Numbers 103. Reports of Brigadier General Thomas E. G. Ransom, U. S. Army, commanding detachment Seventeenth Army Corps.
HDQRS. DETACHMENT SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Trimble's, six miles from Fairburn, October 2, 1864-2 p. m.
COLONEL: I have this moment received your dispatch. I left camp at 5 a. m. and met enemy's picket after marching three miles; skirmished with him at Shadna's and Westbrook's, when I halted the main body and sent Colonel Potts' brigade, Fourth DIVISION, down the railroad toward Fairburn. He had a sharp skirmish with the enemy, about 500 strong, who opened on him with artillery. At 10 a. m. he drove them through Fairburn. We learn from prisoners and citizens and negroes that Iverson's DIVISION of cavalry is within one mile of Fairburn; that a considerable infantry force is between Palmetto and Fairburn; that Hood moved his headquarters from Palmetto Station across the Chattahoochee three days since, and that two corps of his army have crossed the river; his destination believed to be Blue Mountain. Wheeler, with his broken down cavalry, is also reported between Fairburn and Palmetto.
My loss has been slight; we have killed and wounded a number of the enemy, and captured a few prisoners and quite a number of citizens.
Having accomplished the object of the expedition, and believing that it was imprudent for me to remain so near a superior force of the enemy, I withdrew from Fairburn at 12 m., and shall encamp at the only place where I can obtain water, eight miles from your headquarters, on a branch of Camp Creek. The enemy have followed me closely with a considerable force of cavalry; are skirmishing with my rear guard. Infantry followed us back one mile and a half this side of Shadna Church. There is no doubt about there being a large force of infantry and cavalry near Fairburn, on the Fayetteville road, and between that point and Palmetto. I shall await your orders at my camp to-night.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. E. G. RANSOM,
[Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM T. CLARK,
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Atlanta, October 3, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report the in compliance with paragraph VII, of Special Orders, Numbers 223, current series, from your headquarters, on the afternoon of October 1 I moved with the First and Fourth DIVISIONS of this corps down the Newnan road to Trimble's Mill on Camp Creek, where I bivouacked for the night.
At daylight on the 2nd I moved toward Fairburn, driving the enemy's pickets with my cavalry. After leaving one brigade of the First DIVISION to cover the road from Sandtown to Fayetteville, I moved on and took up a position about one-half mile beyond Shadna Church, facing Fairburn. I then sent forward Colonel Potts with his brigade of the Fourth DIVISION with instructions to push into Fairburn, if possible. When within about one mile of Fairburn the enemy opened upon Colonel