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[176] in Rome on the twenty-seventh of September, at two A. M. The Special Order No. 217, headquarters department and army of the Tennessee, directed that, on reaching Rome, I should unite the division, and be prepared to act against any force that might attempt to threaten Bridgeport from the direction of Gadsden.

Verbal instructions from General Sherman, received while passing through Atlanta, indicated in addition, that the division was placed at Rome in observation, ready at all times to strike in any direction the enemy might be discovered taking.

The commanding officer at Rome was relieved on the twenty-ninth, and I assumed command at once, bending all energies to organizing, drilling, and equipping the command for rapid work. The First Alabama cavalry, Colonel George E. Spencer commanding, was ordered to report to me, and the Ninth Illinois mounted infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel L. P. Hughes commanding, which came from East-Point with us together, furnished an excellent mounted brigade for offensive operations and reconnoissances.

The lines were sealed against citizens, the earthworks overhauled and new ones commenced, and such disposition made of the troops as would insure safety and comfort to the command. On the twenty-ninth, a telegram was received from General Sherman, intimating that Hood was crossing the Chattahoochee, in the direction of Blue Mountain, and directed me to watch well for the appearance of infantry in or about Cedartown. Spies and scouts were sent out in every direction, frequent reconnoissances made with the cavalry, and no positive information gained of the enemy, except the whereabouts and movement of their cavalry, and that Hood had crossed a part, if not all his force, over the Chattahoochee.

I ascertained, on the second instant, that the enemy's cavalry had destroyed the railroad at or near Big Shanty, that Wheeler was at Villanow, and had sent a detachment to assault Dalton, which sent in a summons to surrender, but did not await to attack. Later in the day a train was captured near Acworth, and the road torn up three miles south of Allatoona, and on the following day, (October third,) General Sherman ordered me to suspend a movement I contemplated, stating that Hood was gradually developing his plans, which were of a very extensive character. At noon, on the fourth instant, they were sufficiently discovered to induce General Sherman to signal from Kenesaw (telegraph communication having been destroyed) that Hood was moving on Allatoona, thence to Rome. Large fires were discovered from the Allatoona Heights along the track toward Big Shanty. In short, there remained no doubt of Hood's entire army being near the railroad, north of Kenesaw.

My command was in readiness to move in the morning, either on Wheeler, if he should attempt to pass south, or to the assistance of General Raum, at Cartersville or Allatoona, in case these place were threatented. At the request of General Raum for reenforcements, I telegraphed to Kingston for cars, intending sending a brigade to Cartersville, to be placed at his disposal; but another signal from Sherman, directing me to move at once with my whole command, changed the programme, and I immediately got ready to move to Allatoona with the division, as soon as the cars arrived at Kingston. The train, in moving down to Rome, threw some fourteen or fifteen cars off the track, and threatened to delay us till the morning of the fifth, but the activity of the officers and railroad employes enabled me to secure a train of twenty cars, about seven P. M., of the fourth. On to them I loaded three regiments of Colonel Rowett's brigade, and a portion of the Twelfth Illinois infantry, with about one hundred and sixty-five thousand rounds of ammunition, and started for Allatoona at half-past 8 P. M., where we arrived at one A. M., on the morning of the fifth instant, immediately disembarked, and started the train back with instructions to get the balance of the brigade, and as many of the next brigade as they could carry, and return by daylight. They unfortunately met with an accident that delayed them, so as to deprive me of any reenforcements until about nine P. M. of the fifth. In justice to Messrs. Drake and Hughes, gentlemen stationed at Kingston, connected with the railroad, I would state that the late freshets had carried away the bridge at Resaca, about the time the railroad was destroyed south of Allatoona,leaving between the two points but two locomotives and very few cars; that the road had washed, so as to cause the track to spread frequently, and that they and their employes were in no wise responsible for the accidents that delayed me, and finally deprived me of the much-needed reenforcements.

The ammunition being unloaded, and the train sent back for reenforcements, accompanied by Colonel Tourtelotte, the Post Commandant, I rode around and inspected the ground, and made such disposition of the troops as in my judgment was necessary to hold the place until daylight. I then learned from Colonel Tourtelotte, that the garrison embraced the Fourth Minnesota infantry, four hundred and fifty men, Major J. C. Edson commanding; Ninety-third Illinois infantry, two hundred and ninety men, Major Fisher commanding; seven companies Eighteenth Wisconsin infantry, one hundred and fifty men, Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson commanding; Twelfth Wisconsin battery, six guns, Lieutenant Amsdon commanding — furnishing a force of eight hundred and ninety men, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel J. E. Tourtelotte, Fourth Minnesota volunteer infantry. I took with me, of Rowett's brigade, of this division, eight companies Thirty-ninth Iowa infantry, two hundred and eighty men, Lieutenant-Colonel Redfield commanding; nine companies Seventh Illinois infantry, two hundred and ninety-one men, Lieutenant-Colonel Pewin commanding; eight companies Fiftieth Illinois infantry, two hundred and sixty-seven men, Lieutenant-Colonel Hanna commanding; two companies Fifty-seventh Illinois infantry, sixty-one men, Captain Vanstienburg commanding;

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