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[310] corps extended from Hardee's right across the railroad to the Connesauga, facing to the northwest.

There was brisk skirmishing all the afternoon of May 13th on Polk's front, and that of Hardee's left division-Cheatham's.

The Fourth Corps had been left in front of Mill-Creek Gap, probably to prevent or delay the discovery by us of the withdrawal of the main body of the Federal army. Major-General Wheeler, falling back before that corps, reached Tilton at three o'clock in the afternoon. He received instructions there to do every thing possible to prevent it from passing that point before nightfall, to give Lieutenant-General Hood time to dispose his corps carefully, and make other preparation.s to hold his ground. For this object his cavalry was reenforced by Brown's brigade. These instructions were executed, and the enemy delayed until night-quite long enough for the object in view.

The skirmishers became engaged along our whole line early in the day (May 14th), beginning on the left. Those of Polk's corps, from some unaccountable mistake, abandoned their ground, which was regained only by great personal efforts on the part of their field-officers, Colonel Conoly and Major J. W. Dawson. A vigorous assault was made upon Hindman's division, but the assailants were handsomely repulsed.

Major-General Wheeler was directed to ascertain the position and formation of the enemy's left. The performance of this service involved him in much desultory fighting, however. The information he obtained indicated circumstances favorable to an attack upon the Federal left, and Lieutenant-General

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