July, 1My brigade, with a battalion of cavalry attached, started from Bobo's Cross-roads in the direction of Winchester. When one mile out we picked up three deserters, who reported that the rebels had evacuated Tullahoma, and were in full retreat. Half a mile further along I overtook the enemy's rear guard, when a sharp fight occurred between the cavalry, resulting, I think, in very little injury to either party. The enemy fell back a mile or more, when he opened on us with artillery, and a sharp artillery fight took place, which lasted for perhaps thirty minutes. Several men on both sides were killed and wounded. The enemy finally retired, and taking a second position awaited our arrival, and opened on us again. I pushed forward in the thick woods, and drove him from point to point for seven miles. Negley followed with the other brigades of the division, ready to support me in case the enemy proved too strong, but I did not need assistance. The force opposed to us simply desired to retard pursuit; and whenever we pushed against it vigorously fell back.
July, 2This morning we discover that we bivouacked during the night within half a mile of a large force  of rebel cavalry and infantry. After proceeding a little way, we found the enemy in position on the bluffs on the opposite side of Elk river, with his artillery planted so as to sweep the road leading to the bridge. Halting my infantry and cavalry under the cover of the hill, I sent to the rear for an additional battery, and, before the enemy seemed to be aware of what we were doing, I got ten guns in position on the crest of the hill and commenced firing. The enemy's cavalry and infantry, which up to this time had lined the opposite hills, began to scatter in great confusion; but we did not have it all our own way by any means. The rebels replied with shot and shell very vigorously, and for half an hour the fight was very interesting; at the end of that time, however, their batteries limbered up and left on the double quick. In the meantime, I had sent a detachment of infantry to occupy a stockade which the enemy had constructed near the bridge, and from this position good work was done by driving off his sharpshooters. We found the bridge partially burned, and the river too much swollen for either the men or trains to ford it. Rousseau and Brannan, I understand, succeeded in crossing at an upper ford, and are in hot pursuit.
July, 3Repaired the bridge, and crossed the river this morning; and are now bivouacking on the ground over which the cavalry fought yesterday afternoonquite a number of the dead were discovered in the woods and fields. We picked up, at Elk river, an order of Brigadier-General Wharton, commanding  the troops which have been serving as the rear guard of the enemy's column. It reads as follows:
I have been almost constantly in the saddle, and have hardly slept a quiet three hours since we started on this expedition. My brigade has picked up probably a hundred prisoners.
July, 4At twelve o'clock, noon, my brigade was ordered to take the advance, and make the top of the Cumberland before nightfall; proceeding four miles, we reached the base of the mountain, and began the ascent. The road was exceedingly rough, and the rebels had made it impassable, for artillery, by rolling great rocks into it and felling trees across it. The axmen were ordered up, and while they were clearing away the obstructions I rode ahead with the cavalry to the summit, and some four miles on the ridge beyond. In the meantime, General Negley ordered the artillery and infantry to return to the foot of the mountain, where we are now encamped.
July, 5Since we left Murfreesboro (June 24) rain has been falling almost constantly; to-day it has been coming down in torrents, and the low grounds around us are overflowed.  Rousseau's division is encamped near us on the left, Reynolds in the rear. The other day, while sitting on the fence by the roadside smoking my pipe, waiting for my troops to get in readiness to march, some one cried out, “Here is a philosopher,” and General Reynolds rode up and shook my hand very cordially. My brigade has been so fortunate, thus far, as to win the confidence of the commanding generals. It has, during the last week, served as a sort of a cowcatcher for Negley's division. At Elk river General Thomas rode up, while I was making my dispositions to attack the enemy, and approved what I had done and was doing. We hear that the Army of the East has won a decisive victory in Pennsylvania. This is grand! It will show the rebels that it will not do to put their feet on free soil. Now if Grant succeeds in taking Vicksburg, and Rosecrans drives Bragg beyond the Tennessee, the country will have reason to rejoice with exceeding great joy.
