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[362] guns of the fort down the river bank and around to the rear of the enemy's pits, clearing them of their occupants, and capturing one hundred and twenty prisoners belonging to Cheatham's division, besides killing and wounding a number. The same day the Fourteenth United States colored troops, Colonel Morgan commanding, carried one of the enemy's batteries up the river, after driving off the supports; the guns were spiked and the command returned to Decatur. Our loss was three officers killed and several officers and men wounded.

General Granger estimated the force opposing him at one corps, and his scouts informed him there was also a corps at Warrenton, Alabama, with Russell's brigade of cavalry at Guntersville, on the river; Roddy's division of cavalry was picketing the south side of the Tennesse from Decatur to Tuscumbia, and Forrest, with the main cavalry force, was reported at Corinth, Mississippi, with outposts at Eastport and along the west bank of the Tennessee. On the twenty-ninth General Granger reported the enemy in his front to be withdrawing from Decatur toward Courtland. The same day General Croxton, commanding a brigade of cavalry picketing the north bank of the river, reported the enemy crossing at the mouth of Cypress creek, two miles below Florence, stating at the same time that he would move with all the force he could spare to drive the enemy back. Directions were sent to General Hatch, commanding a division of cavalry at Clifton, on the east bank of the Tennessee, to move to the support of Croxton at Florence, impressing upon both commanders the necessity of keeping the enemy from crossing to the north side of the river, until the Fourth corps, already on its way from General Sherman in Georgia, could arrive and get into a position to meet him.

Hood's plans had now become evident, and from information gained through prisoners, deserters, and other sources, his intention was to cross into Middle Tennessee. To enable him to supply his army he had been repairing the Mobile and Ohio railroad for some time previous, and trains were now running as far north as Corinth, and thence east to Cherokee station, bringing his supplies by that route from Selma and Montgomery.

The advance division (Wood's, of the Fourth corps), reached Athens on the thirty-first, the other two divisions of the corps following along rapidly. The Twenty-third corps, Major General J. M. Schofield commanding, having been ordered by Major-General Sherman to take post at Resaca and report to me for orders, was immediately ordered by me to Pulaski (as soon as I learned Hood had appeared in force on the south side of the Tennessee), and was also on its way, moving in rear of the Fourth corps.

The enemy effected a lodgement for his infantry on the north side of the Tennessee, about three miles above Florence, on the thirty-first, notwithstanding Croxton's endeavors to drive him back, and his cavalry in heavy force pressed Croxton across Shoal creek to its east bank. Orders were immediately sent to General Stanley to concentrate the Fourth corps at Pulaski and await further instructions. In the mean time Forrest was moving eastward from Corinth, Mississippi, and from Paris, Tennessee, making his appearance on the twenty-eighth at Fort Heiman, an earthwork on the west bank of the Tennessee, about seventy-five miles from Paducah, where he captured gunboat No. 55 and two transports on the thirty-first, having previously burned the steamer Empress. His force was composed of seventeen regiments of cavalry and nine pieces of artillery. On the second he had succeeded in planting batteries above and below Johnsonville (one of our bases of supplies on the Tennessee river, and the western terminus of the North-western railroad), completely blockading the river and isolating at that place three gunboats, eight transports, and about a dozen barges. The garrison was composed of about one thousand men of the Forty-third Wisconsin, Twelfth United States colored troops, and a detachment of the Eleventh Tennessee cavalry, all under command of Colonel C. R. Thompson, Twelfth United States colored troops. The naval forces under command of Lieutenant E. M. King attacked the enemy's batteries below Johnsonville, but were repulsed after a severe contest, but not before they recaptured from the enemy one of the transports above mentioned, having on board two twenty-pounder Parrott guns and a considerable quantity of quartermasters' stores, and forcing the enemy to destroy the gunboat No. 55, captured on the thirty-first.

On the fourth the enemy opened on the gunboats, transports, and on the town, from batteries posted on the opposite bank of the river, to which the artillery of the garrison and the gunboats gave a brisk response. The latter becoming disabled, and as great fears were entertained of their being seized by the enemy, it was resolved to fire them, as also the transports, to prevent their falling into his hands. In carrying this into operation the flames spread to the buildings of the commissary and quartermaster's departments, and also to a large amount of stores on the levee, soon converting the whole into a mass of ruins. The loss to the government, as far as estimated, is set down at one and a half million dollars, of which about three hundred thousand dollars belongs to the subsistence department, and the remainder to the quartermaster's department. I believe there was no cause — to apprehend that the enemy could effect a crossing at Johnsonville, and the destruction of public property was consequently unnecessary.

On the morning of the fifth the enemy again opened fire on the garrison, and after a furious cannonade of more than an hour's duration, withdrew from his position across the river and disappeared. He crossed the Tennessee above Johnsonville by means of two large flatboats

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