War of the Rebellion: Serial 076 Page 0814 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,

Near Jonesborough, Ga., September 6, 1864.

Lieutenant-Colonel CLARK,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Tennessee:

In order that there may be no misunderstanding, and that you may be fully advised of my operations of last evening, when acting as rear guard to the Army of the Tennessee, I beg leave to submit the following statement: Major Young's brigade of cavalry was ordered to take post at 7 p.m. yesterday in rear of the center of your line of battle, to cover the front and flanks with vedettes, outposts, and reserves, and after the pickets of the army relieved at 12 had passed his line of vedettes he was to move back as rear guard to the army; that after the army had gone into position at Jonesborough and General Blair's column had recrossed the river, Major Young was to follow him and destroy the bridge. From Major Young's report I believe he carried out the above orders as well as could be expected. I had intended to move back with a portion of my command at 8 p.m., as directed, leaving my picket-line in front, but owing to the continued rapid, and, as I believe, unnecessary firing on the part of the infantry picket-line from 8 p.m. until near midnight, I deemed it best to remain and did not move from my position until 10.30 p.m., and then moved out and took up position in rear of the infantry fortifications immediately on my left and remained until 11 p.m. I then moved back expecting to find the entire army gone and the roads open. I had moved back about a mile and a half when I came upon the wagon trains of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Army Corps all halted in the road. I immediately rode to the front, overtook Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander, assistant adjutant-general, Seventeenth Army Corps, moving also to the front to ascertain the difficulty. We found the road at one point almost impassable and the wagon train stalled, and little or nothing being dome to remedy the evil. The pioneer corps of my entire command was ordered immediately to the front, and after a great deal of trouble, with little or no assistance, the train was moved forward. Deeming it to be of the greatest importance to throw a cavalry force across the river at Anthony's Bridge, to protect the wagon train moving in that direction, I rapidly pushed forward one brigade of cavalry; three regiments had passed when I learned that my artillery and another regiment in the rear was stopped by some officer riding at the head of two companies of infantry, followed by another wagon train. This section of artillery and regiment was ordered by one of my staff officers, having my authority, to break the wagon train at any point and hurry it forward to join the command in advance. The wagon train was not delayed, nor was the column of infantry in the rear delayed ten minutes by the break; upon the contrary, had it not been for the pioneer corps of my division, and the exertion of Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander and officers of my command, to repair the road and hurry forward the train, the infantry in the rear would at a late hour this morning have been marching upon the opposite side of the river. I have no knowledge that any portion of my command cut a column of infantry last evening, or delayed for one moment the retrograde movement of the Army of the Tennessee.

I make this statement over my official signature, and if any officer of the infantry thinks that he is better informed than myself he can make such statement officially, and his veracity and mine can then be officially