Rome, consisting of two brigades, under command of Colonel McCook, with directions not to return until the next day. Same day, sent the brigade commanded by Colonel Watkins to the support of the Thirty-ninth Indiana Mounted Infantry, which General McCook had sent out toward La Fayette to communicate with General Thomas, who was supposed to have reached La Fayette with his command the night previous. Learning that the main part of Bragg's army was still at La Fayette instead of General Thomas' corps, the whole party were ordered back.
September 12.-Colonel McCook returned early from scout on Rome road, bringing reliable information that Bragg's and Johnston's armies are both at La Fayette.
All the trains of the cavalry command that had got down the gap were ordered immediately back on top of the mountain.
General Stanley, who had been too unwell to keep the saddle for several days previous, ordered General Crook to make a strong reconnaissance toward La Fayette, and find out the truth of the reports and rumors we had obtained.
He started at 1 o'clock with two brigades on the La Fayette road, sending Colonel McCook at the same time with two more brigades on the Summerville road. General Crook with his command moved to what is called Valley Store, 10 miles from La Fayette, and bivouacked for the night, having met with no resistance whatever. Colonel McCook moved to Trion Factory, on the La Fayette and Summerville road, found the enemy's cavalry in strong force, but drove them before him, and at night fell back to Summerville, where he bivouacked.
September 13.-General Crook with his command moved forward toward La Fayette this morning slowly, their cavalry pickets fighting him as they fell back, and when within 4 miles of La Fayette sent the Ninth Pennsylvania forward at a charge and captured the infantry picket belonging to Breckinridge's division, and coming out with slight loss. Having gone as far as it was prudent, and having accomplished the object for which the reconnaissance was sent, viz, to find out positively the position of the enemy, the whole command moved back to Alpine.
September 14.-The whole command moved up on top of the mountain and bivouacked at Little River.
September 15.-Being absent on sick leave up to the evening of the 14th, and consequently not being with the command, cannot give a detailed statement of the doings of the cavalry prior to the 14th from personal observation.
On my arrival at Valley Head, I found Major-General Stanley dangerously sick. On the morning of the 15th, he was compelled to turn over the command of cavalry to me, and return to Nashville for treatment.
General Crook's command moved to Dougherty's Gap and took post.
McCook's division returned down the mountain, via Winston's Gap, and encamped near Valley Head.
September 16.-McCook's division, except Colonel Watkins' brigade, moved up Winston's Gap over Lookout Mountain, and took post at Dougherty's Gap.
September 17.-Colonel McCook's command [the Second Brigade, stationed at Dougherty's Gap] moved down into McLemore's Cove and camped.