Saturday, August 27, 1864


Last night the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps, composing the Army of the Tennessee, drew out of their trenches, made a wide circuit, and came up on the extreme right of the Fourth and Fourteenth Corps of the Army of the Cumberland along Utoy Creek, facing south. The enemy seems to suspect something firing his artillery pretty freely. An artillery-shot, fired at random, killed one man and wounded another. Enemy prisoners report rumors that we are going to retreat altogether. Good.

General Slocum reports from the Chattahoochee:

I have the honor to report that I have today assumed the command of the Twentieth Corps. The corps is in position as directed, at Pace’s, Montgomery’s, and Turner’s Ferries, and intrenched. Yesterday afternoon Geary’s division, at Pace’s Ferry, had some sharp skirmishing with the enemy’s cavalry, capturing a few prisoners. My headquarters are near the railroad bridge.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. SLOCUM, Major-General, Commanding

General Howard reports from Near Widow Forsyth’s:

GENERAL: We had little difficulty in drawing out last night; some shelling. I heard of but one casualty, but we found the roads rough and the bottoms marshy, so that with great difficulty and delay we made the march. General Logan is now pretty well across Camp Creek, about due south from this place.

Logan reports that his corp is in position on a line of ridges extending across Wolf Creek, about three-quarters of a mile south of Aldrich’s house, fronting south-south-east. General Harrow forms the left, General Hazen the center, and General Osterhaus the right. The pickets of General Harrow extend to Camp Creek, and those of General Osterhaus connect with those of the Seventeenth Corps. The position is a good defensive one. Batteries are in position, and the men are engaged in throwing up works.

General Blair is crossing at William Campbell’s, about a mile farther to the right. Kilpatrick reports himself across Camp Creek and about a mile south of Enon Church. Logan’s position is 71. Have no word from Schofield as yet. A great portion of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Corps have been broken of their rest two nights. I would prefer not to march till tomorrow morning if this will do. My headquarters are on the Campbellton road, near Widow Forsyth’s, one mile east of Dry Pond.

General Garrard was on his way some little time ago to Utoy and probably are this has reported to you. For the safety of our rear against small squads of the enemy and to keep us informed about larger bodies I hope you will see General Garrard, for I do not think he now has a correct notion of the position of the different corps, though he may.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,
O. O. HOWARD,Major-General

Howard Issues Orders for his march tomorrow:

1. While the general commanding assures the officer and men of this army of his appreciation of the very satisfactory manner in which the late delicate and important movements have been made, he desires to call the attention of corps, division, brigade, and regimental commanders, in our future movements in the face of the enemy, to the necessity of keeping the columns well closed up, and preventing straggling by proper rear guards.

2. The artillery especially requires notice, and chiefs of artillery will be held responsible that their batteries are kept constantly closed up, receiving the individual attention of their commanding officers wherever bad places in the roads shall be likely to occasion delay.

3. At the hour of retreat to-day there will be a roll-call in every regiment, battery, and detachment of this command, when every absentee will be accounted for and patrols sent out to pick up stragglers and men who have fallen by the way, weary from the march.

4. The attention of corps commanders is called to the orders, requiring the pioneers corps to accompany the advance of the column, in order thoroughly to repair the roads, and so complete their work that the command can move on without delay.

Further orders from Howard to prepare for the march to Jonesboro:

I. Major General John A. Logan, commanding Fifteenth Army Corps, will cause two bridges across each of the creeks, Camp and Wolf, to be immediately constructed at suitable points in his front.

II. Major General F. P. Blair, commanding Seventeenth Army Corps, will cause two bridges across each of the creeks, Camp and Wold, to be immediately constructed at suitable points in his front.

III. Brigadier General T. E. G. Ransom, commanding Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps, will direct the pioneer corps of his command, in charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Tiedemann, to report forthwith to Major-General Blair for temporary duty.

IV. In accordance with instructions from headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, this army will move to-morrow at 7 a. m., in two columns, to the vicinity of New Hope Church, situated between Fairburn and Red Oak. The right column will comprise the Seventeenth Corps, Major-General blair, followed by the Left Wing, Sixteenth Corps, Brigadier-General Ransom; the left column, the Fifteenth Corps, Major-General Logan, followed by the general train and a brigade from Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps, as rear guard. The routes are being reconnoitered, and will be indicated before the hour of march. Corps and division commanders will familiarize themselves as much as possible with all the roads in their front. In addition to the permanent guard the Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps, Brigadier-General Ransom commanding, will furnish a rear guard of one brigade for the general train.

VI. General Kilpatrick will move in such a manner as to cover the right, and, if possible, mask the movement so that the infantry will not be noticed.

VII. 1. Major-General Blair will, at the hour heretofore ordered, move forward with his command, followed by Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps, Brigadier-General Ransom commanding, on the direct road in his front toward Sidling, or Shadna, on the West Point railroad 9th same heretofore noted as New Hope).

2. Major-General Logan will at the same hour move forward with the left column on the road in his immediate front, passing by our near Sewell’s, and pursuing a route to the left of that followed by Major-General Blair. He will construct a road to move on beyond Sewell’s, should no practicable route from that point be discovered. The command will go into position to the left of Fairburn, about one-third the distance between that point and Red Oak. The routes to be pursued and the positions to be occupied are indicated on the accompanying map.

Davis removed his Division from across Utoy creek. There was much skirmishing, but Davis does not believe that line to be held by more than skirmishers. He is to move to Mount Gilead Church at tonight.

Schofield plans to move his Army tomorrow after Thomas passes:

TPromptly at daylight the division trains will move out on the Sandtown road toward Patterson’s and join the corps train, leaving a few ambulances with the troops. The entire train will then move in rear of the troops and train of the Fourteenth Corps (not interfering with the latter) via Patterson’s and Mount Gilead to the valley of Camp Creek, in rear of General Stanley’s present position, where it will park until further orders.

As soon as the trains are out of the way and the Fourteenth Corps has withdrawn from its present position, General Hascall will draw back to his new line, covering the Campbellton road, and General Cox will simultaneously draw back to the Mount Gilead road and take position, covering that road, with his left near Mrs. Holbrook’s. When the trains reach their park at Camp Creek General Hascall will move down to Mount Gilead, passing General Cox, and will occupy the position now held by the Fourth Corps as soon as the latter has moved out. General Cox will prepare to throw back his left, so as to cover the road, as soon as General Hascall shall have passed. General Garrard’s cavalry division is to connect with the left and cover the rear of the infantry during the movement. Colonel Garrard will operate from the left of General thomas along the front of the Twenty-third Corps, observing the enemy until the corps, by its advance from Mount Gilead, shall again encounter the enemy’s pickets. Generals Cox and Hascall will keep their skirmish lines, with very strong supports, well out toward the enemy. Orders for further movements will be given during the day.

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