burg. A report was received that Buford's command succeeded in crossing the Tennessee River at Brown's Ferry on the 3rd instant. On the 6th General Washburn reached Waynesborough still moving eastward and on the same day came up with the enemy's rear guard at tim Shoal Creek bridge and skirmished with it slightly but still not in time to prevent the main body of the enemy from safely effecting a crossing of the Tennessee at Bainbridge. Thus both columns of the enemy succeeded in escaping, although closely pursued by our forces. On the 8th directions were sent to General Rousseau to destroy all ferry-boats and other means of crossing the river, and then move his command below Florence to await further orders. At the same time General Morgan was directed to return to Athens. *
Pending these operations in Tennessee he whole aspect of affairs about Atlanta had undergone a change. Hood had crossed the Chattahoochee River, and had sent corps of his army to destroy the railroad between Atlanta and Marietta, which he had effectually accomplished for a distance of over twenty miles, interrupting all communications between the forces in Tennessee and the main army with General Sherman in Georgia. He then moved around south of Rome to the WEST side of the Coosa River, and taking a northeasterly course, marched toward Summerville and La Fayette, threatening Chattanooga and Bridgeport.
The following dispositions were made on the 11th; Croxton's cavalry brigade was to move to some point sufficient near his supplies at Athens, and not too far removed from the Tennessee River to protect the crossings from Decatur down as far as Eastport: Morgan's DIVISION, of the Fourteenth Corps, to move without delay from Athens to Chattanooga by rail, and Steedman's command following Morgan's from Decatur to Bridgeport. General Rousseau's troops were recalled from below Florence, and ordered to concentrate at Athens without delay. The District of Northern Alabama, comprising the posts of Decatur, Huntsville, Stevenson, and intermediate points, was left with its ordinary garrisons, and our whole attention turned toward Hood's movements in Northern Georgia.
On the 12th the enemy's cavalry attacked Resaca, but the place was resolutely held by Watkins' brigade of cavalry, and the railroad bridges saved from destruction. The same day Brigadier-General Wagner reported from Chattanooga the enemy's cavalry, 250 strong, had occupied La Fayette, Ga; whereupon instructions were sent him to call in the detachments at Tunnel Hill, Ringgold, and intermediate points along the railroad between there and Chattanooga, and quietly make preparations to defend his post.
On the 13th one corps of Hood's army appeared in front of Dalton, and a summons to surrender, signed by Hood in person, was sent in to Colonel Johnson, Forty-fourth U. S. Colored Troops, commanding the garrison. Colonel Johnson, being convinced of the uselessness of contending against so overwhelming a force of the enemy, and knowing there was no succor at hand, complied with the demand.
On the 14th Morgan's DIVISION reached Chattanooga, and General Steedman's command arrived at Bridgeport, where he received orders to proceed to Chattanooga. After remaining at Dalton one day, during which he destroyed about five miles of railroad, the enemy moved off to the westward, through Nickajack Gap, to rejoin the remainder of
*For other reports of operations during Forrest's raid into North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, see p. 504.