July, 6An old lady, whose home is on the side of the mountain, called on me to-day and said she had not had a cup of coffee since the war commenced. She was evidently very poor; and, although we had no coffee to spare, I gave her enough to remind her again of the taste. Our soldiers have been making a clean sweep of the hogs, sheep, and poultry on the route. For the rich rebels I have no sympathy, but the poor we must pity. The war cuts off from them entirely the food  which, in the best of times, they acquire with great labor and difficulty. The forage for the army horses and mules, and we have an immense number, consists almost wholly of wheat in the sheaf-wheat that has been selling for ten dollars per bushel in Confederate money. I have seen hundreds of acres of wheat in the sheaf disappear in an hour. Rails have been burned without stint, and numberless fields of growing corn left unprotected. However much suffering this destruction of property may entail on the people of this section, I am inclined to think the effect will be good. It will bring them to a realizing sense of the loss sustained when they threw aside the protecting shield of the old Constitution, and the security which they enjoyed in the Union. The season's crop of wheat, corn, oats, and hogs would have been of the utmost value to the Confederate army; when destroyed, there will be nothing in middle Tennessee to tempt it back.
July, 7Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Tennesseeans have deserted from the Southern army and are now wandering about in the mountains, endeavoring to get to their homes. They are mostly conscripted men. My command has gathered up hundreds, and the mountains and coves in this vicinity are said to be full of them. It rains incessantly. We moved to Decherd and encamped on a ridge, but are now knee-deep in mud and surrounded by water. This morning a hundred guns echoed among the mountain gorges over the glad intelligence from the  East and South: Meade has won a famous victory, and Grant has taken Vicksburg. Stragglers and deserters from Bragg's army continue to come in. It is doubtless unfortunate for the country that rain and bad roads prevented our following up Bragg closely and forcing him to fight in the present demoralized condition of his army. We would have been certain of a decisive victory.
July, 9Dined with General Negley. Colonels Stoughton and Surwell, brigade commanders, were present. The dinner was excellent; soups, punch, wine, blackberries were on the table; and, to men who for a fortnight had been feeding on hard crackers and salt pork, seemed delicious. The General got his face poisoned while riding through the woods on the 2d instant, and he now looks like an old bruiser. McCook, whose corps lies near Winchester, called while we were at Negley's; he looks, if possible, more like a blockhead than ever, and it is astonishing to me that he should be permitted to retain command of a corps for a single hour. He brought us cheering information, however. The intelligence received from the East and South a few days ago has been confirmed, and the success of our armies even greater than first reports led us to believe.
July, 10We have a cow at brigade Headquarters. Blackberries are very abundant. The sky has cleared, but the Cumberland mountains are this morning covered by a thin veil of mist. Supply trains arrived last night.
July, 11We hear nothing of the rebel army. Rosecrans,  doubtless, knows its whereabouts, but his subordinates do not. A few ot the enemy may be lingering in the vicinity of Stevenson and Bridgeport, but the main body is, doubtless, beyond the Tennessee. The rebel sympathizers here acknowledge that Bragg has been outgeneraled. Our cavalry started on the 9th instant for Huntsville, Athens, and Decatur, and I have no doubt these places were re-occupied without opposition. The rebel cavalry is said to be utterly worn out, and for this reason has performed a very insignificant part in recent operations. The fall of Vicksburg, defeat of Lee, and retreat of Bragg, will, doubtless, render the adoption of an entirely new plan necessary. How long it will take to perfect this, and get ready for a concerted movement, I have no idea.
July, 12Our soldiers, I am told, have been entering the houses of private citizens, taking whatever they saw fit, and committing many outrages. I trust, however, they have not been doing so badly as the people would have us believe. The latter are all disposed to grumble; and if a hungry soldier squints wistfully at a chicken, some one is ready to complain that the fowls are in danger, and that they are the property of a lone woman, a widow, with nothing under the sun to eat but chickens. In nine cases out of ten the husbands of these lone women are in the Confederate army; but still they are women, and should be treated well.
July, 14The brigade baker has come up, and will have  his oven in operation this afternoon; so we shall have fresh bread again. General Rosecrans will allow no ladies to come to the front. This would seem to be conclusive that no gentlemen will be permitted to go to the rear.
July, 16We have blackberries and milk for breakfast, dinner, and supper. To-night we had hot gingerbread also. I have eaten too much, and feel uncomfortable. Meade's victory has been growing small by degrees and beautifully less; but the success of Grant has improved sufficiently on first reports to make it all up. Our success in this department, although attended with little loss of life, has been very gratifying. We have extended our lines over the most productive region of Tennessee, and have possession also of all North Alabama, a rich tract of country, the loss of which must be sorely felt by the rebels.
