morrow morning.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Shelbyville, June 26, 1863--11.30 p.m.
Major-General WITHERS, Commanding Division:
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs that you move your division <ar34_619> from its present position to Tullahoma by the Flat Creek road. Let the movement be commenced at the earliest hour possible to-morrow morning.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Saturday, June 27, 1863, at 6 a.m., the general received the following note:
HEADQUARTERS, June 27, 1863--5.30 a.m.
Lieutenant-General POLK, Commanding Corps:
GENERAL: The general commanding directs me to say that it is of the utmost importance that your troops should be put in motion at once. If you think that the cavalry is not enough to protect your wagon train, leave a brigade of infantry. The enemy is pushing to get ahead of us.
I remain, general, your obedient servant,
DAVID URQUHART, Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
And issued the following order:
CIRCULAR.]           HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE, June 27, 1863--5.30 a.m.
Division commanders will all detail a brigade each of their infantry to guard their wagon trains, and will at once put their infantry and artillery in motion and press forward.
By command of Lieutenant-General Polk:
THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Cheatham marched by the Schoefner Bridge road and Withers by Flat Creek road. At 8 a.m. Colonel [O. F.] Strahl, with the last of Cheatham's command, passed out of the town, and the general and staff followed, leaving a few wagons to bring off the remnant of commissary and quartermaster's stores. At I p.m., having reached Schoefner's Bridge, the general found Cleburne's division, of Hardee's corps, had cut into the line. Halted him until the whole of Cheatham's division had passed. At 3 p.m., having reached the junction of the Wartrace and Tullahoma and Shelbyville and Tullahoma roads near Rowesville, and hearing the enemy were pressing our cavalry at Wartrace, 5 miles off, the general, to protect his flank and rear, ordered Wright's brigade to be posted at Rowesville, in position to hold the road, and with the balance of the command pushed on and encamped 7 miles from Tullahoma.
Sunday, June 28, 1863, at 2 a.m., the general received the following order:
TULLAHOMA, June 27, 1863--10 p.m.
Lieutenant-General POLK,
Near General Cheatham's:
GENERAL I inclose you a letter from General Cleburne, and General Bragg firmly and positively orders you to see that your baggage wagons move on, and that those that break down be removed instantly, as is the custom, from the road, so that the troops and trains of Cleburne's may pass. His safety is now endangered by this unjustifiable course of your officer, and with it that of the army [boldface mine].
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. MACKALL,
Chief of Staff.
[Inclosure.]
Lieutenant-General POLK [HARDEE]:
GENERAL: This road in my front is taken up with trains and troops of the commands. I am making but slow progress at this moment---6.45 p.m. My rear is but 1 ½ miles south of Schoefner's Bridge. Some of General Polk's officers (Colonel [D. M.] Donald [Donnell] for one) stop his command, and, in consequence, everything in rear of him, <ar34_620> whenever a wagon breaks down. I ordered him to shove all wagons which were broken down out of the road, and push on. He said his orders from higher authority were to leave none of the wagons behind, and he would obey those orders. This policy will risk the safety of the army. I can hear the enemy's artillery and small-arms on my flank and rear [boldface mine].
P. R. CLEBURNE, Major-general.
[Indorsements.]
HEADQUARTERS HARDEE's CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE, June 27, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Brigadier-General Mackall, chief of staff.
W. J. HARDEE, Lieutenant-General.
Lieutenant-General HARDEE,Commanding Corps :
Fully approved.
B. B. [BRAXTON BRAGG.]
The general at once replied as follows:
IN THE FIELD, FIVE MILES FROM TULLAHOMA,
June 28--1.45 a.m.
Brigadier-General MACKALL, Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I am in receipt of your note of 10 p.m. of the 27th, with its inclosure. The conduct of Colonel Donald [Donnell] is in the highest degree reprehensible, and entirely at variance with orders from these headquarters and the practice of this corps. From whom he has received orders I know not. The impropriety shall be stopped, and the facts investigated.
L. POLK, Lieutenant-General.
At 2.30 the general received the following:
TULLAHOMA, June 27--11 p.m.
Lieutenant-General POLK, Schaefner's Bridge Road:
Push on your trains at once with the greatest dispatch. Martin's cavalry has been utterly defeated before Shelbyville.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. MACKALL, Chief of Staff.
