the night, anticipating this movement, the enemy fullback. We reached tuscumbia about noon, and, after slight skirmishing, took possession of the city. I immediately dispatched Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips, with two squadron of the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry, and a section of Welker's battery, to take Florence. They refused to surrender, when Colonel Phillips immediately opened on the town. A few shell brought them to terms, and we occupied the place. At the same time I ordered Colonel Cornyn forward toward Courtland, to feel the enemy. He came up with their rear some 2 miles beyond Leighton. The Command consisted on our part of the Tenth Missouri and Seventh Kansas Cavalry, about 800 in all, driving the enemy 8 miles. The rebel force was 3,500, beside one battery. The fighting of the cavalry against such odds is beyond all praise.
The next morning cavalry fell back to Tuscumbia, to await the advance of the main column.
Finding it impossible to obtain stock to mount Colonel Straight's command, I took horses and mules from my teams and mounted infantry, and furnished him some 600 head, mounting all but 200 of his men. I also turned over all my hard bread, some 10,000 rations, and he left me at midnight on the 26th instant, with the intention of going through Russellville, Moulton, and Blountsville to Gadsden, then divide, one force to strike Rome and the other Etowah Bridge.
I moved forward Monday morning, and drove the enemy across Town Creek that night, and ascertained that they were in force, under Forrest, on the opposite bank. That night I communicated with Colonel Straight, at Mount Hope, and ascertained that he was all right.
Tuesday morning, the creek rose 10 feet, and the current was so swift that neither horse nor man could cross. I immediately made disposition to cross at three points, to cover the railroad bridge and throw across foot bridges.
The resistance of the enemy was very strong, and their sharpshooters very annoying. The artillery duel was very fine, parts of Welker's, Tannrath's, Richardson's, and Robinson's batteries taking part in it. The practice on both sides was excellent. The Parrott guns drove the enemy away from their pieces, disabling and keeping them away for two hours, but the fact of my being unable to cross infantry prevented our securing them.
About noon I crossed the railroad bridge with the Eighty-first Ohio and Ninth Illinois Infantry, and soon after crossed the rest of my force, except the artillery, on foot bridges, and drove the enemy within 3 miles of Courtland, when they, hearing of the force at Moulton, fled to Decatur. I followed up, and then returned to camp at Town Creek that night, being unable to cross any of my artillery.
Colonel Straight reached Moulton Tuesday night, and commenced crossing the mountains Wednesday, having got nearly two day's start of them. They supposed he was making for Decatur, and only discovered Wednesday that he was crossing the mountains toward Georgia.
Having accomplished fully the object of the expedition, and drove the enemy, which was 5,500 strong, to Decatur, and having ene on half rations for a week, I fell back to Tuscumbia, in order to communicate with transports, to obtain rations and ammunition. On arriving there, I received information that the gunboats had gone down the river, taking the transports with them, a part of Van Dorn's force having made their appearance on the north side of the Tennessee River, and shelled South Florence that day at 4 p. m. They also planted a battery at Savannah and Duck River; but my precaution in destroying all means of cross-