long against a force of 11,000 or 15,000 men. After the enemy were known to be gone. I moved my headquarters to town, detailing two companies for provost guard and ordering the provost-marshal to resume his position as such. I then placed the pickets around the town and fortifications, they having been withdrawn on the enemy's approach; these pickets were furnished by the Nineteenth Michigan Volunteer Infantry and the Twenty-second Wisconsin Volunteers, the regiments stationed at that place. The pickets numbered 215 men; the provost guard 100. These taken from 500, the total number then there (the others being on guard duty from that point to Duck River), left me in those regiments only 185 men, all having been on duty for several days and nights.
Under this state of facts I ordered Colonel Cobham, then commanding the various fragments of Slocum's corps, to furnish the pickets for the next day (Tuesday) to relieve those on duty by 8 a. m. He furnished them about 5 p. m. I also ordered him to furnish a regiment to guard the bridge builders repairing the bridge, and to furnish 100 men to guard those repairing telegraph. This last order given by General Slocum's order to me. These orders obeyed (although given in the morning) late in the evening.
In the meantime, I had ordered all the commanders of regiments and brigades to report to me the number of men each had for duty. The order was promptly obeyed by the forces permanently stationed at Murfreesborough. The colonel commanding Slocum's forces reported fragments of seven regiments, naming three others unreported. His report showed only 1,340 men for duty. During the day Generals Williams, Geary, and Greene arrived. I informed General Geary of my orders to the colonel commanding his forces. He approved of them, and I also informed him that I should be forced to call on his men for pickets for the next day. I called on the colonel commanding for the pickets. He returned the order, saying he would gladly comply with the order when it came through proper channels. I ordered the adjutant to address a note to the generals above named to learn of them the number of men, regiments, or brigades belonging to each of their commands then at Murfreesborough. Generals Greene and Geary responded, one stating that he had but one company, the other that so soon as he got the requisite information, which he expected to get that night, he would give me the required information, but he never did make any further report to me. General Williams' reply is here inclosed (marked Exhibit A*) as part of my report.
In this state of affairs I ordered General Geary to furnish the 215 men for pickets by 8 a. m. next day. This order obeyed about 12 m. I then sent for Generals Geary and Williams and had a full conversation with them in relation to pickets, saying to them I came not to wrangle about rank, but to defend that town and repair the damage the rebels might do the railroad or telegraph. They promised to furnish the guard for picket duty and working parties. At least 4,000 or 5,000 of Slocum's men had reached Murfreesborough by this time. At night I requested General Williams, who assumed command of Slocum's corps, to furnish 128 pickets, the Nineteenth Michigan and Twenty-second Wisconsin Volunteers being ordered to furnish the balance. He replied to me about in substance as in his first note. I responded I must have the men. I did not intend to be con-