proximity to the main army. A considerable force of the enemy under Roddey had made its appearance in Northern Alabama, threatening to cross the Tennessee River near Decatur, with a view of destroying the railroad between that place and Nashville. Again in the vicinity of Clarksville, Tenn., and Fort Donelson, the enemy had become troublesome, although without doing very material damage.
To the discretion and good judgment of Major-Generals Rousseau and Steedman, commanding respectively the Districts of the Tennessee and the Etowah, and to Brigadier General R. S. Granger, commanding the District of Northern Alabama, was left the disposal of the troops and the defense of our communications with our depots at the north.
In compliance with the direction contained in Special Field Orders, Numbers 57, headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi (appended, marked A.), promulgated to my corps commanders on the 16th of August, everything was placed in readiness for the execution of the contemplated movements by the time mentioned. The major-general commanding the military division having, however, decided to await the return of General Kilpatrick's expedition, the Army of the Cumberland did not withdraw from its works until after dark on the night of the 15th. Stanley's corps, as directed from my headquarters (see instructions to Generals Stanely, Williams, and Garrard appended, marked B), commenced the movements by withdrawing from the position he then held on the left of the army, to aline of ridges and high ground beyond, and to the rear of the position where the right and high ground beyond, and to the rear of the position where the right of the Twentieth Corps rested. Here he remained and covered the withdrawal of the Twentieth Corps, the latter having been ordered to take post on the Chattahoochee, at the railroad covered the movements of the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps, then crossed the Chattahoochee at Pace's Ferry on the 26th, and recrossing at the bridge at Sandtown on the 27th, took post on Stanely's left, picketing Utoy Creek from Utoy Post-Office to Sandtown. The above movements were successfully executed, both corps being in the positions indicated at an early hour on the morning of the 26th. At 9 a. m. of the same day Stanely withdrew still farther to a point along Utoy Creek, posting his command on some ridges facing the creek and across the Sandtown road.
The Fourteenth Corps, then commanded by Bvt. Major General J. C. Davis, drew out from the position it had last held on the right of the Army of the Tennessee, and moving across Utoy Creek, took post on the right of Stanely's corps. Garrard's division of cavalry was directed to operate on the left and rear of the army, while Kilpatrick's division was similarly employed on the right.
On the 27th Stanley's corps moved to Mount Gilead Church and formed line of battle along the road leading to Fairburn, skirmishing lightly with the enemy's cavalry. The Fourteenth Corps (Davis') moved as far as Holbrook's house, on the Campbellton road, advancing one brigade to Patterson's house, about a mile beyond, to cover the wagon trains of the corps. The Twentieth Corps was securely in position on the Chattahoochee River, guarding the crossings and protecting the depots at Marietta. Major General H. W. Slocum assumed command of the corps, by virtue of General Orders, Numbers , War Department.