Accordingly, having seen the forces of General Burnside move out of Knoxville in pursuit of Longstreet, and General Granger's move in, I put in motion my own command to return. General Howard was ordered to move, via Davis's Ford and Sweetwater, to Athens, with a guard formed at Charleston, to hold and repair the bridge which the enemy had taken after our passage up. General Jeff. C. Davis moved to Columbus on the Iliawassee, via Madisonville, and the two divisions of the Fifteenth corps moved to Telire Plains, to cover a movement of cavalry across the mountain into Georgia to overtake a wagon train which had dodged us on our way up, and had escaped by way of Murphy. Subsequently, on a report from General Howard that the enemy still held Charleston, I directed General Ewing's division to Athens, and went in person to Telire with General Morgan L. Smith's division. By the ninth, all our troops were in position, and we held the rich country between the Little Tennessee and the Hiawassee. The cavalry under Colonel Long passed the mountains at Telire, and proceeded about seventeen miles beyond Murphy, when Colonel Long deeming his further pursuit of the wagon train useless, he returned on the twelfth to Telire. I then ordered him and the division of General Morgan L. Smith to move to Charleston, to which I point I had previously ordered the corps of General Howard. On the fourteenth of December, all of my command on the field lay along the Hiawassee. Having communicated to General Grant the actual state of affairs, I received orders to leave on the line of the Hawassee all the cavalry and come to Chattanooga with the balance of my command. I left the brigade of cavalry, commanded by Colonel Long, reenforced by the Fifth Ohio cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Heath, the only cavalry properly belonging to the Fifteenth army corps, at Charleston, and with the remainder moved by easy marches by Cleveland and Tymus depot into Chattanooga, when I received in person from General Grant, orders to transfer back to the appropriate commands the corps of General Howard and division commanded by General Jeff. C. Davis, and to conduct the Fifteenth army corps to its new field of operations. It will thus appear that we have been constantly in motion since our departure from the Big Black until the present moment. I have been unable to receive from subordinate commanders the usual full detailed reports, and have therefore been compelled to make up this report from my own personal memory, but as soon as possible subordinate reports will be received and duly forwarded. In reviewing the facts, I must do justice to my command for the patience, cheerfulness, and courage which officers and men have displayed throughout, in battle, on the march, and in camp. For long periods, without regular rations or supplies of any kind, they have marched through mud and over rocks, sometimes barefooted, without a murmur, without a moment's rest. After a march of over four hundred miles, without stop for three successive nights, we crossed the Tennessee, fought our part of the battle of Chattanooga, pursued the enemy out of Tennessee, and then turned more than one hundred miles north, and compelled Longstreet to raise the siege of Knoxville, which gave so much anxiety to the whole country. It is hard to realize the importance of these events without recalling the memory of the general feeling which pervaded all minds at Chattanooga prior to our arrival. I cannot speak of the Fifteenth army corps without a seeming vanity, but as I am no longer its commander, I assert that there is no better body of soldiers in America than it, or who have done more or better service. I wish all to feel a just pride in its real honors. To General Howard and his command, to General Jeff C. Davis and his, I am more than usually indebted for the intelligence of commanders and fidelity of command. The brigade of Colonel Buschbrek, belonging to the Eleventh corps, which was the first to come out of Chattanooga to my flank, fought at the Tunnel Hill in connection with General Ewing's division, and displayed a courage almost amounting to rashness; following the enemy almost to the tunnel gorge, it lost many valuable lives, prominent among them Lieutenant-Colonel Taft, spoken of as a. most gallant soldier. In General Howard throughout I found a polished and Christian gentleman, exhibiting the highest and most chivalrous traits of the soldier. General Davis handled his division with artistic skill, more especially at the moment we encountered the enemy's rear-guard near Greysville at nightfall. I must award to this division the credit of the best order during our marches through East-Tennessee, when long marches and the necessity of foraging to the right and left gave some reasons for disordered ranks. Inasmuch as exceptions might be taken to my explanation of the temporary confusion, during the battle of Chattanooga, in the two brigades of General Matthews and Colonel Baum, I will here state that accidents will happen in battle as elsewhere; during the siege of Knoxville; and I am satisfied your approach served to raise the siege. The emergency having passed, I do not deem for the present any other portion of your command but the corps of General Granger necessary for operations in this section; and inasmuch as General Grant has weakened the force immediately with him in order to relieve us, thereby rendering the position of General Thomas less secure, I deem it advisable that all the troops now here, save those commanded by General Granger, should return at once to within supporting distance of the forces in front of Bragg's army. In behalf of my command, I desire again to thank you and your command for the kindness you have done us. I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,A. E. Burnside, Major-General Commanding.
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Doc . 3 .-attack on the defences of Mobile .
Surrender of Fort Powell .
Battle of Olustee .
Battle of Pleasant Hill .
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