War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0540 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

Search Civil War Official Records

in seven days and a half. I remained in Huntsville during the 24th,organizing the two divisions and making other necessary preparations for the march to Rome. I ordered the non-veterans whose term of service was about to expire to escort the cattle to Chattanooga, where they would be mustered out by the corps commissary of musters, who was ordered to go to that point for the purpose. No dissatisfaction was expressed until after I left Huntsville, when they mutinied, refusing to go. I telegraphed Brigadier General John E. Smith, commanding at Huntsville, to know the circumstances, in order that I might send back enough men to take the cattle through. He,however, telegraphed me that if the non-veterans would not go he would send a regiment from his command, which relieved me from further anxiety on the subject. In this connection I would say that I have reason to believe that the non-veterans incited to their insubordination by Lieutenant-Colonel Cam, of the Fourteenth Illinois Infantry,who was left in command.

I marched with the Third and Fourth Divisions, commanded respectively by Brigadier-General Leggett and Crocker, on the 25th ultimo, in the direction of Decatur, reaching that place on the 26th, where I was joined by Colonel Long with his brigade of cavalry, 2,500 strong. As Roddey was reported to be encamped near Courtland, fifteen miles distant from Decatur, I ordered Colonel Long to move on him his brigade on the morning of the 27th. In order to give the enemy the impression that this corps was moving in that direction I sent one brigade of infantry,which I obtained from the garrison of Decatur, to support, him, with instructions to display the infantry to any force they might meet. This was done successfully, and Roddey's command, after a brief skirmish, fell rapidly back, abandoning his camps. Colonel Long then, under my instructions,moved in the direction of Moulton,which place he reached without molestation. On the morning of the 29th he was attacked in his camp by Roddey's whole force witch four pieces of artillery. After a sharp fight the enemy was routed and driven from the field, leaving his dead, wounded, and a number of prisoners in our hands. For particulars I refer you to the inclosed copy of Colonel Long's official report.* I desire to call your attention to the very handsome manner in which Colonel Long carried out this instructions and fought his command, by which I am satisfied that our march was relieved from any molestation and Roddey's projected raid on our communications at Athens and Pulaski postponed, if not prevented. The command marched steadily and rapidly, reaching this place to-day, a distance of 130 miles from Decatur, in nine days and a half, one of which I was obliged to lay by on account of the exhausted condition of my artillery horses from having to pull the guns and caissons over the mountains. The last four days it has been raining steadily,making the roads very muddy and our march much more difficult. It gives me pleasure to inform you that the men are in good health, spirits, and condition. My animals are much jaded from the difficult nature of the country over which we had to march, but I will move forward to-morrow morning via Kingston to carry out your instructions.

I am, general, very respectfully,


Major-General, Commanding.

[Major General JAMES B. McPEHERSON.]


*Not found, but see report of July 12, Part II, p.836.