against the enemy's forces in the vicinity of Triune and Murfreesborough:
On the morning of the 26th ultimo, in compliance with instructions received from the general commanding the right wing, I broke up camp at Saint James' Chapel, on Mill Creek, and advanced upon Nolensville, via the Edmondson pike, as far as Prim's blacksmith shop; from thence my advance was over a rugged country road, rendered almost impassable by the incessant rain, which had been falling in torrents during the entire morning.
The enemy's pickets were discovered by my cavalry escort, composed of Company B, Thirty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, under command of Captain Sherer, within a few miles of our camp. This small force of cavalry being the only mounted force under my command, I ordered them to the front, with instructions to drive in the enemy's pickets, and to attack him on his flanks at every opportunity. So effectually was this done, that the infantry and artillery were enabled to move with little interruption to within a mile of Nolensville. By this time I had learned, from reliable information, through citizens as well as cavalry scouts, that the enemy occupied the town in some force, both of cavalry and artillery.
The First Brigade, consisting of the Twenty-second Indiana, Seventy-fourth, Seventy-fifth, and Fifty-ninth Illinois Regiments, and the Fifth Wisconsin Battery, commanded by Col. P. Sidney Post was immediately deployed for an advance upon the town. Pinney's (Fifth Wisconsin) battery was posted so as to command the town and all approaches from the southwest. The enemy's cavalry was seen by this time taking position on a range of hills southwest of the town, and was evidently attempting to flank our position. A few shells from Pinney's battery soon caused them to fall back. A battery, which by this time they had succeeded in getting into position, opened fire, but was, after a few rounds, silenced by Pinney's guns.
The Second Brigade, consisting of the Twenty-first and Thirty-eighth Illinois, Fifteenth Wisconsin, and One hundred and first Ohio Regiments, and the Second Minnesota Battery, commanded by Colonel Carlin, had by this time formed a line of battle on Posts's right, and, moving rapidly forward, soon engaged the enemy's dismounted cavalry in a sharp skirmish.
The Third Brigade, consisting of the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-fifth Illinois, Eighty-first Indiana Regiments, and the Eighth Wisconsin Battery, commanded by Colonel Woodruff, was deployed on the right, so as to check any effort which might be made to attack my flank from this direction. Carlin advanced in excellent order, driving everything before him, until ordered to halt, having dislodged the enemy from his position entirely.
By this time I ascertained that the enemy would probably make another effort to resist our advance about 2 miles farther on; and, notwithstanding it was late in the afternoon,and the men were much fatigued from a hard day's march through rain and mud, I could not forego the opportunity thus offered in giving them another chance to signalize their courage and endurance. Ascertaining the enemy's exact position as well as I could, I ordered the advance.
Their lines were soon discovered, occupying a range of high, rocky hills, through which the Nolensville and Triune pike passes, known as Knob Gap. This was a favorable position to the enemy, and well guarded by artillery, which opened fire at long range upon Carlin's lines. Hotchkiss' and Pinney's batteries were rapidly brought into