And immediately issued orders for the whole train to be put in motion. He addressed the following note to General Wharton:
IN THE FIELD, FIVE MILES FROM TULLAHOMA,
June 28, 1863--3 a.m.
[General J. A. WHARTON:]
GENERAL: I have just been informed that General Martin has been badly defeated at Shelbyville, from which I take it for granted that the rear of the column on the Rowesville and Tullahoma road is uncovered by cavalry. If you have no other orders to the contrary, I think it desirable, and so direct, that you move your column back, or so much of it as is not under other orders, to Rowesville, so as to cover the rear of my troops and those of General Hardee moving on this road. If the infantry shall have moved onward from Rowesville before you reach there, you had better follow them up the creek about a mile to a point at which a road comes into the Rowesville and Tullahoma road from Shelbyville. Supposing you free to act, this movement should be made as promptly as possible, so as to intercept any movement from Shelbyville via Schoefner's Bridge. Inform the officer in the rear of the column of what you conclude to do, and me also.
L. POLK,  Lieutenant-General.
At daylight the train and troops were all in motion, but owing to the continued rains the roads were in a terrible condition, and after infinite labor by heavy details the trains arrived at Tullahoma at only about 4 p.m. <ar34_621>
Monday, June 29, 1863, at 6 a.m., General Polk received the following:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Tullahoma, June 29, 1863.
GENERAL: The enemy's infantry are reported on Manchester road within 5 miles; force unknown, but increasing. Place 500 men in Fort Rains, to hold the post.
By order of General Bragg:
W. W. MACKALL, Chief of Staff.
And issued the following:
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS,
Tullahoma, June 29, 1863--5.30 a.m.
Major-General WITHERS:
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs me to transmit to you the accompanying request from General Mackall, and to request you to make the detail required, under a competent officer, as early as practicable.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-General.
At 7 a.m., Lieutenant [Towson] Ellis, aide-de-camp to General Bragg, informed the general that the enemy were advancing in line of battle on three different roads, and directing him (General Polk) to at once put his command in position. The necessary orders were issued, and at 8 a.m. the whole corps marched out to the line selected. After getting his command in position, General Polk went to General Bragg, about 9 a.m., for orders. While there, General Bragg informed the general that the enemy had destroyed the railroad at Decherd, and interrupted his communications with the rear; that the enemy's mounted force was so great as to render it impossible for him (Bragg) to prevent it, and that he had determined to give the enemy battle where he then was (at Tullahoma), and for that reason would recall Walthall's brigade at Allisons Bridge. General Polk then remarked that if it was his determination to fight there, it was very proper to recall the brigade. The general then rode along the entire lines, and, overtaking General Hardee, informed him (General Hardee) of General Bragg's determination, and told him that he (General Polk) thought that determination under the circumstances an injudicious one [boldface mine].
They then both, about 3 p.m., went by appointment to army headquarters. There was present at the conference then held, General Bragg, General Mackall, General Polk, General Hardee, and Col. David Urquhart, who was understood as acting as General Bragg's private secretary. General Bragg asked General Polk what was his counsel. General Polk, after reminding General Bragg that his communications with his base were destroyed, took the ground that his first duty was to reestablish his communications. General Bragg replied that they had been reestablished since the interview of the morning. General Polk then asked, "How do you propose to maintain them?" He replied, "By posting cavalry along the line." General Polk remarked, in his opinion, he had not cavalry enough at his disposal to cover other points and cover that line also, and therefore the enemy would possess himself of the line by driving off the cavalry in less than thirty-six hours; that if he (the enemy) did so, he would no doubt do it in force sufficient to hold the communications, in which event he (General Bragg) would be as effectually besieged as Pemberton in Vicksburg--his sources of supplies cut off. The enemy would not strike him a blow, but reduce him by starvation either to surrender on the spot or to a retreat along the line which he had indicated by way of Fayetteville, Huntsville, and across the Tennessee in the vicinity of Decatur. In this last event animals <ar34_622> and men, being exhausted for want of food, would be unfitted for resistance, and his whole wagon train, including ordnance and his artillery, would fall a prey to the enemy. It was doubtful also in such a case if he could get the army itself across the river. But supposing he succeeded in this last, he would find himself in the hills of North Alabama without food, and his army would be forced to disperse to avoid starvation. In the mean time the enemy would pass over the mountain, take possession of Chattanooga, and march without interruption into Georgia and the Carolinas, taking possession of the heart of the Confederacy. To avoid all these results, his opinion was, he should fall back in the direction of his base, so as to keep the line connecting him with it all the time covered. He said, "That is all very well, but what do you distinctly propose to have done?" General Polk replied he should fall back or retreat immediately, as he did not think there was a moment to spare. "Then," said General Bragg, "you propose that we shall retreat." General Polk said, "I do, and that is my counsel." General Hardee was then asked what he thought. He replied that General Polk’s views carried great weight with them, but he was not prepared to advise a retreat. He thought it would be well to have some infantry sent along the line to support the cavalry and to wait for further developments. It was agreed that this should be done, and that the infantry should be ordered back upon the line. This closed the conference.
