General Humes, which then on the march to join me, to move rapidly to Jonesborough. I ordered General Kelly to remain and hold Garrard's division in check with Dibrell's brigade, and to send Anderson's brigade after me on the Jonesborough road. By riding rapidly I arrived at 4 o'clock at Jonesborough with Ashby's brigade, 500 strong, which I had overtaken on the march. I here learned that the enemy had struck the railroad some six miles south of that point. I arrived at that point about dark and found the enemy had moved off on the Fayetteville road. A courier with a dispatch, and a staff officer whom I had sent to communicate with General Jackson, met me with a message from General Jackson to the effect that if I would press the enemy's rear he would gain their front and thus secure his capture. I immediately replied to General jackson, agreeing to the proposition.
My scouts now reported that the enemy had taken the road crossing Flint River at ---- bridge. Feeling confident the enemy would destroy the bridge, I sent a staff officer to ascertain, and also sent scouts to ascertain if any of the enemy went toward Griffin. Finding that the brigade had been destroyed and that all of the enemy had moved toward Fayetteville, I changed my course and followed them rapidly. Upon the road I received the following dispatch from General Jackson:
TWO MILES AND A HALF FROM FAYETTEVILLE,
July 29, 1864-10 p. m.
GENERAL: The latest reports represent the enemy moving toward Fayetteville. I am quite certain they are moving back to cross the Chattahoochee. I have Harrison's brigade in their front at Fayetteville, and am moving now with Ross' brigade to that place. Should enemy attempt to pass the place I will gain their front or flank about Newman. If you can follow and push them in rear it would be well.
W. H. JACKSON,
Upon arriving at Fayetteville about midnight I learned that the enemy had passed through that place without meeting any opposition whatever, and was then not more than an hour in advance of me. I pressed on rapidly and overtook his rear at Line Creek. the enemy had destroyed the bridge and were holding the opposite side with troops in strong barricades. With great difficulty the enemy was dislodged and driven from the bank. After an hour's hard labor a bridge was constructed and my command passed over. I had with me at this time but 400 men, having traveled so rapidly that a number of my horses and been absolutely unable to keep up with the column, and General Anderson, whom I had ordered to follow me, had not, on account of the rapidity of my march, been heard from. After crossing the bridge I pressed on rapidly, in the extreme darkness encountering barricades every few hundred yards, the first intimation of the enemy being a volley from their small-arms. At daylight I received the following dispatch from General Jackson:
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION,
Three miles and a half from Fayetteville, July 30, 1864-3 a. m.
GENERAL: Since arrival of your courier I received notice from Colonel Harrison that he is opposite the enemy at Shakerag, three miles from here. The enemy has gone into camp there. I move at once with Ross' brigade. I forward Colonel James' [D. W. Jones'] report.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. JACKSON,