War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0589 Chapter LI. RAIDS INTO SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA.

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force, was reported at Corinth, Miss., with outposts at Eastport and along the WEST bank of the Tennessee. On the 29th General Granger reported the enemy in his front to be withdrawing from Decatur toward Courtland. The same day General Croxton, commanding the brigade of cavalry picketing the north bank of the Tennessee River, reported the enemy crossing at the mouth of Cypress Creek, two miles below Florence, stating at the same time that he would move with all the force he could spare to drive the enemy back. Directions were sent to General Hatch, commanding DIVISION of cavalry, at Clifton, on the east bank of the Tennessee, to move to the support of Croxton at Florence, impressing upon both commanders the necessity of keeping the enemy from crossing to the north side of the river until the Fourth Corps, already on its way from General Sherman in Georgia, could arrive and get into position to meet him. Hood's plans had now become evident, and from information gained through prisoners, deserters, and other sources, his intention was to cross into Middle Tennessee. To enable him to supply his army he had been repairing the Mobile and Ohio R time previous, and trains were now running as far north as Corinth and thence east to Cherokee Station, bringing his supplies by that route from Selma and Montgomery. The advance DIVISION (Wood's) of the Fourth Corps reached Athens on the 31st, the other two DIVISIONS of the corps following along rapidly. The Twenty- THIRD Corps, Major General J. M. Schofield, commanding having been ordered to me for orders, was immediately ordered by me to Pulaski (as soon as I learned Hood had appeared in force on the south side of the Tennessee), and was also on its way to Tennessee moving in rear of the Fourth Corps. The enemy effected a lodgment for his infantry on the north side of the Tennessee about three miles above Florence, on the 31st, notwithstanding Croxton's endeavors to drive him back, and his cavalry, in large force, pressed Croxton across Shoal Creek to its east bank. Orders were immediately sent to General Stanley to concentrate the Fourth Corps at Pulaski and await further instructions. In the mean time Forrest was moving eastward from Corinth, Miss., and from Paris, Tenn., making his appearance on the 28th at Fort Heiman, an earth- work on the WEST bank of the Tennessee, about seventy-five miles from Paducah, where he captured gun-boat Numbers 55 and two transports on the 31st, having previously burned the steamer Empress. His force was composed of seventeen regiments of cavalry, with nine pieces of artillery. On the 2nd of November he had succeeded in planting batteries above and below Johnsonville (one of our bases of supplies on the Tennessee River, and the western terminus of the Northwestern railroad), completely blockading the river and isolating at that place three gun-boats, eight transports, and about a dozen barges. The garrison was composed of about 1,000 men of the Forty-THIRD Wisconsin, Twelfth U. S. Colored Troops, and a detachment of the Eleventh Tennessee Cavalry, all under command of Colonel C. R. Thompson, Twelfth U. S. Colored Troops. The naval forces, under command of Lieutenant E. M. King, attacked the enemy's batteries below Johnsonville, but were repulsed after a severe contest, but not before they recaptured from the enemy one of the transports above mentioned having on board two 20-pounder Parrott guns, and a considerable quantity of quartermaster's stores, and forcing the enemy to destroy the gun boat Numbers 55, capture don the 31st of October. On the 4th the enemy opened on the gun-boats transports, and on the town from batteries posted on the opposite bank of the river, to which the artillery of the garrison and the gun-boats gave a brisk response.