During the forenoon the following orders were issued:
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Tullahoma, June 29, 1863.
Major-Generals CHEATHAM and WITHERS:
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs that you furnish the necessary details from your division to Captain [W. J.] Morris, to throw up breastworks along your line where none exist.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, Tullahoma, June 29, 1863.
Captain [EDWARD B.] SAYERS:
CAPTAIN: The lieutenant-general commanding directs that you throw up breastworks along our line where none exist; you will avail yourself of all necessary tools for the work. Major-Generals Cheatham and Withers have been instructed to furnish you with all necessary details.
Respectfully, captain, your obedient servant,
THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-General.
The men remained in line all day and all night. Raining all day and night.
Tuesday, June 30, 1863, at 11 a.m., the general received the following:
JUNE 30, 1863--11 a.m.
General POLK:
The enemy reported pressing back our troops on Manchester and on Hillsborough roads.
W. W. MACKALL, Chief of Staff.
Raining in heavy showers throughout the day. At 3 p.m. the general received the following order:
TULLAHOMA, June 30, 1863.
General POLK:
Have your wagon train ready to move on Allisona by the road south of the rail so <ar34_623> soon as Hardee's train is out of the way. This will be notified to you, but will most probably be about 10 p.m. to-night.
Respectfully,
W. W. MACKALL, Chief of Staff.
At 5 p.m. his train was drawn out ready for a move, and at 7 the whole train started for Allisona by different roads.
At 11 p.m. the general and staff, at the head of his column, started for Allisona, and reached that place at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1, 1863. By 12 m. the train and troops had all arrived. The general received the following:
DECHERD.
General POLK:
Cross all your command; take position to defend the crossing for cavalry on dirt road bridges; destroy railroad bridges thoroughly, superstructure and piers; send trains here, and ride over yourself.
BRAXTON BRAGG.
And issued this:
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, Allisona, July 1, 1863.
Major-General CHEATHAM:
General: The lieutenant-general commanding directs that you assume the immediate command of his troops here, and at once take necessary steps to carry into execution the instructions contained in the following telegram from General Bragg, to wit:
DECHERD.
Cross all your command; take position to defend the crossing for cavalry on dirt road bridges; destroy railroad bridges thoroughly, superstructure and piers; send trains here, and ride over yourself.
Most respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Having received the following dispatch from General Mackall:
DECHERD, [July] 1, [1863]--7 p.m.
GENERAL: The enemy have reached your front; close up. The question to be decided instantly, Shall we fight on the Elk, or take post at foot of mountain at Cowan? Answer.
W. W. MACKALL, Chief of Staff.
The general returned this answer:
ALLISONA, July 1, 1863.
General MACKALL:
You ask, "Shall we fight on the Elk, or take post at foot of mountain at Cowan!" I reply, take post at foot of mountain at Cowan. In that case I think as much of our wagon train as possible should be thrown over the mountain, and supplies of grain ordered up by railroad for animals which we must retain on this side.
L. POLK,  Lieutenant-General.
The following were received from General Hardee:
[Confidential.]
HEADQUARTERS, July 1, 1863--8.30 p.m.
Lieutenant-General POLK:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I have been thinking seriously of the condition of affairs with this army. I deeply regret to see General Bragg in his present enfeebled state of health. If we have a fight, he is evidently unable either to examine and determine his line of battle or to take command on the field. What shall we do? What is best to be done to save this army and its honor? I think we ought to counsel together. Where is Buckner? The enemy evidently believes we are retreating, and will press us vigorously to-morrow. When can we meet? I would like Buckner to be present [boldface mine].
