HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Savannah, Ga., January 15, 1864.
MAJOR: In resuming the narration of the operations of this DIVISION it becomes necessary to recur briefly to the condition of affairs in and about Allatoona.
My last report brought us to the 6th of October. That portion of Rowett's brigade left at Rome when I went to Allatoona joined me late on the night of the 5th, and on the morning of the 6th Colonel Martin brought up the First Brigade, making the garrison at Allatoona to consist of two brigade of this DIVISION and one of the THIRD DIVISION, Fifteenth Army Corps. The delay in the arrival of these re-enforcements, as has already been explained, was occasioned by the heavy rains that occurred in the early part of October. The Second Brigade, of this DIVISION, garrisoned Rome. General Raums brigade, of the THIRD DIVISION, occupied Kingston and Cartersville, between Rome and Allatoona. General Sherman still retained his headquarters near Kenesaw, his army distributed about its base. Owing to the condition of the roads the troops that were directed to the relief of Allatoona from the south did not make sufficient progress to intercept Stewart's corps, of Hood's army, which, after the repulse at Allatoona, withdrew in the direction of Dallas, forming a junction with the main body of the enemy late on the night of the 5th. Hood's army disappeared from its position about Dallas on the 6th, and its destination not being developed, General Sherman, apprehensive that the enemy might attempt to seize the bridge across the Etowah, either at Cartersville or Kingston, and Allatoona being safe by the near approach of his force, directed me to retire across the Etowah, to assure the safety of the above mentioned points and the line of the railroad. The troops were occupied on the 6th in strengthening the position and gathering the rebel dead and wounded and the arms that were strewn over the field.
Early on the morning of the 7th my command moved to Cartersville and lay there in bivouac, while I endeavored to secure all possible information of the whereabouts of Hood. Late in the day I received a communication from General Sherman that his cavalry were following Hood and that the enemy were too far south to make the Etowah bridge via Stilesborough. Not being able to develop any force along the left bank of the Etowah between the bridges, I directed the column to move on Rome, via Kingston, the next day, and took the cars myself in the evening of the 8th, arriving at Rome about 9 p. m. Here I found that the late freshet had swept away the two pontoon bridges that connected Rome with the opposite banks of thituated at the confluence of these two streams, which run parallel on either side of the city for quite a distance, then gradually approaching, their waters mingle and form the Coosa) is commanded on the left bank of the Etowah where that stream joins the Coosa. The peninsula, on which the town is located, embraced our depot for supplies and ordnance and the extensive hospitals organized for the Army of the Tennessee, commanded by the eminence to which we gave the name of Cemetery Hill. If Hood was approaching Rome, as was generally supposed, it was important that we should secure this hill and fortify it, as it was the key to the place. Finding on my return that all force had been withdrawn into the garrison, I directed a small outpost to be thrown across in boats on Cemetery Hill, sent for the chief of the pioneer corps, and ordered him to proceed at once to build a pontoon bridge across the Etowah at that point, giving him control of all mechanics, saw-mills, and