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[232] received from citizens, I was convinced that the position was untenable in the face of such odds as we had opposed to us, as the enemy could easily concentrate on our right flank, which, if driven, would expose our centre or left to be cut entirely off from our communications. I therefore advised the General Commanding to concentrate the troops at Chattanooga. About the time I made the suggestion to withdraw, the enemy made a demonstration on the direct road, but were soon repulsed. In anticipation of this order to concentrate at Chattanooga, I sent for the corps commanders, and gave them such general instructions as would enable them to prepare their commands for making the movement without confusion. All wagons, ambulances and surplus artillery carriages were sent to the rear before night. The order for the withdrawal being received about six P. M. the movement commenced about nine P. M., in the following manner:

Strong skirmish lines, under the direction of judicious officers, were thrown out to the front of each division, to cover their movement, with direction to retire at daylight, deployed and in supporting distance, the whole to be supported by the First division, Fourteenth army corps, assisted by Minty's brigade of cavalry, which was to follow after the skirmishers. Crittenden's corps was to move from the hills to the left of the road at nine P. M., followed by Steedman's division; next Negley's division was to withdraw at ten P. M., then Reynolds's after. Reynolds's and McCook's corps, by division, left to right, moving within supporting distance, one after the other. Brannan's division was posted at six A. M. on the road about half-way between Rossville and Chattanooga, to cover the movement. The troops were withdrawn in a quiet orderly manner, without the loss of a single man, and by seven A. M. of the twenty-second, were in the position in front of Chattanooga, which had been assigned to them previous to their arrival, and which they now occupy, covered by strong intrenchments, thrown up on the day of our arrival, and strengthened from day to day until they were considered sufficiently strong for all defensive purposes. It affords me, great pleasure to refer to the reports of the various division and brigade commanders for the names of those distinguished for bravery and good conduct.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Geo. H. Thomas, Major-General U. S. A. Commanding. Brig.-Gen. J. A. Garfield, Chief of Staff Department of the Cumberland.

Report of Major-General McCook.

headquarters Twentieth army corps, Chattanooga, October 1, 1863.
Brigadier-General J. A. Garfield, Chief of Staff:
General: I have the honor to submit the following detailed account of the operations of the Twentieth army corps, from the date of constructing the pontoon-bridge over the Tennessee River, at Culperton's Ferry, on the twenty-seventh of August, 1863, until the occupation of Chattanooga by the army of the Cumberland:

At four A. M., August twenty-ninth, the pontoons were ready for the construction of the bridge. Keys's brigade of Davis's division of this corps was placed in the boats and crossed to the opposite bank to cover the construction, to drive away the enemy's pickets, and to seize the heights of Sand Mountain. This duty was well performed, and the bridges completed at fifteen minutes past nine P. M. Carlin's brigade, assisted by one hundred officers and men of the Pioneer corps, guarded the, bridge.

August thirtieth, General Davis crossed his remaining brigades, concentrating them at the foot of Sand Mountain.

Johnson's. division, stationed at Bellefonte, Alabama, marched to the ford at Crow Creek, and Davis's entire division encamped on the night of the thirtieth on the top of Sand Mountain.

Sheridan's division assisted in building a bridge at Bridgeport, to enable it to cross at that point. His line of march was to Trenton, Georgia, thence to Wills's Valley.

August 81.--Johnson's division crossed the river at Culperton's Ferry, and encamped at the foot of Sand Mountain.

September 1.--The headquarters of the corps were at Stevenson, Alabama.

On September second, Davis's division advanced and encamped at the foot of Sand Mountain in Wills's Valley; Johnson's division moved up the mountain, and encamped near the western summit, and Sheridan crossed at Bridgeport, and marched toward Trenton, Georgia.

On September third, Davis encamped in Wills's Valley, and Johnson marched to near the eastern summit of Sand Mountain. The headquarters of the corps were with this division. The First and Second divisions of cavalry passed this point at one P. M.

September 4.--Davis marched to Winston's, at the foot of Lookout Mountain, and seized the pass at that point. Johnson's division marched down Sand Mountain, and camped on the ground vacated by Davis.

Winston's is forty-two miles from Chattanooga, twenty-five from Culperton's Ferry, and forty-eight from Rome, Georgia.

September 5.--General Sheridan reported his command to be encamped a few miles south-west of Trenton, it having been delayed on its march by Negley's wagon-train.

September 6.--Sheridan encamped at Stearn's Mills, twelve miles distant from Winston's.

On September seventh, no movements.

September 8.--Johnson's division marched to Long's Springs, on the Trenton road, and two brigades of Davis's division were ordered into Broomtown Valley, to support Stanley's cavalry.

On September ninth, Carlin's brigade of Davis's division marched on Alpine, Ga., to support the cavalry. Heg's brigade, of the same division, marched toward Broomtown Valley by way of Wills's Gap.

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