War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0644 Chapter LI. KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA.

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about sundown. After reporting to Major-General Slocum, then commanding at Atlanta, and turning over my rebel prisoners, by his order, I went into camp to the left of the White Hall road, just beyond the suburbs of the city, where I remained until the 29th day of September, when I received orders to move to Chattanooga by ears as rapidly as possible. At about 9 p. m. I got the brigade on board a train of cars going north, and arrived at Chattanooga October 1 at 3 p. m. General Morgan having previously gone to Huntsville, Ala., with the First and Second Brigades of the DIVISION, I reported in person to Major-General Thomas, who directed me to proceed to Huntsville as rapidly as I could do so with safety. I accordingly started on a train from Chattanooga at sundown and arrived safely at Huntsville at 12 m. October 2, and went into camp on the south side of town, where we remained about two hours, when I received orders to move to the depot immediately. On going to my command I found it all asleep, a luxury the men had not enjoyed since leaving Atlanta three days before. Shortly after arriving at the depot we commenced reloading the same cars from which we had disembarked but two or three hours previously. At dark the entire DIVISION moved toward Athens six miles, where we met with obstructions on the road delayed us until next morning, when we again started, reaching within six miles of Athens by noon. Here were other obstructions in the road, and we disembarked for the last time. By the order of General Morgan I directed Captain Cook, commanding the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois, to guard the empty trains back to Huntsville and return to the brigade by the next train. At 2 p. m. the brigade marched with the DIVISION to Athens, and went into camp in two lines, facing southeast. It will be seen that my command was three days and four nights traveling from Atlanta to Athens, and with the exception of about six hours of that time they were on the cars so closely crowded that none could lie down. Even had that been possible they could not have slept, owing to the very heavy rain that fell almost without intermission during the trip. It was the ill-fortune of my brigade to trains managed by drunken, incompetent, and irresponsible conductors and engineers, who for the most part seemed perfectly indifferent to the suffering and inconvenience they imposed upon the soldiers, so long as they enjoyed official confidence, a profitable salary, and plenty to eat.

On the morning of the 4th of October the brigade, except the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois, not yet returned from Huntsville, and the One hundred and tenth Illinois, in charge of supplies, marched from Athens toward Florence, fording Elk River at Brown's Ferry about sundown, after which it marched four miles to Rogersville and encamped for the night. October 5, marched at 6 a. m., crossed Shoal Creek at dark and went into camp beyond and within seven miles of Florence. October 6, the First Brigade moved toward Florence at 7 a. m., but met the enemy's cavalry skirmishers just beyond our picket-line. I was immediately ordered to follow with three regiments, leaving one as camp guard. It was with little difficulty that a reconnaissance was pushed through to Florence, as it was afterward ascertained that the enemy opposing our progress thither amounted to only about 150 men. We reached the town at 1 p. m. and then learned certainly, what we already began to suspect, that Forrest had escaped across the Tennessee River. At 3 p. m. we returned to Shoal Creek, reaching there about sundown. On the following morning the entire command, with the DIVISION, returned to Florence and went into camp on the southeast side of town, where we remained days. Up to this