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to Major-General Thomas for duty. These forces I judged would enable General Thomas to defend the railroad from Chattanooga back, including Nashville and Decatur, and give him an army with which he could successfully cope with Hood, should the latter cross the Tennessee northward. By the first of November, Hood's army had moved from Gadsden, and made its appearance in the neighborhood of Decatur, where a feint was made; he then passed on to Tuscumbia, and laid a pontoon-bridge opposite Florence. I then began my preparations for the march through Georgia, having received the sanction of the Commander-in-Chief for carrying into effect my plan, the details of which were explained to all my corps commanders and heads of staff departments, with strict injunctions of secrecy. I had also communicated full details to General Thomas, and had informed him, I would not leave the neighborhood of Kingston until he felt perfectly confident that he was entirely prepared to cope with Hood, shou
duty by order of Brigadier-General R. S. Granger, were ordered well out on the Florence road in advance of my infantry pickets; during the night they were driven in, e River, one and a half miles distant. The cavalry were ordered forward on the Florence road; they were soon driven back by a largely superior force, (reported to be Sixtieth Illinois deployed as skirmishers, who drove the enemy steadily beyond Florence. Here I obtained the first certain information about Forrest. He had crossed the Tennessee with his command at Florence and at Bride's Ferry, (on the fifth,) ten miles below, leaving these two regiments as rear-guard. Deeming it useless for ing me in advancing beyond Shoal Creek, that portion of my command that was at Florence was ordered to return, arriving at Shoal Creek (marching fourteen miles) just n obedience to orders from Major-General Rousseau, moved with whole command to Florence, (seven miles,) remaining there during eighth and ninth. October tenth, by