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[225] himself accordingly. Relieve all garrisons in blockhouses and send back by railroad trains last over the road. Acknowledge receipt.

Geo. H. Thomas, Major-General.

The following is my first report to General Thomas, sent immediately after the battle:

The enemy made a heavy and persistent attack with about two corps, commencing at 4 P. M. and lasting until after dark. He was repulsed at all points with very heavy loss—probably five or six thousand men. Our losses probably not more than one fourth that number.1 We have captured about one thousand men, including one brigadier-general. Your despatch of this P. M. is received. I had already given the orders you direct, and am now executing them.

Before the battle, and in anticipation of the order from General Thomas, the trains had been sent back and the preparations made for the army to retire to Brentwood, the troops to commence withdrawing from the line on the south side of the river immediately after dark. In consequence of the battle, the movement of the troops was suspended until midnight. General Thomas promptly replied to my first report in these words:

Your telegram is just received. It is glorious news, and I congratulate you and the brave men of your command; but you must look out that the enemy does not still persist. The courier you sent to General Cooper, at Widow Dean's, could not reach there, and reports that he was chased by rebel cavalry on the whole route, and finally came into this place. Major-General Steedman, with five thousand men, should be here in the morning. When he arrives I will start General A. J. Smith's command and General Steedman's troops to your assistance at Brentwood.

1 At that time I did not know of our loss in prisoners, having thought nearly all of Wagner's two brigades had come in with those I had seen running to the rear.

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