destroyed at various points for several miles from Nashville to Decatur. This road was never completely repaired by the enemy. We also destroyed several loaded trains. During these movements Major-Generals Rousseau and Steedman and Brigadier-Generals Croston and Granger had concentrated their forces and had attacked me at Franklin, Lynnville, Campbellville, and other points. In every instance they were repulsed, although their troops out numbered mine fourfold.
On reaching the Alabama border, and having determined to await General Williams' arrival (I having sent him several peremptory orders to march on and join me), I sent a dispatch to Corinth, and from there I telegraphed the commanding general the progress of my operations, at the same time recommending that the work be continued upon the railroad. To my disappointment i learned that General Williams had returned to East Tennessee and carried with him three large regiments, which I had sent on detached service, and which by chance met him.
In reply to my telegram to the commanding general I was ordered to return to the Army of Tennessee again, striking the railroad south of Chattanooga. General Forrest having arrived, to move into Tennessee, I ordered the 1,200 men (now increased by recruits to 1,600) whom I had left in Tennessee, pursuant to General Hood's orders, to report to him, and moved with the balance of my command to the railroad near Dalton, captured and destroyed a train of cars, and destroyed the railroad to such an extent that, with the additional effect of a heavy rain, no train passed over the road for a period of thirteen days. I here received an order to return immediately to the army, which I joined near Cedartown.
My entire loss on the entire expedition was about 150 men killed, wounded, and missing, while I brought out more than 2,000 recruits for my own and other commands, and brought out at least 800 absentees from the army, who were returned to their proper commands. During the expedition I was behind the enemy's lines, compelled continually to engage superior forces of the enemy. In all of this work my troops acted well, fought well, and worked well.
I desire particularly to thank Generals Humes and Allen for their gallantry and good conduct through the entire expedition. I am satisfied these officers and their commands did all the brave and devoted men could do.
I brought off all my wounded who could bear transportation, and also brought out nearly 100 wagons, which had been captured on the expedition.
All expeditions to the rear of an enemy are attended with great difficulties. This was particularly so. The jaded condition of my horses was one cause of embarrassment, which was increased by the great scarcity and unwholesome character of the forage which we were compelled to subsist upon the first ten days. The heavy rains which fell during the same time caused small rivers to swell beyond fording, and made the roads almost impassable for artillery.
The results of the expedition were as follows:
First. Causing the enemy to send to their rear to re-enforce their garrisons, troops several times as strong as my force.
Second. The destruction of the enemy's line of communication for a longer period than any cavalry expedition, however large, has done.