War of the Rebellion: Serial 072 Page 0155 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.-ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND.

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which he had crossed. Our skirmishers advanced to the bank of the stream, and batteries were placed in position on the high ground behind, from which they kept up a vigorous shelling of the opposite shore. Palmer's corps got to within a mile of the river, when he found the enemy strongly posted on a commanding hill and occupying a strong earth-work at the northern extremity of the railroad bridge. This force was ascertained to be Hardee's corps. General Hooker found considerable difficulty in crossing Nickajack Creek, not having effected it at night-fall. The railroad and telegraph were repaired and placed in running order to Vining's Station, eight miles south of Marietta.

On the 6th Hooker's corps crossed to the east side of Nickajack Creek, the commands of Generals Palmer and Howard remaining in the same position as yesterday. McCook's cavalry took possession of Powers' Ferry, about five miles above Pace's Ferry. The corps commanders were directed to remain as at present posted, camping their commands in the shade as much as possible, and resting the men all they could. In the mean time details were directed to be sent to the rear to procure clothing, &c., of which the troops stood sorely in need.

In accordance with instructions given, a strong skirmish line was advanced on the 9th to feel the enemy's position and to ascertain if he were still in force on the Marietta side of the river at the railroad bridge. His position was found to be unchanged since the 5th instant. General Howard sent Newton's division of his command to the support of Garrard's division of cavalry, which had seized Roswell Factory and the fords in its vicinity; Newton to be relieved by troops from the Army of the Tennessee, then moving toward Roswell via Marietta.

On the 10th the enemy evacuated his fortifications on our side of the river and fell back toward Atlanta, destroying in his retreat the railroad and wagon bridges. The corps commanders were directed to throw forward a line of skirmishers and occupy the abandoned works. General Howard was directed to move to the left with the remaining two divisions of his corps and take post within supporting distance of the Army of the Ohio near the mouth of Soap Creek.

On the 12th Howard's corps crossed the Chattahoochee at Powers' Ferry and advanced to Abernathy's house, where he formed on the right of the Army of the Ohio, which had crossed at Phillips' Ferry a few days previous.

A deserters belonging to Walker's division, Hardee's corps, who came into our lines on the 13th, stated that Johnston's army was stationed around Atlanta within a circuit of four miles, and that the fortifications of that place were being rapidly strengthened. In the mean time the citizens were leaving for "farther south" and the Government property was being removed.

McCook's division of cavalry moved on the 15th to a position near Vining's Station and went into camp, his instructions being to post his command along the north bank of the river, between Pace's and Turner's Ferries, as soon as the balance of the troops had crossed, and guard the rear of the army.

On the 17th, according to instructions given the night previous, General Howard sent Wood's division of his corps down along the south bank of the river to a position across the Pace's Ferry road, leading to Atlanta, to cover the laying of a pontoon bridge at the ferry. As soon as Wood's troops had brushed away the enemy's