to our chagrin, the enemy had received intelligence of our departure from camp, and they, afraid that their delay would cut them off, only took time to fire one bridge over Duck River; our march saved the other. We reached Tullahoma three-quarters of an hour too late. We took possession of Tullahoma, giving the citizens the usual assurance of kind intentions and the motives actuating the Government in sending forces into Tennessee. Finding two whisky shops, we threatened to burn them down if the inmates retailed a single dram, and placed a guard over the premises. A force was thrown 3 miles on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, in command of Captain H. C. Rogers, to tear up the rails, fearing a surprise, which could have been thrown on us with ease but for these precautions. Pickets at some distance were placed in every thoroughfare leading to the city and a guard detailed to patrol the city. We cut the telegraph wire, opened the depot, captured the telegraph battery and instruments, and a box of telegraph papers, which an expert can read; also the following list of goods:*
* * * * * * *
Not being able to carry them with us, we left them in charge of William Moore, whose receipt I inclose, subject to your order. All goods not enumerated were loaded in one wagon, borrowed from the Twenty-fourth Illinois, but the road being impassable, we impressed two other wagons. One of them upset and burst a barrel of molasses. We sold one to help pay our forage bills.
When we reached Tullahoma no corn or forage could be had, but our boys, who are alive to the wants of their horses, found enough, and we gave to the parties receipts for all we consumed. At Tullahoma a force under the command of Lieutenant. Colonel H. W. Burdsal was ordered to Manchester to meet Captain Robie, of Company A, who was ordered to leave four hours in advance, on his way to McMinnville, of the 250 men forming the reserve bound for Shelbyville, and report himself at Manchester the next day, where he would be supported by the command ordered there.
Lieutenant-Colonel Burdsal, with 27 men, reached Manchester at 10 p.m. on the night of the 26th, after capturing 4 prisoners by passing himself off in the dark as a Southern officer, and when they betrayed themselves as soldiers on furlough he captured them. Leaving 17 men to guard them, he took 10 men, and proceeding 3 miles below the town of Manchester, made the keeper deliver up the keys and show him the premises. He found the log cabins of the soldiers, who had occupied them as guards, but upon crafty examination found them empty. He emptied the powder found in the work and set fire to five buildings, burning the machinery, houses, and material. Hearing Captain Robie had gone to Winchester, he returned to Tullahoma, but the party reported to have gone to Winchester must have been McNairy's secesh cavalry, as Captain Robie would not have disobeyed the order under which he was acting. Lieutenant-Colonel Burdsal returned that night to Tullahoma, which was a departure from my order, but executed from the information derived.
In the mean time Captain Robie had executed his order faithfully, reaching Manchester at the hour designated. Finding the powder-mill burned, he continued his march to Tullahoma, reaching there at 5 p.m. on the 27th. While Captain Robie was bivouacking 5 miles this side of McMinnville he received intelligence that McNairy's 200 cavalry intended to surround him that night and attack him. The captain
*List in detail omitted.