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[321] on the Kingston road, and Wheeler's troops that moving toward Cassville. Those two officers were instructed to keep me accurately informed of the enemy's progress.

French's division of Polk's corps joined the army from Mississippi in the afternoon.

Next morning, when Brig.-General Jackson's reports showed that the head of the Federal column following the railroad was near Kingston, Lieutenant-General Hood was directed to move with his corps to a country road about a mile to the east of that from Adairsville, and parallel to it, and to march northward on that road, right in front. Polk's corps, as then formed, was to advance to meet and engage the enemy approaching from Adairsville; and it was expected that Hood's would be in position to fall upon the left flank of those troops as soon as Polk attacked them in front. An order was read to each regiment, announcing that we were about to give battle to the enemy. It was received with exultation.

When General Hood's column had moved two or three miles, that officer received a report from a member of his staff, to the effect that the enemy was approaching1 on the Canton road, in rear of the right of the position from which he had just marched. Instead of transmitting this report to me, and moving on in obedience to his orders, he fell back to that road and formed his corps across it, facing to our

1 The Federal army had been under our unceasing observation for thirteen days, in the direction of Adairsville and Dalton, and our rear-guards were then skirmishing with it on that side; so that the report upon which General Hood acted was manifestly untrue.

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