At 8 a.m. on the 18th, discovering no signs of an enemy, my command moved and reached Rossville at 1 p.m.
At 4 p.m. on the 18th, in obedience to the order of Major-General Granger, I sent Colonel McCook's brigade [serving temporarily under my command] to Reed's Bridge, and General Whitaker's brigade to Red House Bridge. At 5 o'clock Colonel Mitchell's brigade was sent to re-enforce Colonel McCook, who had reached Reed's Bridge without opposition, where Colonel Mitchell's brigade joined him. General Whitaker met resistance, and lost 60 men, killed and wounded, in a severe skirmish with the enemy's cavalry.
On the morning of the 19th, having received orders from Major-General Granger to do so, I withdrew Colonel McCook's and Colonel Mitchell's brigades from Reed's Bridge, which had been burned by my order before the troops were withdrawn. I moved with Colonel Mitchell's brigade to the support of General Whitaker, and posted Colonel McCook's brigade at the junction of the Cleveland and Ringgold roads.
On the morning of the 20th, McCook's brigade was ordered on to the road leading from the Ringgold road to Dyer's Mill. At half past 11 o'clock, General Granger becoming satisfied, from the heavy and receding sounds of artillery, that the enemy was pressing the left of our line severely, ordered me to move to the battle-field as rapidly as possible with two brigades of my command, General Whitaker's and Colonel Mitchell's. I moved at once, and after marching 5 miles, with the enemy's cavalry on my left flank and shelling my troops for 2 miles of the distance, reached Major-General Thomas and reported to him at half past 1 p.m. Immediately after reaching General Thomas, I received orders to move on the enemy on the left of General Wood's division. After getting in position to execute this order, Major-General Granger ordered me to move to the right of General Brannan's division, which order was promptly executed, and the moment my troops were in position they moved on the enemy, and after a severe fight of about twenty-five minutes the enemy was driven from his position, and my troops occupied the ridge from which they had forced the enemy. Slight skirmishing was kept up for about three-quarters of an hour, when the enemy attacked us furiously, and after severe fighting for about half an hour we repulsed him, but in a few moments he renewed the attack with increased force, and was again repulsed. Determined to get possession of the ridge, he immediately attacked us again, and for about one hour fought desperately, my troops maintaining their position against superior numbers until 6 o'clock, when, having expended our ammunition [the extra ammunition which I had with my command-95,000 rounds-having been taken to supply General Brannan's troops, who were out], my troops fell back, under orders, slowly and in good order. After retiring to the second ridge in rear of the one on which they had fought, and resting half an hour, finding the enemy did not attempt pursuit-all firing having ceased on both sides-they retired under orders to Rossville, and occupied their former camp.
The officers and men of my command behaved well, fought bravely, and I am proud to say did all that could have been expected of them to insure the success of our arms, to win and hold the bloody ground on which they fought. I beg leave to reassure the major-general commanding the corps of my confidence in the willingness and ability of the division to meet his highest expectations