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
W. J. HARDEE, Lieutenant-General.
 <ar34_624>
JULY 1, 1863.
Lieutenant-General POLK:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I have answered unhesitatingly, "Let us fight at the mountain." This decision will render unnecessary the meeting which I sought to-night; we can talk about the matter to-morrow. I do not desire that any one but Buckner and yourself should know my anxiety [boldface mine]. My mind is in part relieved by the decision, which I have no doubt will be made, to fight at the mountain. If asked, under the circumstances named in my letter, whether we ought to fight or retreat, my mind inclines now to the latter course.
Truly, yours,
W. J. HARDEE.
And this from army headquarters:
DECHERD, July 1, 1863.
General POLK:
The general commanding requests you to send your engineer troops at once to repair the road leading over the mountain as far as University Place.
Yours, respectfully,
H. W. WALTER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
During the day the general and staff rode over to Decherd, the headquarters of General Bragg, and returned to Allisona at 5 p.m.
Thursday, July 2, at 3 a.m., the general received the following order:
ORDERS.]                                           JULY 2, 1863--1.30 a.m.
I. Polk's corps will move to Cowan; Hardee's corps on the road to Brakefield Point. The movement will commence at daylight this morning. Hardee will send a brigade to Brakefield Point, and halt the main body at the junction of his route of march with the road, leading from Decherd to Brakefield Point until the communications between Cowan and Brakefield Point are examined.
II. The reserve under Buckner will precede Polk's corps to Cowan.
IIL Wheeler's corps will observe the Elk, dispute the passage if attempted, cover the rear of the army until the corps are in position, then move to enemy's right, and harass his march. He will send troops to destroy the road leading from Winchester and Stevenson, and defend the railway against any attempt on the part of the enemy.
By command of General Bragg:
W. W. MACKALL, Chief of Staff.
The three generals will keep each other and the general-in-chief fully informed from time to time of their progress and dispositions.
W. W. MACKALL, Chief of Staff.
The necessary orders were issued, the command put in motion, both the railroad and dirt road bridges having been destroyed across Elk River, and the following sent to General Bragg:
JULY 2, [1863]--5.20 a.m.
General BRAGG, Decherd:
GENERAL: Orders received. My columns in motion for Cowan on different reads. A guide for General Buckner furnished; also for a third route. Will my troops marching by way of Decherd come in contact with those of General Hardee? Answer. The field guns of which I spoke have not yet been taken away by the rail train. Please say if the train is to be expected. Railroad and dirt road bridges both destroyed at Allisona.
L. POLK, Lieutenant-General.
Shortly after the troops started, orders were received to move the corps to Decherd. The head of the column was overtaken at Winchester, and turned to the left toward Decherd. After proceeding a short distance, the original orders were renewed, and the command proceeded to Cowan, and there drew up in line of battle, covering the immense train of the corps and of the cavalry, both flanks being protected by the mountain. <ar34_625>
At 4 p.m. the general received the following:
JULY 2, 1863.
Lieutenant-General POLK:
General Bragg directs you to put your train in march over the mountain at once, sending with the train the brigade of your corps now at Cowan.
W. W. MACKALL, Chief of staff.
And at once put the train in motion over the mountain, two brigades being detailed for that purpose, the enemy pressing our cavalry at Allisona, having crossed at fords both above and below that point.
Friday, July 3, at 2 a.m., the general reached University Place, the trains and troops having all passed, and the cavalry left to defend the passes and dispute the approach of the enemy. At 4 p.m. he left with his staff, and encamped with General Cheatham 6 miles from University Place.
Saturday, July 4, by daylight the whole command was in motion. At 10 a.m. the general received the following dispatch:
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS
Railroad Crossing, near University.
Lieutenant-General POLK:
The enemy are engaging me very warmly at this point; our men are maintaining their ground bravely. The enemy have infantry and cavalry, and are evidently re-enforcing.
Very respectfully,
JOS. WHEELER, Major-General.
And at 11.30 a.m. the following:
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY,
Near Railroad Crossing, July 4, 1863---9.20 a.m. [?]
