My division marched from Murfreesborough Wednesday morning, June 24, and I have no hesitation in saying that, if it had a free road, not cut up by the passage of heavy trains, and unimpeded by troops in front of it, it could have reached Manchester by nightfall Friday, the 26th. I am sure it could have made the march in three days.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
TH. J. WOOD,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
Captain P. P. OLDERSHAW,
Asst. Adjt. General, 21st Army Corps, Dept. of the Cumberland.
No. 56. Report of Major General John M. Palmer, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.
HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS,
Manchester, July 10, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to orders from the general commanding, I have to report the operations of this command from the 23rd of June, 1863, until its return to this post on the 8th of this instant.
On the 23rd of June, at 3 p.m., I received an order from the headquarters of the corps directing me to immediately put my command in readiness for marching, with twelve days' rations of hard bread, coffee, sugar, and salt, and a half ration of pork, and six days' forage for the animals. This order was at once communicated to the brigade commanders, and with them the most energetic efforts were employed to procure the required rations in the shortest space of time. It will be remembered by the general commanding that at the time my command was a considerable distance from Murfreesborough, from which place supplies were to be drawn-Cruft's and Grose's brigades at Cripple Creek, 7 miles, and Hazen's at Readyville, 12 miles; nor will it surprise him to be informed that with every effort the afternoon and night were consumed in obtaining and distributing the rations required by the order.
At about 4 o'clock on the morning of the 24th of June, an order was received from the headquarters of the corps, dated at 2.15 a.m. on that day, directing me to move my command at 7 a.m. to the vicinity of Bradyville, the advance brigade to occupy the ridge at the beginning of the Barrens. The necessary labor of procuring and distributing the rations and forage ordered within the time allowed put the return of baggage to Murfreesborough out of the question, and it was nearly 9 o'clock before the column was in motion. The movement commenced from Cripple Creek and Readyville about the same time-9 a.m.-by which hour it had commenced raining heavily, rendering the roads bad and traveling difficult. At about 3 o'clock, when near Welles' Church, on Browley's Fork, the advance, the One hundred and tenth Illinois, under the temporary command of Major Morton, of the Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry, acting aide-de-camp, encountered a small rebel force, and drove it back nearly a mile, skirmishing sharply. To push the enemy back rapidly, my personal escort (part of Company C, Seventh Illinois Cavalry) was ordered forward, and the rebels were soon at full speed in retreat. In this affair [Private] Henry Lasman, Company C, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, was killed, and [Sergt.] William A. Statia, same company, wounded slightly.