September 20.-One brigade, the Second of the division, was engaged upon the right of the army at Chickamauga, under the immediate command of the general. The First Brigade was upon the left of the army. During the latter portion of the month the division was stationed near Washington, Tenn.,guarding the fords between Chattanooga and Loudon.
Report of Colonel Robert H. G. Minty, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, commanding First Brigade.
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION, Smith's Cross-Roads, Tennessee Valley, August 26, 1863.
SIR: At 2 a.m., on 17th instant, in accordance with orders from Major-General Rosecrans, through Brigadier-General Van Cleve, I marched for Pikeville,via Sparta.
I sent my artillery and wagons direct with the infantry train. At 2 p.m. my advance struck General Dibrell's pickets 2 miles from Sparta.
I sent the Seventh Pennsylvania and Fourth Michigan up the east side of Calfkiller Creek to Sperry's Mill, where they found Dibrell's brigade and quickly drove it across the creek. With the Third Indiana and Fourth Regulars, I moved up the west side of the creek with the intention of cutting off their retreat, but the nature of the ground was so much in the enemy's favor that they had no difficulty in escaping.
I followed them to within a short distance of Yankeetown, and then moved back toward Sparta, for the purpose of going into camp for the night.
About 4 miles above Sparta the road runs close to the creek with a high bluff (thickly wooded) on the opposite side.
Here about 200 men lay in a volley, wounding Lieutenant Vale, the brigade inspector, and 2 of my orderlies.
Part of the Fourth Michigan and one squadron of the Fourth Regulars were quickly dismounted and engaged the enemy across the creek.
In an attempt to cross the creek a little higher up, the Fourth Regulars lost 1 man drowned and a few wounded. The Seventh Pennsylvania and Third Indiana crossed lower down, and, with slight loss, succeeded in dislodging the rebs.
It being now after 8 o'clock, and quite dark, I bivouacked for the night. In the morning I could not find any trace of the enemy, except a couple of them dead, which the citizens were ordered to inter.
The enemy's force was estimated by the citizens at 1,500. I placed it at 1,200, but every foot of the ground over which we fought was familiar to them. It was wooded, hilly, broken, and intersected by half a dozen branches or creeks, with plenty of good positions, all of which they were able to take advantage of.
My force numbered about 1,400, and the country was to us terra incognita, notwithstanding which we drove them at a gallop.
I had 1 man drowned, and 15 wounded, including 3 commissioned