Lieutenant General POLK:
I would respectfully suggest that infantry be left to block up some of the roads, as the cavalry can retire by one road and can block up the road behind them as they go down, if axes can be left by the infantry to accomplish the work. These precautions may prove unnecessary, but, if the enemy press us very warmly, may be of some advantage with great respect, your obedient servant,
JOS. WHEELER, Major-General.
And having made provision for acting on the suggestions contained in Wheeler's dispatch, sent him the following:
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE, July 4, 1863--7 a.m. [?]
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding acknowledges receipt this moment of your note of yesterday 7 p.m. respecting supply of axes. He has stripped his batteries in order to comply with your request, and sends back by a detail all the available axes of his command, which he regrets to say may not be more than a dozen; but these, if regularly handled, may accomplish the desired work. The descent is exceedingly difficult. General Wharton has already been instructed to send forward to the top of the mountain a detail, with all his available axes, to commence at once the work of obstruction by cutting the trees half in two, to be completed after you shall have passed. The axes now collected are sent to General Martin, who will detail an adequate force to co-operate with General Wharton in this work.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-General.
[Maj. Gen. JOSEPH WHEELER.]
Sent to General Martin to be read and acted on by him and by General Wharton.
THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-General.
«40 R R--VOL XXIII, PT I» <ar34_626>
At the mouth of Battle Creek the cavalry and its train and the troops of General Buckner were turned down the river and crossed at Bridgeport. The whole of Polk's corps crossed at mouth of Battle Creek, and at 5 p.m. the last of the corps crossed the Tennessee River on the pontoon bridge 1 mile above the mouth of Battle Creek, Withers encamping at Shellmound Depot and Cheatham nearer the river.
Sunday, July 5, 1863, by 5 a.m., the command was moving on the road for Chattanooga, and at 9.30 a.m. the general dispatched the following to General Mackall:
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Shellmound Depot, July 5, 1863--9.30 a.m.
Brigadier-General MACKALL:
GENERAL: I dispatched you this morning at 5 o'clock to the effect that your orders of yesterday at 5 p.m. reached me too late to comply with them. Withers' division will encamp to-night at Whiteside's Depot, where it will await further orders. Cheatham's division is encamped between Shellmound and Bridgeport, near to Shellmound. The whole of the wagon train has been pushed on to Chattanooga, under orders from General Bragg to General Withers, as I am informed by the latter. Having no instructions as to the disposition of the bridges over Battle Creek and Tennessee River, and knowing that General Hardee might avail of them, and that the cavalry were behind us, I left them as I found them, and sent a message to that effect to General Bragg by his staff officer (Captain [P. H.] Thomson) immediately after my crossing. Being without rations for my command, and finding subsistence stores at Shellmound, I have taken charge of them, and ordered two days' rations for Cheatham's division. These issues have been made through a commandant of post, post commissary, and quartermaster appointed by me. Withers' division is in need of rations. It is at Whiteside's Depot, in advance of this. It cannot be supplied from this point without an engine, which is not at hand. Will you please send one at once? To facilitate intercommunication, it is important that a telegraphic office should be established at this place. May I ask you to order it without delay? The roads being very bad and teams jaded, I have ordered the guns and caisson-boxes of Withers' division to be unloaded and placed at depot for shipment by train. Will you order the train for their shipment? The ordnance wagons containing small-arms ammunition of Withers' division have also been unloaded, to be shipped by cars; Cheatham's ordnance wagons also. Cars will be required for the shipment et: 1,200 sick I have here from Withers' division.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
L. POLK,  Lieutenant-General, Commanding.
And received the following:
JULY 5, 1863.
Lieutenant-General POLK:
Your dispatch of 9.20 a.m. received. It was, of course, necessary to take supplies from Shellmound if you were out, but at the same time I must say, in justice to the staff of this army, that supplies were yesterday shipped to you, and the greater portion of the provisions returned. I will, of course, use my exertions to gather up the guns and ammunition abandoned. I will try and get provisions to General Withers.
By courier to-day I gave General Bragg's instructions for your corps to move on to Chattanooga. I have not yet been able to evacuate this place, not yet knowing whether the unprotected pontoon bridge will afford a passage to the cavalry.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. MACKALL, Chief of Staff.
In answer to which the general dispatched the following:
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, Shellmound Depot, July 5, 1863--5 p.m.
