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, Shelby-