break he had made at Palmetto. This force with the pursuing cavalry hemmed him in and forced him to fight. He was compelled to drop his prisoners and captures, and cut him way out, losing some 500 officers and men,among them a most valuable officer, Colonel Harrison, who, when fighting his men as skirmishers on foot, was overcome and made prisoner, and is now at Macon. He cut his way out, reached the Chattahoochee, crossed,a nd got to Marietta without further loss. General McCook is entitled to much credit for thus saving his command, which was endangered by the failure of General Stoneman to reach Lovejoy's. But on the whole the cavalry raid is not deemed a success, for the real purpose was to break the enemy's communications, which though done was on so limited as scale the I knew the damage would soon be repaired.
Pursuant to the general plan, the Army of the Tennessee drew out of its lines near the Decatur road during the night of July 26, and on the 27th moved behind the rest of the army to Proctor's Creek and south to prolong our line due south and facing east. On that day, by appointment of the President of the United States, Major- General Howard assumed command of the Army of the Tennessee and had the general supervision of the movement, which was made en echelon, General Dodge's corps(Sixteenth) on the left nearest the enemy, General Blair's corps (Fifteenth) to come up on its right and refused as a flank, the whole to gain as much ground due south from the flank already established on Proctor's Creek as was consistent with a proper strength. General Dodge's men got into line in the evening of the 27th, and General Blair's came into line on his right early in the morning of the 28th, his right reaching an old meeting- house called Ezra Church near some large open fields by the poor- house on a road known as the Bell;s Ferry road or Lick Skillet road. Here the Fifteenth Corps (General Logan's) joined on and refused along a ridge well wooded, which partially commanded a view over the same fields. About 10 a. m. all the army was in position and the men were busy in throwing up the accustomed pile of rails and logs, which after a while assumed the form of a parapet. The skill and rapidity with which our men construct these is wonderful and is something new in the art of war. I rode along this whole line about that time, and as I approached Ezra Church there was considerable artillery firing, enfilading the road in which I was riding, killing an orderly's horse, just behind my staff. I struck across an open field to where General Howard was standing in rear of the Fifteenth Corps and walked up to the ridge with General Morgan L. Smith to see if the battery which enfiladed the main road and rail piles could not be disposed of, and heard General Smith give the necessary orders for the deployment of one regiment forward and another to make a circuit to the right, when I returned to where General Howard was, and remained there until 12 o'clock. During this time there was nothing to indicate serious battle save the shelling by one or at most two batteries from beyond the large field in front of the Fifteenth Corps.
Wishing to be well prepared to defeat the enemy if he repeated his game of the 22d, I had the night before ordered General Davis' division, of General Palmer's corps, which by the movement of the Army of the Tennessee had been left as it were in reserve, to move down to Turner's Ferry and thence toward White Hall or East Point, aiming to reach the flank of General Howard's new line.