Brigadier-General-MACKALL:
GENERAL: Your dispatch in reply to mine at 9.30 a.m. is received. It is true that supplies were yesterday shipped to me at the pontoon bridge, but as my order to the officer in command of the head of my column was to encamp the troops and park the trains near the bridge after crossing, and as it was superseded by an order from the general commanding, it will be perceived that no blame attached to any one for the failure of the troops to receive the rations sent up by the river to the pontoon bridge.
In regard to the dismounting of the guns and ammunition, I have respectfully to say that upon my arrival at Shellmound Depot I found that General Withers, in command of the head of my column, in consequence of the exceedingly bad condition of <ar34_627> the roads, had unloaded my ordnance trains and dismounted the guns and ammunition-boxes of several of his batteries, with the view of having them transported by rail. This I sanctioned, as also the dismounting of two additional batteries, entertaining no doubt that transportation could be readily furnished by rail. It certainly never occurred to me that by so doing I was abandoning either the ammunition or guns. One of my divisions was still in the rear, with which it was my intention to cover and protect them. From your note, however, I am led to infer that there is a contingency as to whether railroad transportation can be had. To make sure, therefore, of their security, I will hold Cheatham's division till evening in its present position until I can recall my gun-carriages, caissons, and ordnance wagons, and have them forwarded on the common road.
You state that you have been delayed in evacuating Bridgeport in consequence of the unprotected condition of the pontoon bridge over which my corps passed. This I regret; but as I was instructed to give the use of that bridge to General Hardee's corps, whose route passed within three-fourths of a mile of it, and which I had reason to believe was still in my rear, and as I had advised him of the fact that the bridge was at his disposal, and also as I had given express instructions to Generals Wheeler and Wharton that I had left it for their use (a fact which I communicated through Captain Thomson to army headquarters), I did not feel that I was called upon to protect it.
Your order instructing me to leave a brigade on the other side reached me only this morning, my troops being several miles from the point. Of this I immediately informed you. Your order being to leave a brigade on the other side of the river, implied an impression on your mind that I had not erected, and under it I did not feel authorized to march a brigade back without further instructions.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
L. POLK,  Lieutenant-General.
And at the same time sent the following to General Cheatham:
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, July 5,1863--5.30 p.m.
Major-General CHEATHAM:
GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding directs me to say that the tenor of a note just received from General Mackall renders it expedient, in his judgment, that you should transport your guns and caissons to Chattanooga. You will, therefore, not have them left at the depot, but take charge of them yourself. If Captain [W. H.] Fowler has not gone, he desires his guns and caissons to be remounted at once. You will please give these orders, and call at the general's headquarters at your earliest convenience.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
THOMAS M. JACK, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Withers encamped 13 miles and Cheatham 20 miles from Chattanooga. Monday, July 6, 1863, by 5 a.m., the army again in motion, and at dark Withers' division reached his camp.
Tuesday, July 7, 1863, by dark Cheatham's division reached camp. During the retreat not a gun was lost by the corps; not a pound of ordnance or quartermaster's stores, and not $2,000 worth of commissary stores, and these last were distributed to the families of soldiers at Shelbyville. Though there was some straggling, there were not 1,000 men absent from the corps that started with it from Shelbyville; and, owing to recruits that met it on its arrival in Chattanooga and en route, it was absolutely 400 stronger on its arrival than when it began the retrograde movement.
HEADQUARTERS POLK'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE, August 29, 1863.
The foregoing facts all came within my own knowledge, and were all taken from my private journal, save the conversations reported (which were given to me by Lieutenant-General Polk) and the letters and dispatches, the originals of which were placed at my disposal for copying.
 W. B. RICHMOND, Aide-de-Camp.



6. Patrick R. Cleburne
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXIII/1 [S# 34] JUNE 23-JULY 7, 1863.--The Middle Tennessee, or Tullahoma, Campaign.
No. 91.--Report of Maj. Gen. P. R. Cleburne, C. S. Army, commanding division, Hardee's corps.

[ar34_586 con't]
HDQRS. CLEBURNE'S DIVISION, ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Tyner's Station, Tenn., August 3, 1863.
