ment against the railroad was therefore already reached and concluded, and as it was idle to pursue our enemy in that wooded country with a view to his capture, I gave orders on the 4th for the army to prepare to move back slowly to Atlanta. On the 5th we drew back to the vicinity of Jonesborough, five miles, where we remained a day. On the 7th we moved to Rough and Ready, seven miles, and the next day to the camps selected viz, the Army of the Cumberland grouped around about Atlanta, the Army of the Tennessee about East Point, and that of the Ohio at Decatur, where the men now occupy clean and healthy camps.
I have not yet received full or satisfactory accounts of Wheeler's operations to our rear, further than that he broke the road about Calhoun and then made his appearance at Dalton, where Colonel Laiboldt held him in check until General Steedman arrived from Chattanooga and drove him off. He than passed up into East Tennessee and made quite a stay at Athens, but on the first show of pursuit he kept on north across the Little Tennessee, and crossing the Holston near Strawberry Plains, reached the Clinch near Clinton, and passed over toward Sequatchie and McMinnville. Thence he seems to have gone to Murfreesborough and Lebanon, and across to Franklin. He may have committed damage to the property of citizens, but has injured us but little, the railroads being repaired about as fast as he broke them. From Franklin he has been pursued toward Florence and out of the State by Generals Rouseau, Steedman, and Granger, but what amount of execution they have done to him had not been reported.
Our roads and telegraph are all repaired, and the cars run with regularity and speed.
It is proper to remark in this place that during the operations of this campaign expeditions were sent out from Memphis and Vicksburg to check any movements of the enemy's forces in Mississippi upon our communications. The manner in which this object was accomplished reflects credit upon Generals A. J. Smith, Washburn, Slocum, and Mower, and although General Sturgis' expedition was less successful than the others, it assisted in the main object to be accomplished.
I must bear full and liberal testimony to the energetic and successful management of our railroads during the campaign. No matter when or where a break has been made, the repair train seemed on the spot, and the damage was repaired generally before I knew of the break. Brides have been built with surprising rapidity, and the locomotive whistle was heard in our advanced camps almost before the echo of the skirmish fire had ceased. Some of these bridges- those of the Oostenaula, the Etowah, and Chattahoochee- are fine substantial structures, and were built in an inconceivably short time, almost out of material improvised on the spot.
Colonel W. W. Wright, who has charge of the construction and repairs, is not only a most skillful, but a wonderfully ingenious, industrious, and zealous officer, and I can hardly do him justice. In like manner the officers charged with running the trains have succeeded to my entire satisfaction, and have worked in perfect harmony with the quartermasters and commissaries, bringing forward abundant supplies with such regularity that at no one time have we wanted for provisions, forage, ammunition, or stores of any essential kind.