War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0621 Chapter LI. NORTH Georgia AND NORTH ALABAMA.

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left Huntsville at 5. 30 p. m. by rail for Athens. About four miles from Huntsville found the track badly torn up; by heavy details and working all night (raining hard) was ready to move by daylight to within two miles of Athens, where track had been again destroyed and bridge burned. Marched from this point to Athens; here I found that the enemy had left the day previous, the gallant little garrison having replied that they were there to fight and not to surrender. October 4, left Athens at daylight (leaving the One hundred and twenty-fifth and part of the One hundred and tenth Illinois Infantry to guard supply train which was to follow the command) and marched to Rogersville, fording Elk River; raining very hard; distance, eighteen miles. October 5, left camp at daylight (rained hard all night and during the early part of the day), fording First, Second, and Blue Water Creeks; bivouacked at Shoal Creek, two brigades (First and THIRD) crossing to the went side, and the Second and battery remaining on the east. Four companies of the Sixth Tennessee Cavalry, under the command of Major-, having reported to me for duty by order of Brigadier General R. S. Granger, were ordered well out on the Florence road in advance of my infantry pickets. During the night they were driven in and some sharp picket-firing took place. At daylight on the 6th the SIXTEENTH Illinois Infantry were ordered to Bainbridge, on the Tennessee River, one mile and a half distant. The cavalry were ordered forward on the Florence road. They were soon driven back by a largely superior force (reported to be two regiments cavalry, Forrest's command). The First Brigade had already been ordered forward, the Sixtieth Illinois deployed as skirmishers, who drove the enemy steadily beyond Florence. Here I obtained the first certain information about Forrest; he had crossed the Tennessee with his command at Florence and at Pride's Ferry (on the 5th), ten miles below, leaving these two regiments as rear guard. Deeming it useless for infantry to pursue cavalry, and my order not warranting me in advancing beyond Shoal Creek, that portion of my command that was at Florence was ordered to return, arriving at Shoal Creek (marching fourteen miles) just after dark. October 7, in obedience to orders from Major-General Rousseau, moved with whole command to Florence (seven miles), remaining there during 8th and 9th. October 10, by command of General Rousseau, commenced my return; moved at dayLight, and bivouacked at Second Creek, making nineteen miles. October 11, marched at dayLight, bivouacking at Spring Creek, fording Elk River, seventeen miles. October 12, moved at 7 a. m., bivouacking at Athens. One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois joined its command, not being able to cross Elk River, it not being fordable. During the day and night the railroad bridge was finished and track repaired to Athens. October 13, transportation having arrived, the First Brigade left at 10 a. m. ; Second and THIRD Brigades and battery at 3 p. m., arriving at Chattanooga at 10 p. m. on the 14th, and reported to General Schofield, by direct order of General Thomas. To show more fully the object of the movement of my DIVISION, I transmit herewith orders and telegrams from Major- Generals Thomas and Rousseau, marked from A to Y, also my reports by telegraph, numbered from 1 to 16. October 15, 16, and 17, remained at Chattanooga. October 18, in compliance with orders from General Schofield, moved at 7 a. m., bivouacking at Lee and Gordon's Mills, marching twelve miles. October 19, moved at 8 a. m., marching thirteen miles, bivouacking at La Fayette. October 20, moved at 6 a. m., marched thirteen miles, bivouacking near Euhtilloga Springs or Chattooga River. October 21,