leaving camp on the 9th instant on an expedition to the front-a reconnaissance to act as a unit with the movements of the Third Division, and to watch any movement the enemy might make:Two brigades of this division (the First, commanded by Colonel P. Sidney Post, and the Third, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel [W. P.] Chandler) were, in compliance with instructions, stationed at Salem on the 7th instant. Upon orders being received for a move forward, these brigades were held in readiness, and, upon the arrival of the Second Brigade at this camp from a scout (see Colonel Heg's report, herewith inclosed*), this brigade was moved forward to Salem. Whereupon the division, supplied with three days' rations, marched on the 9th instant to Versailles, 13 miles to the front, and bivouacked for the night. Brigadier General T. t. Crittended having reported for duty, was assigned to the command of the Third Brigade.
In consequence of not receiving orders, which was afterward ascertained were sent me during the night of the 9th instant, regulating my movements, the command remained at Versailles until 10 a. m. of the 10th, but moved forward in the direction of Tirune, through Eagleville, arriving at Triune at 9 p. m. same day, and bivouacked. Remained at Triune until the morning of the 13th. Three days' rations were obtained from General Steedman, stationed at Triune, and, in compliance with instructions received from corps headquarters, the march was resumed on the morning of the 13th, and arrived at Eagleville, where we bivouacked during the night.
On the morning of the 14th, General Sheridan, with his command, on return from his expedition in the direction of Franklin and Columbia, arrived at Eagleville, and when his command had cleared the road, in obedience to instructions, the march was again resumed, and arrived at Versailles same day, where we remained until the morning of the 15th instant.
On the morning of the 15th, there was slight picket firing, but no demonstration of attack. Between 200 and 250 rebel cavalry were discovered beyond our outpost, toward Rover, moving in the direction of the pike running to Eagleville, and one-half mile distant from this pike. They were dislodged by a reconnaissance made to the front for this purpose, and, in obedience to orders from corps headquarters, the march was resumed on the morning of the 15th, and arrived in camp at 3 p. m. Constant communication was kept up with corps headquarters and General Granger's command, which was acting as a unit to this division, and stationed, until the morning of the 14th, at Versailles.
I deem it my duty here to report, from conclusive evidence, the burning of a large store-house in Eagleville, on the 11th, by a part of the Third Indiana Cavalry, while under orders to join my command while at Triune, and, on return to Eagleville, the burning of two houses, more than probably by this same cavalry, on the evening of the 13th. Whereupon they were sent to the general commanding corps, with a statement in regard to the above facts, for his action.
The first four days of the expedition the weather was exceedingly in clement, and the troops suffered from exposure, being without tents and with but little baggage.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JEF. C. DAVIS,
Brigadier-General, Commanding First Division.
Lieutenant Colonel G. P. THRUSTON, Chief of Staff.
10 R R-VOL XXIII, PT I