On the 7th, it was ordered on a reconnaissance to Nickajack Gap, for the purpose of relieving a signal escort had been attacked on the side of the mountains. No skirmishing occurred.
On the 8th, it marched to Hawkins' Station, on the Trenton Railroad; thence, on the 9th, to Rossville, 16 miles, leaving Chattanooga on the left.
On the left 10th, it marched to Pea Vine Creek, 7 miles where it encamped at about 10.30 a.m. A few moments after arms had been stacked an attack was made by a body of rebel cavalry upon the skirmish line of the brigade still thrown to the front, and the line driven in. The regiment was formed at the time on the right of, and at right angles to, the road leading to Ringgold, the Thirty-first Indiana Volunteers being formed between the left and the road. I was immediately ordered to move forward in line, which I did, throwing a company of skirmishers to the front. After advancing about half a mile in a direction parallel with the road, my skirmishers became engaged with the skirmishers of the enemy who had retired thus far. As fast as was thought advisable by the brigade commander, I allowed my skirmish line to advance upon the enemy, who retired whenever a fire was opened upon them. In this manner I followed them, until about 3.30 p.m., over a distance of several miles, when I received an order to fall back to camp and bivouac. My skirmishers succeeded in killing 1 horse and 1 man, besides severely wounding one other. No casualties happened among my men.
On the 11th, the regiment moved to Ringgold, distant 8 miles; thence, on the 12th, to Gordon's Mills.
When within 3 1/2 miles of Gordon's Mills, to the east, I was ordered by General Crittenden to deploy a battalion as skirmishers and clear out a piece of woods to the left of the road. A small squad of cavalry, which had been observing our movements, retired as my skirmishers advanced. As I commenced withdrawing my line to rejoin the brigade, they returned and opened fire, which was returned by my skirmishers. I immediately halted and adjusted the line so as to cover the front of the brigade, which had halted and formed line of battle. During the afternoon, under an order from General Palmer, I advanced my skirmish line, well supported by the First and Second Kentucky Regiments, down a valley leading toward La Fayette. Finding no considerable force in that direction, I was ordered back to the road, and immediately afterward rejoined the brigade and resumed the march to Gordon's Mills, where we encamped. The casualties of this day were said to be one rebel major killed by my regiment.
On the 13th, the brigade being ordered on a reconnaissance to the aforesaid valley, I was ordered with my regiment down a by-road leading toward La Fayette, for the purpose of protecting the right and rear of the brigade against a flank movement. After advancing about 1 mile, I halted, formed across the hollow, and threw out a heavy skirmish line to the front. After remaining in this position about one hour, my skirmishers were attacked by a considerable force of rebel cavalry, dismounted. Three separate times within an hour the enemy advanced upon my skirmish line, but were each time handsomely repulsed. They finally retired, leaving several dead and wounded on the field, 6, as I afterward learned from prisoners. Just at this time, I was ordered to join the brigade, which I did, retiring in line and covering the rear with a heavy line of skirmishers.