ble for the whole of the Army of the Cumberland stationed along it, and with the aid of its earthen and wooden defenses, to prevent its being pierced by a force of the character and number which moved for that object in the present instance. They will always have it in their power to inflict some damage, and in the present instance. I am sorry to say that it appears to have been greater than was necessary. Our communications were suspended four days.
In my judgment a much longer time will be required to repair the reputations of some of the officers to whom the defense of our communications had been intrusted.
The abandonment of the stockade at Garrison's Fork Bridge, the mountain over the tunnel, and the burning the bridge at first-named place, without the firing of a gun, and the delay of the command at Murfreesborough to make any effort to reopen the communications as late as the 8th instant, when they were advised of the interruption as early as the 5th, are all instances of bad conduct, much more to be regretted than any injury sustained by our communications. The army should have no places filled by officers who will allow themselves on every opportunity to blacken its records.
The character of the defensive work at Christiana may afford some justification of its evacuation, but the abandonment of Wartrace, except under order, admits of none.
On the line of a railroad it is the duty of every commander to defend his position as long as he has men to do it, for, with the facilities it affords of communication, he may every moment expect re-enforcements.
In this connection I may be permitted to suggest that hereafter small earth-works be substituted for stockades to cover the troops at the points to be held, as the ditches, if properly constructed, will be equally effective in keeping out cavalry; and if the enemy should make use of artillery in his attack, no apprehensions will be felt by the occupants from the splintering and flying timbers.
Charges are herewith forwarded against two of the officers, who have shown the greatest delinquency in the discharge of their duties, for such action as the commanding general may think proper to give them. The conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Hunton, commanding the First Michigan Enginees, as well as his command, merit high commendation; also that of Mr. Beggs, the railroad agent. The prompt and able manner in which General Butterfield discharged the duties assigned him have been highly satisfactory to me.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel C. GODDARD,
Asst. Adjt. General, Army of the Cumberland.
Report of Major General Daniel Butterfield, U. S. Army, commanding Twelfth Army Corps and detachments.
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH ARMY CORPS, Stevenson, Ala., October 12, 1863.
GENERAL: In obedience to the inclosed (following) order I left this place at 10 a. m., October 6.