June 28, 7.30 a.m, in compliance with orders, sent General Beatty's brigade to Hillsborough, to engage the attention of the rebel General Morgan, and cover the operations of Colonel Wilder's brigade of mounted infantry. I ordered the baggage of the command to be so reduced as to obtain a supply train of 36 wagons, which was sent to Murfreesborough, in charge of Colonel Given, commanding Seventy-fourth Ohio Volunteers, for supplies.
June 29, received orders to march to Concord Church, on Winchester pike, where General Beatty was ordered to join me from Hillsborough. Moved with the balance of my command at 12 m. for Concord Church. After proceeding 2 miles, the impassable condition of the roads rendered it necessary to send the trains back to Manchester. After severe marching, I succeeded in reaching Bobo's Cross-Roads by 9 p.m., General Beatty's brigade reaching that point about the same time.
June 30, 11 a.m., sent out two regiments of infantry, under command of Colonel Hull, Thirty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, with instructions to reconnoiter toward Tullahoma. Returning at 4 p.m., reported having seen no enemy within a distance of 4 miles.
July 1, moved my command three-quarters of a mile to the front, occupying a position to the left of the Winchester road. At 11 a.m. received orders to march to Hale's Mill. Marched immediately, General Beatty's brigade in advance. His skirmishers engaged the enemy's cavalry, with two pieces of artillery, 3 miles from Bobo's Cross-Roads. The day being excessively warm, the country broken and covered with a thick growth of young timber, I was unable to flank the enemy so as to capture his artillery, which he used from time to time, to the annoyance of my advance.
The enemy was driven back to the ridge running north of Elk River, where he assumed a strong position in a bend of the river, about 2 miles from Bethpage Bridge, placing his artillery in a turn of the road which commanded the approach to his right. As night was approaching, and the command greatly exhausted preparations were made to occupy a strong position for the night, while two regiments of infantry (Eighteenth Ohio and Nineteenth Illinois) and a battalion of the First Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, which had reported to me early in the morning, were pushed forward to ascertain the position and strength of the enemy. They had proceeded but a short distance through a thick chaparral, when they were engaged by Wheeler's cavalry division. Colonel Stoughton was ordered to re-enforce them with the Eleventh Michigan, and General Beatty with two other regiments, which was very promptly done, and the enemy steadily driven back one-half mile, when he was heavily re-enforced with infantry, which I afterward ascertained to be the divisions of Generals Cleburn and Stewart, with Gracie's brigade, of Buckner's division. After silencing the enemy's skirmishers, and it becoming too dark for further operations, strong positions were selected and the division ordered into camp.
During the night the enemy recrossed his infantry, and toward morning his cavalry taking a strong position on the opposite side of the river, and setting fire to the bridge.
In the morning (July 2) I was ordered forward to take possession of the ford. Finding that the enemy had three pieces of artillery commanding the ford, supported by a strong force of cavalry and infantry, Hewett's and Schultz's batteries were ordered into position at a point overlooking the ford, where we opened on the enemy, who replied, but with no effect. His guns were soon silenced by dismounting one and driving the gunners from their posts, compelling the whole force, with the exception of a few sharpshooters, to fall back from their position.