below Jonesborough in cars, was run back and disembarked, and with Jackson's rebel cavalry made it impossible for him to continue his work. He drew off to the east and made a circuit an struck the railroad about Lovejoy's Station, but was again threatened by the enemy, who moved on shorter line, when he charged through their cavalry, taking many prisoners,of which he brought in 70, ad captured a 4- gun battery, which he destroyed, except one gun,which he brought in. He estimated the damage done to the road as enough to interrupt its use for then days, after which he returned by a circuit north and east, reaching Decatur on the 22.
After an interview with General Kilpatrick I was satisfied that whatever damage he had done would not produce the result desired, and I renewed my orders for the movement of the whole army. This involved the necessity of raising the siege of Atlanta, taking the field with our main force and using it against the communications of Atlanta instead of against its intrenchments. All the army commanders were at once notified to send their surplus wagons, incumbrances of all kinds, and sick back to our intrenched position at the bridge, and that the movement would begin during the night of the 25th. Accordingly, all things being ready, the Fourth Corps (General Stanley) drew out of its lines on our extreme left and marched to a position below Proctor's Creek. The Twentieth Corps (General Williams) moved back to the Chattahoochee. This movement was made without loss, save a few things left in our camps by thoughtless officers and men. The night of the 26th the movement continued, the Army of the Tennessee drawing out and moving rapidly by a circuit well toward Sandtown an d across Camp Creek; the Army of the Cumberland, below Utoy Creek, General Schofield, remaining in position. This was effected with the loss of but a single man in the Army of the Tennessee, wounded by a shell from the enemy. The third move brought the Army of the Tennessee on the West Point railroad above Fairburn, the Army of the Cumberland about Red Oak, and General Schofield close in near Diggs' and Mimms'. I then ordered one day's work to be expended in destroying that road, and it was done with a will. Twelve and one- half miles were destroyed, the ties burned, and the iron rails heated and twisted by the utmost ingenuity of old hands at the work. Several cuts were filled up with the trunks of tress, logs, rocks, and earth, intermingled with loaded shells prepared as torpedoes to explode in case of an attempt to clear them out.
Having personally inspected this work and satisfied with its execution, I ordered the whole army to move the next day eastward by several roads, General Howard on the right toward Jonesborough, General Thomas the center by Shoal Creek Church to Couch's, on the Decatur and Fayetteville road, and General Schofield on the left, about Morrrow's Mills. An inspection of the map will show the strategic advantage of this position. The railroad from Atlanta to Macon follows substantially the ridge, or"divide" between the waters of Flint an Ocmulgee Rivers, and from East Point to Jonesborough makes a wide bend to the east. Therefor the position I have described, which had been well studied on paper, was my first objective. It have me "interior lines,", something our enemy had enjoyed too long, and I was anxious for once to get the inside track and therefore my haste and desire to secure it. The several columns moved punctually on the morning of the 29th; General Thomas, on the center, encountered little opposition or difficulty save what resulted