near the mouth of Soap Creek, and to effect a lodgment on the east back. This was most successfully and skillfully accomplished on the 7th of July, General Schofield capturing a gun, completely surprising the guard,laying a good pontoon bridge and a trestle bridge, and effecting a strong lodgment on high and commanding ground with good roads leading to the east.
At the same time General Garrard Moved rapidly on Roswell, and destroyed the factories which had supplied the rebel armies with cloth for years. Over one of these, the woolen factory, the nominal owner displayed the French flag, which was not respected, of course. A neutral surely is no better than one of our own citizens, and we do not permit our own citizens to fabricate cloth for hostile uses. General Garrard was then ordered to secure the shallow ford at Roswell and hod it until he could be relieved by infantry, and as I contemplated transferring the Army of the Tennessee from the extreme right to the left, I ordered General Thomas to send a division of his infantry that was nearest up to Roswell to hold the ford until General McPherson could send up a corps from the neighborhood of Nickajack. General Newton's division was sent and held the ford until the arrival of General Dodge's corps, which was soon followed by General McPherson's whole army. About the same time General Howard had also built a bridge at Powers' Ferry, two miles below. General Schofield had crossed over and taken position on his right. Thus during the 9th we had secured three good and safe points of passage over the Chattahoochee above the enemy, with good roads leading to Atlanta, and Johnston abandoned his tete- de- pont, burned his bridge, and left us undisputed masters north and west of the Chattahoochee at daylight of the 10th of July. This was one,if not the chief, object of the campaign,m viz, the advancement of our lines from the Tennessee to the Chattahoochee; but Atlanta a day before us, only eight miles distant, and was too important a place in the hands of the enemy to be left undisturbed, with its magazines, stores, arsenals, workshops, foundries, &c., and more especially its railroads, which converged there from the four great cardinal points, but the men had worked hard and needed rest and we accordingly took a short spell. But in anticipation of this contingency I had collected a well appointed force of cavalry, about 2,000 strong, at Decatur, Ala., with orders on receiving notice by telegraph to push rapidly south, cross the Coosa at the railroad bridge, or the Then Islands, and thence by the most direct route to Opelika.
There is but one stem of finished railroad connecting the channels of trade and travel between Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, which runs from Montgomery to Opelika, nd my purpose was to break it up effectually and thereby cut off Johnston's army from that source of supply and r- enforcements. General Rousesau, commanding the District of Tennessee, asked permission to command the expedition and received it. As soon as Johnston was well across the Chattahoochee, and as I had begun to maneuver on Atlanta, I gave the requisite notice, and General Rousseau started punctually on the 10th of July. He fulfilled his order and instructions to the very letter, whipping the rebel General Clanton en route. He passed through Talladega and reached the railroad on the 16th, about twenty-five miles west of Opelika, and broke it well up to that place, also three miles of the branch toward Columbus, and two toward West