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John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter VII (search)
retreated toward Morristown. His advance had evidently been intended only to cover an attempted cavalry raid upon our rear, which the high water in the Little Tennessee rendered impracticable. We now occupied Strawberry Plains, rebuilt the railroad bridge, pushed forward the construction of a bateau bridge which had been commenced, in the meantime using the bateaux already constructed to ferry the troops across the river. In this manner we were able to advance as far as Morristown by February 29 with sufficient force to reconnoiter Longstreet's position. This reconnaissance demonstrated that the enemy held Bull's Gap, and that his entire force was grouped about that strong position. The object of this movement having been accomplished without loss, our troops retired to New Market to await the arrival of the troops to be sent by General Thomas, the completion of the railroad bridge, and other necessary preparations for the expected campaign. On March 12 another reconnaissan