FEBRUARY 26, 1864-5.15 p.m.
GENERAL: Dispatch received this moment. General Thomas has ordered all the troops to retire to-night to the neighborhood of Stone Church, and if not interrupted by the enemy to return to their camps to-morrow. Davis commences to retire at dark and Baird will probably leave here at 9 o'clock, at which time Grose and Champion ought to move. Leave some of your pickets as you retire, at proper points. The forage will be furnished Colonel Long; General Thomas ordered it back to Ringgold. Norton has shown you my note of this p.m.
J. M. PALMER,
HEADQUARTERS FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Lee's House, February 26, 1864
Commanding First Division, Fourth Army Corps:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs you to move one brigade to Tunnel Hill and one brigade to the cross-roads 2 1/2 miles from here on the Tunnel Hill road.
D. W. NORTON,
Major and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, 14TH ARMY CORPS,
Buzzard Roost, Ga., February 26, 1864.
In order to effect the removal of this command from its present position General Carlin will, immediately after dark this evening, form his brigade in deployed line across the road near his present bivouac, throwing out skirmishers well to the front. The reserves of the Second and Third Brigades will fall back in line of battle to the rear of the First Brigade, when they will take up their march by the flank. One-half after the movement of their reserve the skirmishers of the Second and Third Brigades will fall back, keeping their deployed order and fighting if attacked, to the rear of the skirmishers of the First Brigade, when they will rally and join their respective regiments.
A line will be formed by the troops of General Davis' division near the edge of woods beyond Tunnel Hill, and after the passage of the skirmishers of the Second and Third Brigades General Carlin will retire, maintaining the line of battle so far as the conformation of the ground will permit to the rear of General Davis' line, where the skirmishers will be assembled and the regiments, without being halted, will assume the march by the flank. The whole movement will be conducted with the utmost regard to secrecy.
Commanders of regiments will be cautioned not to allow the bugles to be sounded, the commands to be given in a loud tone of voice or