Companies K and B, which had been on duty the night previous at Huntington and were not relieved on time, now joined us. That night we bivouacked on the battle field.
On the 1st instant marched to Lexington, where General Sullivan left us, and returned with Dunham's brigade to Jackson, their place being supplied by a brigade under Colonel Lawler. A supply train met us here, but, through the fault of the officer fitting it out at Jackson, it contained flour (which we could only use at disadvantage) instead of bread, and not coffee enough to last the men a single day. For the want of this latter article my men suffered extremely, being obliged to use corn or wheat instead, and that without sugar. A good supply of such articles of the rations as could be easily managed upon such occasions, and which I believe could have been procured for us, would have saved much suffering by men who are ever ready to do their duty.
On the 2d instant, in company with the two other regiments of this brigade and the brigade of Colonel Lawler, we moved toward Clifton, where it was supposed the enemy would try to cross the Tennessee River Marched 23 miles before we were allowed to halt for the night, in consequence of which many of the men were rendered unfit for duty on the succeeding day. Our position for the night was one of little comfort, the ground being thickly covered with rocks and stones, added to which the rain fell in torrents, drenching the command to the skin.
About midnight firing and the long roll in front of us caused me to form my line, but the alarm proved to be the picket guard of an Illinois regiment (the Eighteenth, I believe) firing upon one another in the dark, by which several were killed and wounded.
The next morning Colonel Fuller being ordered to make a reconnaissance to the river, although information had been received that the enemy had completed his crossing, I moved out and took the advance, preceded only by a handful of cavalry. The road, naturally one of the worst ever traveled, had been rendered almost impassable by the rain, which kept up all day. The rocks under foot cut up the shoes of the men, and the sticky clay actually pulled them off their feet until I had 50 men barefooted.
Arriving at the river in time to see the enemy's pickets cross we found ourselves as helpless as though we had come without arms. The enemy's artillery opened upon us, but without damage. Our own artillery did not fire, but immediately went to the rear. Colonel Lawler ordered me to remain opposite the town until 4 p. m., to give the other regiments time to get started back, and then return myself, which I did; but owing to this delay, by which nothing was accomplished, night came on before we reached our camping ground, and darkness made the march tenfold harder upon the men. Not being able to pick their way they stumbled over rocks, sunk to the waist in mud-holes, bruised their limbs, and ruined clothing which they could not afford to lose.
Arriving at the point where we were to rest for the night we found our knapsacks had been thrown out of the wagons and plundered by the Illinois troops of the other brigade. Thus many of my men were left without a blanket of change of stockings, at a time when the full allowance of clothing and tents hardly suffices to render the soldier comfortable. Foraging upon the country through which we passed had now been for several days our only means of support, and continued to be so until our arrival at this place, on the 9th instant.
To Second Lieutenant William E. Ells, of Company A, who acted as quartermaster, and through whose efficient services we obtained provisions