leave 1,200 men to operate on those roads; return and again strike the railroad south of Chattanooga
and rejoin the army.
This long-desired and long-delayed movement could not have been intrusted to a better leader.
Though his men were much worn and his horses were suffering from scarcity of forage, Wheeler
started August 10th with 4,000 troopers, and first tore up the railroad above Marietta
, next near Cassville
, and then near Calhoun
At the latter place Hannon
's brigade captured 1, 700 head of beef cattle, a number of prisoners, wagons and horses, with which he returned in safety to the army, though pursued by a superior force of Federal cavalry.
On August 14th Humes
' and Kelly
's commands attacked and captured Dalton
, with a large amount of stores and government property, their trains, 200 horses and mules and 200 prisoners, the balance of the garrison being driven from the town to a strong fortification near at hand.
A blockhouse and water-tank were destroyed south of town, and the railroad track torn up for a considerable distance.
On the following day Wheeler
was attacked in the absence of Martin
's division by infantry and cavalry under General Steedman
, and the enemy suffered considerable loss, including General Steedman
slightly wounded and one colonel killed.
' brigade destroyed the road at various points between Tunnel Hill
, and the enemy were kept from making any repairs until August 20th, when Wheeler
pushed on into Tennessee
with his main force.
But he left 200 picked men to raid the railroad every night at several places, and they succeeded in running off twenty trains during his absence.
destroyed the railroad from Cleveland
, crossed the Hiwassee
and captured Athens
with a large quantity of valuable supplies, and tore up the railroad from Charleston
, all the time being harassed by the Federal
cavalry, who, however, were not able during his whole expedition to capture one of his men or take any