COLONEL: On June 24 last, I was stationed at Wartrace, Tenn., with two brigades of my division. Polk's brigade was at Tullahoma, 15 miles south of Wartrace, and Liddell's brigade was at Bellbuckle, a village 5 miles north of Wartrace. A range of hills dividing the headwaters of Duck River from the headwaters of Stone's River separated our positions from those of the enemy. There were several gaps or good roads through these hills, two of which led directly on Liddell's position at Bellbuckle, viz, Railroad Gap, via New Fosterville, and Liberty Gap. Both of these gaps Liddell was ordered to picket. The former was 4 and the latter 3 miles from Bellbuckle. Two other gaps (Dismal Hollow and Hoover's) gave ingress to the country immediately on the right of Liddell's position; these were held by some cavalry of Wheeler's division.
On the evening of June 24, I had information from the corps commander <ar34_587> that the enemy had suddenly advanced in force simultaneously on Liberty and Hoover's Gaps and had carried both positions.
On the morning of the 25th, in pursuance of orders, I advanced Wood's brigade to Bellbuckle. I found Liddell still guarding the approaches via Liberty Gap and New Fosterville. He was holding two wooded hills a mile south of Liberty Gap. On the evening of the 25th, Liddell, supposing the enemy retiring, advanced on the gap; but after some heavy fighting, in which he inflicted a considerable loss on the enemy and suffered little himself, he fell back to his former position. I was now satisfied the enemy was still in force at Liberty Gap; that he had at least a division of infantry, besides cavalry and artillery, so I ordered up three regiments of [S. A.M.] Wood's brigade and a section of [Henry C.] Semple's battery to Liddell's support. One regiment of Wood's and one of Liddell's brigade, with the other section of Semple's battery, were guarding the approached via New Fosterville.
On the morning of the 26th, this section of artillery and the two regiments rejoined their brigades in front of Liberty Gap, and were replaced by a regiment of Churchill's brigade, of my division, which arrived at Bellbuckle on the morning of the 26th. The remaining two regiments of Churchill's brigade I moved up as a reserve to the force in front of Liberty Gap. The enemy kept up a constant firing all day, the 26th, and advanced twice with double lines of skirmishers. They were driven back, and at night both parties held their former positions. I had no ammunition to spare, and did not reply to the continual fire of the enemy [boldface mine] except with five Whitworth rifles, which appeared to do good service. Mounted men were struck at distances ranging from 700 to 1,300 yards. During the day the enemy, advancing in overwhelming force through Hoover's Gap, forced back Stewart's division almost to Fairfield, thus threatening to cut me off from Wartrace.
At night I received orders to retreat on Tullahoma, via Schoefner's Bridge, at daylight on the 27th, which I did without any loss, although my men were much wearied by the watching and fighting in front of the gaps, for it rained incessantly during most of the time. The men had no changes of clothing, no tents, and could not even light fires to dry themselves. Many had no shoes, and others left their shoes buried in the deep mire of the roads.
My entire loss in the several fights amounted to 121.
I respectfully submit this general report of these engagements, for the details of which I refer you to the report of General Liddell and his regimental commanders, forwarded herewith.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 P. R. CLEBURNE, Major-General.
 Lieut. Col. ARCHER ANDERSON, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hill's Corps, Army of Tennessee.



7. Thomas Leonidas Crittenden

O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXIII/1 [S# 34] JUNE 23-JULY 7, 1863.--The Middle Tennessee, or Tullahoma, Campaign. No. 54.--Report of Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden, U. S. Army, commanding Twenty-first Army Corps.

[ar34_521 con't]
HDQRS. TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS, ADJT. GEN.'S OFFICE,
Manchester, Tenn., July 13, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to orders received at Murfreesborough on Wednesday, June 24, 1863, at 2.15 a.m., I marched on the same morning for Lumley's Stand, by the way of Bradyville, with Major-General Palmer's and Brigadier-General Wood's divisions. General Van' Cleve, with his division, remained at Murfreesborough to garrison the fort. Just beyond Bradyville, in Gillies' Gap, we encountered a small force of the enemy's cavalry, who were driven so easily as to cause no delay. General Palmer, who was in the advance, lost 1 man killed and 1 wounded at this place. It began to rain the morning we left Murfreesborough, and rained incessantly for fifteen days. I have to report that bad roads, rendered worse in places than any I ever saw by the unusual rains, occasioned all the obstacles we had to surmount. Notwithstanding these difficulties, we occupied Lumley's Stand on the evening of the 25th with General Turchin's command of cavalry, Brigadier-General Turchin having reported to General Palmer on the 24th, before I reached the front. While at Hollow Springs, a point about 2 miles from the summit of the hill by which we ascended to the plateau, and the only place in the vicinity furnishing enough water for the command, I received an order to march directly to Manchester. I at once informed the general commanding the department that General Palmer's train was not yet up the hill, but that no time should be lost. Officers and men worked day and night with great energy and cheerfulness, 50 men working at each wagon, and yet could not clear the road of General Palmer's and General Turchin's trains until Saturday, the 27th, at 12 m. General Wood followed as soon as the road was cleared, and succeeded in getting his command over the hill in eleven hours. In this ascent General Wood's division reaped the benefit of marching with the least possible transportation, and for this I think the general is entitled to the commendation of the general commanding the department. At this time I was much relieved at the receipt of a letter from you, stating that the general commanding appreciated the obstacles I had encountered, and therefore did not expect me to reach Manchester, as ordered.
