ond day to divide the force, a part to go to Raleigh Hill and there wait till night to meet an armed force coming from Murfreesborough, Tenn. If the force did not come by nightfall, to return to Spring Hill. The other part of the force was at the same time to march for the direction of Columbia, and, returning to Spring Hill, meet the force that had been to Raleigh Hill.
On the morning of the 4th of March, the entire command, consisting of 2,837 men and officers of all arms, moved out from Franklin, the weather being cool and favorable. The road is a turnpike, and the men marched with facility. Having advanced to the south about 4 miles, a considerable force of cavalry was discovered in front of us. It proved to be about 1,000 mounted men, with two pieces of artillery. I had the forces brought up at once, the cavalry deployed and advanced to the right of the road. The Thirty-third Indiana and Twenty-second Wisconsin also on the right, with a section of the battery; the One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio and the Nineteenth Michigan, with two sections of the battery, on the left; the Eighty-fifth Indiana in the rear, about half a mile, with the train. The face of the country here was much broken, presenting to the eye long swells and ridges, from 50 to 200 feet in height, in many places quite steep and precipitous. A view greater in extent than a range of half a mile could not be had except in the direction of the road. Thus a large part of the country was concealed from view. Our guns, posted on a slight elevation, had a range of near 1 mile uninterrupted by the hills directly down the road. The enemy began fire from his two pieces of artillery, and was replied to by ours; for about an hour a brisk cannonade was kept up by both parties, resulting in no loss on our side; but, according to the report of the enemy, on theirs of 15 killed and wounded. While this was progressing, three regiments of infantry and a portion of the cavalry were advanced-Thirty-third Indiana, under Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson; Twenty-second Wisconsin, Colonel Utley; Nineteenth Michigan, Colonel Gilbert. As they advanced, the rebels fell back, and totally disappeared in front for a time. Quite a number soon after appeared on the high hills to our left, and it being reported that a force of some 1,200 to 1,500 were on the Lewisburg road, a mile to our left, and attempting to gain our rear, I ordered the advanced forces to fall back, which was done, to our first position. Here they remained about three hours, awaiting orders, the general, in Franklin, having been informed of the forces seen in front and flank and their movements.
In the mean time the cavalry had been directed to examine thoroughly the country on our left, and drive back any force that might attack us in that direction. No attack was made by either party, and the result of skirmishing in that direction was 2 slightly wounded on our side. At length orders came to send back the foraging train. This was done at once, half of it having been already loaded. An advance of some 2 miles was made with the force, when we fell back a short distance and went into camp. The result of this day's engagement was, on our part, 3 men slightly wounded (1 Nineteenth Michigan and 2 Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry) and one piece of artillery disabled. Apprehending an attack that night, the regiments were put upon the alert, and a considerable force slept under arms. An occasional picket firing during the night was all that occurred. A new supply of artillery ammunition was sent for and arrived before daylight. The Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry were also newly armed during the night.
March 5, soon after daylight, two negro boys, about twelve years of age, were brought into camp, who said they had come from Van Dorn's