War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0591 Chapter LI. RAIDS INTO SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA.

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place, and had crossed over one corps of infantry (S. D. Lee's) and two DIVISIONS of cavalry; the other two corps (Stewart's and Cheatham's) were still on the south side of the river. His cavalry had pushed out to Shoal Creek, skirmishing continually with Hatch's and Croxton's commands along the line of that stream, but showing no disposition to advance beyond.

General Sherman's uncertain position at Kingston, Ga., where he still remained in camp, had much to do with detaining the enemy, doubtless causing considerable speculation as to his future movements. On the 12th of November communication with General Sherman was severed, the last dispatch from him leaving Cartersville, Ga., at 2. 25 p. m. on that date. He had started on his great expedition from Atlanta to the sea-board, leaving me to guard Tennessee or to pursue the enemy if he followed the commanding general's column. It was therefore with considerable anxiety that we watched the forces as Florence, to discover what course they would pursue with regard to General Sherman's movements, determining thereby whether the troops under my command, numbering less than half those under Hood, were to act on the defensive in tennessee, or take the offensive in Alabama. *

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General, Commanding.

Numbers 3. Report of Captain Samuel Bachtell, commanding detachment U. S. Signal Corps.

SIGNAL DEPARTMENT, ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND,

Atlanta, Ga., October 31, 1864.

COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of operations of the signal detachment under my command during the month of October, 1864:

Finding the distance between the stations at Atlanta and Kenesaw Mountain to be too great for successful working, I made an effort to get a guard for the purpose of putting an intermediate station on Vining's Hill, near the Chattahoochee, but before I had secured a guard for that purpose I was informed by Major-General Sherman that a guard would be unnecessary at that time, as troops would be passing to the rear to guard our communications against a flank movement of the rebel forces, and that the movement of our troops would protect the station. I at once ordered Captain A. S. Cole on duty there. He reached the point early and established communication on the 1st instant. About this time I received a verbal order from Major-General Sherman to report to him for duty and bring all the available force that I could. On the 4th we marched. I reported to the general commanding with six officers and the equipments of four more, then absent, expecting them to join me on the march. I now sent Lieutenant J. B. Foraker to assist Captain A. S. Cole on Vining's Hill, and Lieutenant H. W. Howgate, with Lieutenant H. R. Flook, to report to Major-General Stanley for duty. I also sent Lieutenant H. H. Burton to Marietta to open communication with Kenesaw Mountain station,

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*For continuation of report, relating to Franklin, Nashville, etc., see Vol. XLV, Part I.

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