On the 26th, I was directed to make demonstrations of advancing down Liberty Gap, and for this purpose five companies of the Thirty-ninth Indiana Mounted Infantry, under Colonel Harrison, were ordered to report to me, and also one section of Simonson's battery. The enemy had taken up a strong position half a mile below the one from which he had been driven on the 25th, and had occupied it by three brigades of infantry and twelve pieces of artillery. A slight examination of the situation showed that nothing more than a demonstration could be made with the force at my command. Four companies of skirmishers from the Thirty-eighth Illinois, under Major Alden, were thrown to the left and front, to make a feint of turning the position of the enemy. The strength and position of the enemy were thereby developed, and the day passed off in slight skirmishing. On the morning of the 27th, General Davis directed that skirmishers be sent to the front, and the command withdrawn as soon as possible. The One hundred and first Ohio, deployed as skirmishers, advanced to the position of the enemy, who had evacuated during the night, leaving a small cavalry force, which was driven away. The brigade then marched toward Manchester pike, and, via Manchester and Tullahoma, reached this place on the 3rd instant. The reports of regimental commanders are inclosed herewith; also a list of casualties.* I hope it will not be considered out of place to attach a letter from General Johnson, testifying to the good conduct of my command.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. P. CARLIN,
Captain T. W. MORRISON,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. First Div., Twentieth Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, TWENTIETH CORPS,
Manchester, Tenn., June 29, 1863.
Brigadier General W. P. CARLIN,
Commanding Brigade, First Division:
GENERAL: It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the valuable services of your command on the 26th (should have been 25th). One of my brigades was very warmly pressed by the enemy and re-enforcements called for. You arrived with your brigade, and the gallant manner in which it moved to the attack, and its soldierly bearing while under fire, excited the admiration of all. Will you please convey to the officers and soldiers of the Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, Colonel Gilmer commanding; the Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers, Colonel Alexander commanding; the Eighty-first Indiana Volunteers, Colonel Caldwell commanding; the One hundred and first Ohio Volunteers, Colonel Kirby commanding, my sincere thanks for their coolness, courage, and conspicuous gallantry on the occasion referred to? Such troops not only honor the States represented by them, but the whole country may be proud of them.
I congratulate the Thirty-eighth Illinois on the capture of the battle-flag of the Second Arkansas.
I am, general, very respectfully,
R. W. JOHNSON,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 422.