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[199] motion my whole force, I started myself for Corinth in a special train, with the battalion of the Thirteenth United States infantry for escort. We reached Collierville Station about noon, just in time to take part in the defence made of that station by Colonel D. C. Anthony, of the Sixty-sixth Indiana, against an attack made by General Chalmers with a force of about three thousand cavalry with eight pieces of artillery.

He was beaten off, the damage to the road repaired, and we resumed our journey next day, reaching Corinth at night.

I immediately ordered General Blair forward to Iuka with the First division, and as fast as I got troops up pushed them forward of Bear Creek, the bridge of which was completely destroyed, and an engineer regiment, under command of Colonel Flad, engaged in its repair.

Quite a considerable force of the enemy was in our front, near Tuscumbia, to resist our advance. It was commanded by General Stephen D. Lee, and composed of Roddy's and Furgeson's brigades, with irregular cavalry, amounting in the aggregate to about five thousand.

In person I moved from Corinth to Burnsville on the eighteenth, and to Iuka on the nineteenth of October.

Osterihau's division was in the advance, constantly skirmishing with the enemy. It was supported by Morgan L. Smith, both divisions under the general command of Major-General Blair.

John E. Smith's division covered the working party engaged in rebuilding the railroad.

Foreseeing difficulty in crossing the Tennessee, I had written to Admiral Porter at Cairo, asking him to watch the Tennessee and send up some gunboats the moment the stage of water admitted, and had also requested General Allen, at St. Louis, to despatch up to Eastport a steam-tug ferry-boat.

The Admiral, ever prompt and ready to assist us, had two gunboats up at Eastport under Captain Phelps, the very day after my arrival at Iuka, and Captain Phelps had a coal-barge decked over with which to cross horses and wagons before the arrival of the ferry-boat.

Sitll following literally the instructions of General Halleck, I pushed forward the repairs of the railroad, and ordered General Blair, with his two leading divisions, to drive the enemy beyond Tuscumbia. This he did successfully, after a pretty severe fight at Cane Creek, occupying Tuscumbia on the twenty-seventh of October.

In the mean time many important changes in command had occurred, which I must note here, to a proper understanding of the case.

General Grant had been called from Vicksburgh and sent to Chattanooga to command the three armies of the Ohio, Cumberland, and the Tennessee, and the department of the Termessee had been devolved on me, with instructions, however, to retain command of the army in the field.

At Iuka I made what appeared to me the best disposition of matters relating to this department, giving General McPherson full powers as to Mississippi, and General Hurlbut as to West-Tennessee, and assigned General Blair to the command of the Fifteenth army corps; and I summoned General Hurlbut from Memphis, and General Dodge from Corinth, and selected out of the Sixteenth corps a force of about eight thousand men, Which I directed General Dodge to organize with all expedition and with it to follow me eastward.

On the twenty-seventh October, when General Blair with two divisions was at Tuscumbia, I ordered General Ewing, with the Fourth division, to cross the Tennessee, by means of the gunboats and scow, as rapidly as possible, at Eastport, and push forward to Florence, which he did, and the same day a messenger from General Grant floated down the Tennessee over the Muscle Shoals, landed at Tuscumbia, and was sent to me at Iuka. He bore a short message from the General to this effect:

Drop all work on the Railroad east of Bear Creek; put your command toward Bridgeport till you meet orders.

Instantly the order was executed, and the order of march was reversed, and all columns directed to Eastport, the only place where I could cross the Tennessee.

At first I only had the gunboats and coalbarge, but the two transports and ferry-boat arrived on the thirty-first October, and the work of crossing was pushed with all the vigor possible.

In person I crossed, and passed to the head of the column in Florence on the first November, leaving the rear division to be conducted by General Blair, and marched to Rogersville and the Elk River. This was found to be impassable. To ferry would have consumed too much time, and to build a bridge still more, and there was no alternative but to turn up Elk River by way of Gilbertsboro, Elkton, etc., to the stone bridge at Fayetteville. There we crossed Elk, and proceeded to Winchester and Decherd.

At Fayetteville I received orders from General Grant to come to Bridgeport with the Fifteenth army corps, and leave General Dodge's command at Pulaski and along the railroad from Columbia to Decatur. I instructed General Blair to follow with the Second and First divisions by way of New-Market, Larkinsville, and Bellefonte, while I conducted the other two divisions by Decherd, the Fourth division crossing the mountains to Stevenson, and the Third by University Place and Sweiden's Cave.

In person I proceeded by Sweiden's Lane and Battle Creek, reaching Bridgeport at night of November thirteenth.

I immediately telegraphed to the Commanding-General my arrival and the position of my several divisions, and was summoned to Chattanooga.

I took the first boat during the night of the fourteenth for Kelly's, and rode into Chattanooga on the fifteenth.

I then learned the post assigned me in the

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