Numbers 76. Report of Major General Oliver O. Howard, U. S. Army, commanding Army of the Tennessee.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, Savannah, Ga., December 28, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of the Army of the Tennessee, from the taking of Atlanta to the commencement of the Savannah campaign:
In accordance with Special Field Orders, Numbers 64, dated September 4, 1864, from Military DIVISION of the MISSISSIPPI headquarters, the Army of the Tennessee, consisting of parts of three corps (Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth), was placed in position in the vicinity of East Point. Arrangements were made and the troops quite well supplied with clothing, provisions, and whatever else was needed. Notwithstanding we had but one line of railroad over which to draw our supplies, we were able to obtain everything in sufficient quantity except forage, which was never abundant, and therefore as soon as the supply from the country was exhausted, the artillery horses and other animals began to deteriorate. Occasionally guerrillas and raiding parties of the enemy's cavalry broke our road, which rendered the prospect of continuous supplies precarious at best.
During the month of September I effected a consolidation of the army of the field into two corps, the Fifteenth and Seventeenth. The position on the MISSISSIPPI constituted the SIXTEENTH Corps. This subserved the double purpose of strengthening the two corps in the field and facilitating the transaction of business. It having been ascertained beyond a doubt that Hood was crossing the Chattahoochee, Brigadier-General Corse moved his two brigades at East Point to form a junction with the one already at Rome, leaving Atlanta on the 26th of September, in pursuance of General Sherman's order. I had had intimation from the commander-in-chief, that in case Hood attempted to strike his communication south of the Etowah that he would turn on him. When General Corse moved it was yet uncertain as to Hood's intention. He was, therefore, directed with the force at Rome to act against any attempt of the enemy to move on Bridgeport from the direction of Gadsden. General Sherman further directed, by verbal instructions, that this force act as an observing one, ready to strike in any direction the enemy might be discovered moving. As soon as Hood's intentions were fully developed, the general movement northward commenced. Pursuant to Special Field Orders, Numbers 83, from General Sherman, the Army of the Tennessee moved October 4 from East Point to Smyrna bad road. The Fifteenth Corps was commanded by Major General P. Joseph Osterhaus, and the Seventeenth by Brigadier General T. E. G. Ransom.
The 5th of October the army moved to Kolb's farm, which was the prolongation of the works of Kenesaw Mountain. On the 4th it was well ascertained that Hood's entire army, excepting Wheeler's cavalry, had moved up abreast of Marietta, struck the railroad between that place and Allatoona, and with a part of his force, at least, was moving on Allatoona. General Sherman signaled from Kenesaw, the telegraph wires having been cut by the enemy, for General Corse to move to Allatoona at once with his whole command. General Corse reports that he started at once with three regiments on the cars, and arrived at 1 a. m. on the morning of the 5th instant. He sent his train back