13, 1864, has been duly received and considered by the major- general commanding, who approves of the course you pursued upon that occasion in making the surrender, and believes that your action could not have been different, in justice to the Government as well as to the men then under your charge. With a force so overwhelmingly large as was opposed to you at Dalton, had you risked a battle almost the total destruction of your command must have transpired. Sometimes "direction is the better part of valor," and the major-general commanding considers that your action was in this instance commendable discretion. To have resisted General Hood's command under the circumstances would have been foolhardy, and your action unquestionably prevented a useless amount of bloodshed and waste of life. In this case the major-general commanding can see no reason for one word of censure.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
Numbers 73. Report of Brigadier General Washington L. Elliott, U. S. Army, Chief of Cavalry.
HDQRS. CHIEF OF CAV. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND, Camp on Little River, Ala., October 24, 1864.
GENERAL; I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the cavalry of the Department of the Cumberland from September 13, the date of my report of the part taken in the campaign resulting in the capture of Atlanta, Ga., to October 24, 1864, the date of the order reorganizing the cavalry of the Military DIVISION of the Mississippi.
After the capture of Atlanta the cavalry was posted as follows: First DIVISION, Brigadier General E. M. McCook, U. S. Volunteers, commanding, with the Eighteenth Indiana Battery, four guns, headquarters of DIVISION and Second Brigade, at Cartersville, THIRD Brigade, Calhoun, Ga., with greater part of Second Brigade at Franklin and Nashville, Tenn., respectively, for the purpose of being remounted. The Second DIVISION, Brigadier General K. Garrard, U. S. Volunteers, commanding, with Chicago Board to Trade Battery, four guns, at Blake's Mill, Ga., picketing to Rossville, Ga. The THIRD DIVISION, Brigadier General J. Kilpatrick, at Patterson's Cross-Roads, picketing Camp Creek to Chattahoochee, near Campbellton, Ga. the Fourth DIVISION, Colonel George Spalding, Twelfth Tennessee, with Beach's battery (A), First Tennessee Artillery, on the line of communication from Nashville, Tenn., to Stevenson and Decatur, Ala.
In accordance with orders from Major-General Sherman the Second and THIRD DIVISIONS crossed the Chattahoochee River and were, on the 3rd of October, 1864, concentrated at and near Hunter's Bridge, on Noyes' Creek. This steam and the Sweet Water protected the right flank of the enemy in his movements toward Big Shanty. Some delay was occassioned on account of the impassable condition of the streams and bad roads, caused by the heavy rains. On the 4th of October I marched with the command for Big Shanty, but found the enemy occupied, in considerable force, our old line of works extending form the