some time in October, I do not recollect the date. I inquired of Captain Peden, provost-marshal-general of Atlanta, why I was placed in irons; he said he could not tell me. He said he had executed the orders of Colonel Wright, commanding the post. Colonel Wright came into the barracks one day and I asked him why I was placed in irons. He said he knew nothing about my being in irons, and said he had never ordered it to be done. He came into the barracks again about two weeks afterward and asked me if I had heard anything further about my case. I told him I had not. I remained in irons until the night of the 15th of November, when I succeeded in relieving my leg of the ball and chain and made my escape over the walls. I was fired at twice while making my escape, but neither shot took effect.
While in the prison at Atlanta, I saw our prisoners robbed of overcoats, money, pocket-knives, blankets, and sometimes hats. The guard at the entrance receive orders to take all blankets, overcoats, &c., before allowing the prisoners to pass in.
I staid in Atlanta with my friends and acquaintances whom I know to be good Union men about nine days. Rifle-pits extend entirely around the city but very poor. The strongest fortifications are on the Chattahoochee River, 7 miles this side of the city. They have only two distinct lines of fortifications between the river and Atlanta: those lines are short and would not accommodate over a brigade to each line. The fortifications on the river are the best I ever saw, the ditch in front of the works being about 12 feet wide and the earth-work about the same width. They have also felled trees all around the city, a distance of about 2 miles from the outskirts of the place, which I think is the greatest obstruction.
I came into the Federal lines at Bellefonte, Ala., Left Atlanta on the 25th of November, traveled northward by the Western and Atlantic Railroad until I came to Kingston, Ga.,,there I met about 100 wagons loaded with citizens and their baggage. I asked them where they were going; they said they were going south. I asked why they were moving south. They said that Bragg was retreating, said he had been badly whipped, and that his army was demoralized. I then met a squad of mounted soldiers; I asked them where they were going (they had a drove of about 1,500 horses); they said they were going to Talladega., Ala., I went on to the left of Rome to Centre, Ala. I there met a lot of stragglers, infantry and cavalry; I asked them if it was possible, if Bragg was whipped. They said he was badly whipped; ;had cut his horses from his artillery and left in and was making a hasty retreat. I then went to Lebanon, Ala, I then crossed Sand Mountain, and arrived at Bellefonte on the 3rd of December. The general opinion of the citizens around Atlanta and through all the country which I traveled was that Bragg intended to force his way through East Tennessee and go into Kentucky.
MOSCOW, Tennessee, December 6, 1863.
From patrols south I learn that the enemy passed through Holly Springs yesterday, going to Okolona; their rear guard left Mount Pleasant about noon. I will order Mizner to look well southeast of