left and front. By the general's direction I formed two regiments obliquely across the road leading east from Parker's house and sent two companies (deployed as skirmishers) about 400 yards to the front of this line, where they remained until daylight of the following morning.
January 1 we marched through Lexington, bivouacking about 1 mile east of that place.
The next morning Generals Sullivan and Haynie, with the brigade of Colonel Dunham, marched toward Jackson while my command, together with a brigade which came up from Jackson under Colonel Lawler, marched toward the Tennessee River, I having received orders to report with my command to that officer. When 5 or 6 miles east of Lexington we met several men who had escaped from the enemy after reaching the river. From them we learned definitely that Forrest's command (prisoners and stragglers excepted) had already crossed the river. Taking these men to Colonel Lawler I respectfully requested that the infantry, worn-out and half starved as it was and without shelter, be spared so long and trying a march, and suggested that the reconnaissance be made by the cavalry; but Colonel Lawler informed me that he had no discretion in the matter. He had no doubt of the correctness of these statement, he said, but the entire force must march. The day we proceeded to within 8 or 9 miles of Clifton.
On the 3d my brigade was ordered to move toward Clifton. I was instructed to use my own judgment as to the movement, to ascertain for myself whether the enemy had all crossed the river, and, if I found such to be the fact, to return. Upon reaching a point where the road to the furnace leaves that leading to Clifton I ordered two regiments and my artillery to halt. After examining the river near the furnace, which was done by a squad of cavalry, and learning that the last of the enemy had crossed on the night of the 1st, I sent the cavalry in advance on the Clifton road, and directed Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding, with the Twenty-seventh Ohio Infantry, to follow. Directly after, however, Colonel Lawler came up and ordered my entire command to advance. Upon reaching the river and learning that the road to Clifton ran along the stream for 2 miles, and fearing that the enemy would use his artillery from the opposite bank, I ordered all but the cavalry and one regiment to halt here. But Colonel Lawler, who I was not then aware had marched-with the column, upon coming up countermanded the order. We found a small picket on the road (of perhaps 15 men),who, after exchanging shots with our cavalry, rapidly retired, crossed the river in a small flat-boat, swimming their horses. As soon as our cavalry appeared opposite the town the enemy began to shell them from batteries on the bluff. No damage was done, however. Soon after, the enemy placed some rifled guns on the bank farther up the stream and opened fire on the light field battery which was attached to my command. No harm resulted, however. The battery, which I thought too light to reply effectively, and the regiments which were marching with it were rapidly moved back from the river out of range. A wagon loaded with ammunition was twice struck and so disabled that we were compelled to abandon it. The animals and ammunition, however, we brought away.
A flag of truce, accompanied by two rebel officers, crossed the river for the purpose, as Colonel Woodward said, of making arrangements for an exchange of prisoners. They were not permitted to pass our outposts and probably did not gain much information.
An irregular fire of musketry was kept up for an hour or two with the enemy during the afternoon, by order of Colonel Lawler, but I did