our movement commenced, it began to storm, and continued to rain for seventeen
successive days, swelling the mountain rills to torrents, and gullying the roads so badly that one division was three days in marching 21 miles, though unopposed and making the utmost exertions.
Our army moved on tree main roads: the 14th corps, Gen. Thomas
, in the center, toward Manchester
; the 21st, Gen. Crittenden
, on our left, toward McMinnville
; the 20th, Gen. A. D. McCook
, directly on Shelbyville
; Gen. Gordon Granger
's reserve division supporting both the 14th and 20th.
's movement was to be made last, with one brigade of cavalry under Turchin
; all the rest, under Stanley
, was thrown out on our right.
Every movement directed, though impeded and somewhat delayed by the nearly impassable state of the roads, was successfully made.
Liberty gap, in McCook
's front, was carried by a vigorous advance of Johnson
's division; while Hoover
's gap, in Thomas
's front, was surprised by Wilder
's mounted brigade of Reynolds
's division, and held against heavy odds till Reynolds
could bring up his entire division and secure it. On the 27th, Rosecrans
had his headquarters in Manchester
, with Thomas
's corps around him; Sheridan
, with the right division of McCook
's corps, arriving next morning, and the rest of that corps during the 29th.
The enemy, deceived and overpowered, had been forced back, with little more than smart, persistent skirmishing, to Fairfield
itself had been surprised by Wilder
on the morning of that day.
, on our extreme right, moving by Rover
, pushing back the enemy, by lively skirmishes at either place, to Christiana
, on the road from Murfreesboroa to Shelbyville
, where he was joined by Stanley
thence on Guy
's gap, covering Shelbyville
, which was at first firmly held by the enemy; but, after two hours skirmishing, they suddenly fell back, as though they had been covering a retreat.
Granger at once directed Stanley
to advance his cavalry and clear the gap, which was quickly done; the Rebels
making all speed for seven miles to their rifle-pits, barely three miles north of Shelbyville
, where two well-posted guns checked the pursuit.
, now satisfied that the enemy must be evacuating, ordered a fresh cavalry charge, before which the foe again gave way, and were chased to within a short mile of the town, where three guns were planted so as to sweep all the approaches, formidably backed by infantry.
It was now 6 P. M., and, Granger
having his infantry well up, Stanley
again charged, and in half an hour Shelbyville
was ours, with three excellent brass guns, more than 500 prisoners, 3,000 sacks of corn, &c., &c. Wheeler
escaped by swimming Duck river
; but the 1st Confederate cavalry, which had formed to stop our charge to enable him to do so, were mainly killed or taken.
Our army now rested a little, while reconnoissances were made to ascertain the position of the enemy, and Wilder
was sent to strike tile railroad in Bragg
's rear near Decherd
, burn Elk river
bridge, and do whatever