War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0505 Chapter XXXV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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the river. Their army has retreated via Decherd. I will cross Elk River higher up with my corps, and flank them. If I get too far down on their flank, they will retreat, by the Bragg road, through Cowan and Jasper, where I intend to strike them; will cause them to continue their retreat through Decherd and Tracy City. If we can cross to-day, it is probable that General Stanley and myself can destroy their trains, if not them. I will leave General Negley here, to attract their attention while I am crossing above. Rest assured that I will press them closely. Please see that we have rations before the 6th instant, as all we have will then be out. If you can keep us supplied, we will drive them out of Tennessee before we stop.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain and Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General.


Near Elk River Bridge, July 2, 1863 - 3.30 p. m.

Major-General THOMAS,

Commanding Fourteenth Army Corps:

GENERAL: We have driven the enemy from view on the opposite side of the river. Have possession of the stockade on the north side of the bridge. An intelligent deserter, who crossed the river and came into my lines, reports that we punished the enemy very severely with our artillery, dismounting one gun, injuring a caisson, and killing several of his men. The artillery belonging to Wheeler's cavalry division, Martin's and Wharton's brigades, are the same who were skirmishing with my command yesterday. In addition to Wheeler's cavalry on the opposite side of the river this a. m., there was Buckner's command (about 3,000), Stewart's, Churchill's [Cleburne's?], and a part of Cheatham's divisions, and the reserve artillery (sixteen pieces, chiefly 12-pounders), supported by the First Louisiana Infantry.

I have sent scouting parties to Allisona, who report three guns in position, supported by one regiment of infantry in view and some cavalry; also some wagons and tents. I have not deemed it to be your purpose to drive them from that position. Although we have scouted a distance of 3 or 4 miles along the railroad, meeting with stragglers from Sheridan's and Johnson's divisions, we have failed to open communication with either of these generals. I am making another effort. Most of the Tennessee troops were sent, by railroad, the night of the evacuation of Tullahoma, apparently only a short distance forward. Bragg is having the cars meet his forces at various points, to relieve them of stores and transportation, so as to secure his safe transit to Chattanooga.

I have the honor to remain, yours, very truly,




Jones' Ford, July 2, 1863 - 5.15 p. m.

Major-General NEGLEY,

Commanding Second Division:

Your note just received. The general directs that, if the river is not fordable to-morrow morning, to move your command to this place.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.