War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0492 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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Creek and desired for cavalry to help him bag them. I though it best to go to him at once. I arrived at General Steedman's quarters about 8 o'clock, and he reported the enemy still in strong force in his front, and suggested that I divide the cavalry and send out a portion around the flanks of the enemy to drive them in, while he would attack them with his infantry and artillery in front. I accordingly divided my cavalry and sent them around and commenced driving them in, but no rebels were found. After several hours my scouting parties reported they were several miles off to the southeast, passing through Jefferson. I at once put the cavalry in pursuit, pushed on north of Jefferson, crossing Stone's River, until we struck the pike running west; followed this pike nearly north of Murfreesborough, when we turned toward that city and followed the enemy to within four miles of that city, when they turned square west again. It being about dark we soon afterward stopped to rest and feed. I directed Colonel Spalding to have 10 men to push forward and to keep on the road of the enemy and watch his movements, and send couriers to pass us advices of their movements, and when they would stop, &c., and to move his command to town. His command was near to town, but the men were not sent in pursuit, the consequence of which was that we knew nothing of the enemy the next morning until the regiment, in seeking a corn-field for forage, overtook the enemy about 8 o'clock, camped about four miles from town between the Shelbyville and Salem pike. The brigade had been detained thus late in pressing horses and in getting shoeing done. After a slight skirmish the enemy commenced a hasty retreat; in about two miles they made a stand with three pieces of artillery and a strong rear guard, but after some brisk skirmishing they continued the retreat in a northwesterly direction, crossing the Salem pike, until they came to the road running west toward Triune, which they followed, hard pressed by the Tennessee cavalry and turning at bay every few miles and shelling our advancing column with their artillery, strongly supported. By taking up strong positions from time to time, they were thus enabled to hold us in check while the main column moved on. We found from the reports of citizen and of the wounded who fell into our hands and from stragglers captured that the rebel force was commanded by Williams, and was fully 2,000 strong, while the whole force with me was about 900. Had this force been properly disciplined that they could have been efficiently handled in action, the rebel battery could have been captured. Indeed I think this could have been done as they were had there been no question of my authority to enforce obedience to my orders, but from orders received by Colonel Spalding from General Rousseau there was some doubt in my mind on this point, but Colonel Spalding, from the way my orders and suggestions were treated by him, appeared to have no doubt in his mind on this point. Our last fight with the rebels was at Triune, about 5 o'clock in the evening. At this point they turned south on the pike. Colonel Spalding here reported to me that Williams would probably effect a junction with Wheeler during the night, and that it was his (Spalding's) duty to go to Franklin and form a junction with General Rousseau as soon as possible. In order to do this I reluctantly consented. We arrived at Franklin at 10 o'clock. Ammunition was obtained from Nashville, horses were shod, and, being joined by a detachment of the Sixth Indiana, I pushed on in the evening and