was concluded about 10 o'clock in the forenoon of the 19th, the whole time being thirty-six hours, with short intervals of rest. About a mile from Opelika I halted the command for a few hours' rest, which they greatly needed. In the afternoon I started on the return march with the intention of endeavoring to reach Marietta, and marched through La Fayette, halting at midnight about twenty-five miles from Opelika.
On the 20th the command marched thirty-five miles, and on the 21st about the same distance, passing through Carrollton and Villa Rica.
On the 22nd I reached Marietta and reported by telegraph to Major-General Sherman. No force of the enemy was encountered on the return march.
About 400 mules were brought in by the command, and several hundred able-bodied negroes accompanied it to Marietta. Besides the prisoners paroled in the hospitals already mentioned, 61 were captured at different places on the route, including 2 lieutenant-colonels, 1 major, 2 captains, and 2 lieutenants. They were released on parole, except 2 captured at Villa Rica, who were brought in.
I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of the officers and men of the command. They exhibited throughout the entire march a high degree of fortitude and endurance, and a constant desire to meet the enemy.
To the brigade commanders, Colonel Thomas J. Harrison, of the Eighth Indiana Cavalry, and Lieutenant Colonel M. T. Patrick, of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, I am greatly indebted for the able and efficient manner in which they discharged the duties devolving upon them, and the cool courage and soldierly bearing exhibited by them at all times, and cheerfully call the attention of my superior officers to the marked efficiency they displayed on the occasion.
I am also much indebted to Captain T. C. Williams and Captain T. A. Elkin, Lieutenant Frey, Lieutenant Langton, Captain Matthias, Captain Ruger, and to Doctor Waterman, for patient endurance of hardships, and for invaluable services cheerfully rendered.
It is no disparagement to others to call especial attention to the efficient services of Captain Ruger, who took and maintained his position at the head of the advance guard, in charge of the guides, and who conducted the column, and whose services were almost indispensable to me.
I wish to make favorable mention also of a Mr. James C. McBurney, of Georgia, a volunteer aide-de-camp, who rendered important service.
LOVELL H. ROUSSEAU,
Brigadier General W. D. WHIPPLE,
A. A. G., and Chief of Staff, Dept. of the Cumberland.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
NEAR KENESAW, June 29, 1864-8 p. m.
Major General L. H. ROUSSEAU,
I have your of 27th. Of course go on and make all the preparations, but do not start till we know something definite of A. J. Smith, and until I have pushed Johnston across the Chattahoochee. The