HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., FIRST DIV., 21ST ARMY CORPS,
September 27, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the moments of this brigade since crossing the Tennessee River:
My command commenced crossing the Tennessee River about 11 p.m. of the 2nd instant. The crossing was completed and the brigade in camp near Shellmound, on the south side of the river, by 6 a.m. of the 3rd instant.
We remained in this camp until 2 p.m. of the 5th instant, when, by order of General Wood, we took up the line of march toward Chattanooga, my command following Colonel Harker's brigade till dark, when we encamped for the night at Whiteside's Junction, on the railroad leading from Nashville to Chattanooga. We again marched, on the morning of the 6th instant (with slight skirmishing in front), till we reached the junction of the Nashville, Chattanooga and Trenton Railroad. At this point we took position in line of battle at about 4 p.m. Colonel Harker formed on the right and my brigade on the left. On minute examination of this position we found that we were liable to be flanked, and knowing that there was no support near, we fell back about 2 miles, early in the night, to a point we could far easier defend. During the next day (7th instant) we remained in this camp, while Colonel Harker, commanding Third Brigade, made a reconnaissance to the front, finding the enemy in strong force on the point of Lookout Mountain nearest the river.
My brigade remained in this camp until the morning of the 9th instant, when, by order of General Wood, it led the advance on Chattanooga. At the point of Lookout Mountain we met a small picket force of the enemy which we soon dislodged, and marching on entering Chattanooga about 12 o'clock of the 9th instant. My brigade was the first that entered the city.
About 9 a.m. of the 10th instant I received orders from General Wood to march my command out on the Rossville road, following Colonel Harker's brigade, which I did, and encamped the same night on the east side of the Chickamauga, on the road leading from Rossville to Ringgold. Soon after we had encamped on the night of the 10th a dash was made on my right flank by a small squad of cavalry, but to no avail. My command was immediately called to arms, skirmishers deployed, and the enemy dispersed. Just here 2 stragglers of my command were captured.
Early on the morning of the 11th instant Colonel Harker's brigade was detached for the purpose of making a reconnaissance on the La Fayette road. In order that our small force (one brigade) might not be surprised, a commanding position was chosen about 1 mile to the front where all preparations were made for defense under General Wood's immediate supervision. Here my command remained until about 4 p.m., when, by order of General Wood, we took up the line of march for the La Fayette road, by way of Reed's Bridge, a distance of 8 miles,thence south on this road to Gordon's Mills, on the Chickamauga River,where we rejoined Colonel Harker's command, my brigade taking position on the right. It was now generally conceded that the enemy were in strong force in our front and that we should probably fight a battle somewhere in the vicinity of Gordon's Mills, hence all preparations were made for a strong defense at this point to prevent the enemy's getting north of the Chickamauga. We remained quietly here without anything of importance