War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0581 Chapter LI. RAIDS INTO SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA.

Search Civil War Official Records

thorough reconnaissance was made of Atlanta, and a new line of works begun, which required a smaller garrison to hold. During this month the enemy, whom we had left at Lovejoy's Station moved westward toward the Chattahoochee, taking position facing us and covering the WEST Point railroad, about Palmetto Station. He also threw a pontoon bridge across the Chattahoochee and sent cavalry detachments to the WEST in the direction of Carrollton and Powder Springs. About the same time President Davis visited Macon, and his army at Palmetto, and made harangues referring to an active campaign against us. Hood still remained in command of the Confederate forces, with Cheatham, S. D. Lee, and Stewart commanding his three corps, and Wheeler in command of his cavalry, which had been largely re-enforced.

My cavalry consisted of two DIVISIONS. One was stationed at Decatur, under command of Brigadier-General Garrard; the other, commanded by Brigadier-General Kilpatrick was posted near Sandtown with a pontoon bridge over the Chattahoochee, from which he could watch any movement of the enemy toward the west.

As soon as I became convinced that the enemy intended to assume the offensive, viz, September 28, I sent Major-General Thomas, second in command, to Nashville, to organize the new troops expected to arrive, and to make preliminary preparations to meet such an event.

About the 1st of October some of the enemy's cavalry made their appearance on the WEST of the Chattahoochee, and one of his infantry corps was reported near Powder Springs, and I received authentic intelligence that the rest of his infantry was crossing to the WEST of the Chattahoochee. I at once made my orders that Atlanta and the Chattahoochee railroad bridge should be held by the Twentieth Corps, Major-General Slocum, and on the 4th of October put in motion the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps and the Fourth Fourteenth and Twenty-THIRD Corps, to Smyrna Camp-Ground and on the 5th moved to the strong position about Kenesaw. The enemy's cavalry had by a rapid movement got upon our railroad at Big Shanty, and broken the line of telegraph and railroad, and with a DIVISION of infantry (French's) had moved against Allatoona, where we stored about a million of rations. Its redoubts were garrisoned by three small regiments under Colonel Tourtellotte, Fourth Minnesota. I had anticipated this movement, and had by signal and telegraph ordered General Corse to re-enforce that post from Rome. General Corse had reached Allatoona with a brigade during the night of the 4th, just in time to meet the attack by French's DIVISION on the morning of the 5th. In person I reached Kenesaw Mountain about 10 a. m. of the 5th, and could see the smoke of battle and hear the faint sounds of artillery. The distance eighteen miles, was too great for me to make in time to share in the battle, but I directed the Twenty-THIRD Corps, Brigadier-General Cox commanding to move rapidly from the base of Kenesaw, due west, aiming to reach the road from Allatoona to Dallas, threatening the rear of the forces attacking Allatoona. I succeeded in getting a signal message to General Corse during his fight, notifying him of my presence. The defense of Allatoona by General Corse was admirably conducted and the enemy repulsed with heavy slaughter. His description of the defense is so graphic that it leaves nothing for me to add; and the movement of General Cox had the desired effect of causing the withdrawal of French's DIVISION rapidly in the direction of Dallas.

On the 6th and 7th I pushed my cavalry well toward Burnt Hickory and Dallas, and discovered that the enemy had moved westward, and