On the morning of the 28th, after gaining the plateau with the whole command, we moved as rapidly as possible toward Manchester. I and my staff arrived there at 11 a.m. I found the general commanding the department there, and by his permission sent an order to General Wood to camp at the first suitable ground, that men and animals might rest.
On the morning of the 1st of July, I was ordered to form on the left of General Thomas, about 6 miles from Manchester, holding one division in reserve. While the troops were going into position, information was <ar34_522> received at department headquarters that the enemy had evacuated Tullahoma. General Palmer was ordered to halt at Hill's Chapel, and General Wood to await orders at Manchester. Subsequently, on the same day, I received orders to march my command to Pelham, via Hillsborough. Orders were immediately sent to Generals Palmer and Wood to this effect. General Wood reached Hillsborough that night, and Pelham next day at 12 m. General Palmer could not move that night, because in moving out to form in line of battle he had to cross an almost impassable swamp, and artillery and ammunition wagons had to be dug out of the mud. That night the direction of General Palmer's march was changed by an order from department headquarters, and next day he moved to Hart's tan-yard.
I accompanied General Wood's division to Pelham. Near to Pelham we encountered a small force of rebel cavalry. They offered but slight resistance, and were driven back so rapidly that the bridge which they had fired was seized, the fire extinguished, and the bridge saved. One hour after my arrival at Pelham 1 received an order from the general commanding the department to send General Wood to Hillsborough. The men being weary and the atmosphere oppressive, I did not order the return of General Wood and his command till 6 p.m.
On the morning of the 3d, at 6.30, just as General Wood reported in person with his command from Pelham, I received your order of 1.30 a.m. of the same day, directing me to proceed to Pelham with Wood's division, to intercept any portion of Bragg's force endeavoring to escape that way, and advising me of the position of General Palmer's command. After consultation with General Wood, I concluded to delay his return to Pelham until 10 a.m., when, no further orders arriving, he marched back to Pelham, I remaining at Hillsborough with my staff, being at a point nearly equidistant from the two divisions in the places assigned to them.
General Palmer, at the suggestion of General Stanley, moved from Hart's tan-yard to support him with his cavalry in crossing Elk River, but the enemy having left, General Palmer returned to his camp.
At 5.15 p.m. of the 7th, I received your dispatch of the 4th, dated Estill Springs, directing me to occupy McMinnville, Manchester, and Hillsborough, and, if practicable, Pelham with one brigade. I at once issued orders to General Beatty, then at Manchester, to rejoin his division, then at McMinnville; to General Palmer to march in the morning to Manchester, to relieve General Beatty, and to General Wood to occupy Hillsborough, leaving one brigade at Pelham. These orders were promptly complied with, and show the relative position of my command at this date.
For more detailed information of the movements of my command since leaving Murfreesborough, I refer to the accompanying reports of Generals Palmer and Wood.
General Van Cleve, who left Murfreesborough on the 7th, with orders to occupy McMinnville, reports in two lines having taken peaceable possession of the place on the 9th.
Throughout the march officers and men of my command were cheerful and soldierly, though our part in this movement was as inglorious as it was disagreeable. I hope, however, that the presence of my command contributed somewhat to the general success.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. L. CRITTENDEN, Major-general, Commanding.
Brig. Gen. JAMES A. GARFIELD, Chief of Staff, Department of the Cumberland.
 


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