The main object of appearing before Resaca being accomplished, and finding that Sherman's main army was moving from the direction of Rome and Adairsville toward Resaca, I withdrew from before the place to Snake Creek Gap about midday on the 13th. The enemy made his appearance at the gap on the 14th in large force, and on the 15th it was evident that his force amounted to several corps.
Several severe skirmishes took place on the 15th, in which Deas' and Brantly's brigades, of Johnson's DIVISION, were principally engaged. This gap was held by my command until the balance of the army had passed through Mattox's Gap, when I followed with the corps through the latter.
The army moved to Gadsden, where my corps arrived on October 21. At this point clothing was issued to the troops, and the army commenced its march toward the Tennessee. My corps reached the vicinity of Leighton, in the Tennessee Valley, October 29. Stewart's and Cheatham's corps were then in front of Decatur.
On the night of the 29th I received orders to cross the Tennessee River at Florence, Ala. By means of pontoon boats two brigades of Johnson's DIVISION were thrown across the river two miles and a half above South Florence, and Gibson's brigade, of Clayton's DIVISION, was crossed at South Florence. The enemy occupied Florence with about 1,000 cavalry, and had a strong picket at the old railroad bridge. The crossing at this point was handsomely executed and with much spirit by Gibson with his brigade of Louisianian, under the direction of Major-General Clayton, under cover of several batteries of artillery. The distance across the river was about 1,000 yards. The troops landed, and, after forming, charged the enemy and drove him from Florence. The crossing was spirited and reflected much credit on all engaged in it. Major General Ed. Johnson experienced considerable trouble in crossing his two brigades because of the extreme difficulty of managing the boats in the shoals. He moved from the north bank of the river late in the evening with one brigade (Sharp's, Mississippi), and encountered the enemy on the Florence and Huntsville road about dark. A spirited affair took place, in which the enemy were defeated, with a loss of about 40 killed, wounded, and prisoners. The enemy retreated during the night to Shoal Creek, about nine miles distant. The remainder of Johnson's and Clayton's DIVISIONS were crossed on the night of the 30th and on the morning of the 31st. Stevenson's DIVISION was crossed on November 2. *
To my DIVISION commanders-Stevenson, Johnson, and Clayton-I am, indebted for the most valuable services. They were always zealous in the discharge of their duties.
Although it is my desire to do so, I cannot now allude to the many conspicuous acts of gallantry exhibited by general, field, and company officers, and by different commands. It is my intention to do so in future when detailed reports are received.
To the officers of my personal staff, and also of the corps staff, I am indebted for valuable services. They were always at their posts and ready to respond to the call of duty.
S. D. LEE,
Lieutenant Colonel A. P. MASON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of Tennessee.
*For portion of report (here omitted), relating to the Nashville campaign, see Vol. XLV, Part I.