July, 18To-night I received a bundle of Northern papers, and among others the Union (?) Register. While reading it I felt almost glad that I was not at home, for certainly I should be very uncomfortable if compelled to listen every day to such treasonable attacks upon the Administration, sugar-coated though they be with hypocritical professions of devotion to the Union, the Constitution, and the soldier. How supremely wicked these men are, who, for their own personal advantage, or for party success, use every possible means to bring the Administration into disrespect, and withhold from it what, at this time, it so greatly needs, the hearty support and co-operation of  the people. The simple fact that abuse of the party in power encourages the rebels, not only by evincing disaffection and division in the North, but by leading them to believe, also, that their conduct is justifiable, should, of itself, be sufficient to deter honest and patriotic men from using such language as may be found in the opposition press. The blood of many thousand soldiers will rest upon the peace party, and certainly the blood of many misguided people at the North must be charged to the same account. The draft riots of New York and elsewhere these croakers and libelers are alone responsible for. After the war has ended there will be abundant time to discuss the manner in which it has been conducted. Certainly quarreling over it now call only tend to the defeat and disgrace of our arms. We hardly hear of politics in the army, and I certainly did not dream before that there was so much bitterness of feeling among the people in the North. Republicans, Democrats, and every body else think nearly alike here. I know of none who sympathize with the so-called peace party. It is universally damned, for there is no soldier so ignorant that he does not know and feel that this party is prolonging the war by stimulating his enemies. A child can see this. The rebel papers, which every soldier occasionally obtains, prove it beyond a peradventure.
July, 20Mrs. General Negley, it appears, has been allowed to visit her husband. Mrs. General McCook is said to be coming. Received a public document, in which I find all the  reports of the battle of Stone river, and, I am sorry to say, my report is the poorest and most unsatisfactory of the whole lot. The printer, as if for the purpose of aggravating me beyond endurance, has, by an error of punctuation, transformed what I considered a very considerable and creditable action, into an inconsiderable skirmish. The report should read:
On the second and third days my brigade was in front, a portion of the time skirmishing. On the night of January 3d, two regiments, led by myself, drove the enemy from their breastworks in the edge of the woods.This appears in the volume as follows:
On the second and third days my brigade was in front a portion of the time. Skirmishing on the night of January 3d, two regiments, led my myself, drove the enemy from the breastworks in the edge of the woods.Thus, by taking the last word of one sentence and making it the first word of another, the intelligent compositor belittles a night fight for which I thought my command deserved no inconsiderable credit. I regret now that I did not take the time to make an elaborate report of the operations of my brigade, describing all the terrible situations in which it had been placed, and dwelling with special emphasis on the courage and splendid fighting of the men. In contrast with my stupidly modest report, is that of Brigadier-General Spears. He does not hesitate to  claim for his troops all the credit of the night engagement referred to; and yet while my men stormed the barricade of logs, and cleaned out the woods, his were lying on their faces fully two hundred yards in the rear, and I should never have known that they were even that near the enemy if his raw soldiers had not fired an occasional shot into us from behind. If General Spears was with his men, he must have known that his report of their action on that occasion was utterly untruthful. If, however, as I apprehend, he was behind the rifle pits, six hundred yards in the rear, he might, like thousands of others, who were distant spectators of the scene, have honestly conceived that his troops were doing the fighting. General Rousseau's report contradicts his statements, and in a meager way accords the credit to my regiments. Officers are more selfish, dishonest, and grasping in their struggle for notoriety than the miser for gold. They lay claim to every thing within reach, whether it belongs to them or not. I know absolutely that many of the reports in the volume before me are base exaggerations-romances, founded upon the smallest conceivable amount of fact. They are simply elaborate essays, which seek to show that the author was a little braver, a little more skillful in the management of his men, and a little worthier than anybody else. I know of one officer who has great credit, in official reports and in the newspapers, for a battle in which he did not participate at all. In fact, he did not reach the field until after the enemy had not only  been repulsed, but retired out of sight; and yet he has not the manliness to correct the error, and give the honor to whom it is due.