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. to take 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 1 1/2 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,