then down into the cove by the way of Stevens' and Cooper's Gaps.
About 6 [o'clock] heard that the enemy were coming down the cove; in fact, that our pickets had fired on their advance and then retired Smith's brigade immediately ordered out on outpost duty. In half an hour learned that it was the men on picket killing hogs that caused the alarm. Rucker (about 2 p. m.) and Maulding (about 3 p. m.) came to camp. Rucker's headquarters 1 mile this side of McFarland's Spring, and his command about 2 miles in advance of him. Marsh. Polk sick. General not well; rheumatism. Mercer Otey not to be found. Forrest said to be about 6 miles southwest of La Fayette with 10,000 cavalry. We are in utter darkness so far as the enemy's whereabouts in force and his movements are concerned. Martin at La Fayette.
THURSDAY, September 10, 1863.
Clear and warm. Mercer Otey came into camp, had been to La Fayette. At 8 a. m. one of Rucker's men came into camp with great haste, saying Rucker was being driven back, and the enemy only 1 1/2 miles off. He had hardly gone when John Harris came up and announced that a lieutenant of Rucker's had come into his camp with a number of Rucker's cavalry, and stated that Rucker was in full retreat, and the enemy only three-quarters of a mile away and advancing. The whole staff were at once mounted, a number ordered to the various brigade headquarters, and the whole of Cheatham's division placed under arms; Strahl's brigade ordered out on Crawfish Spring road, and Jackson on the road on which we came to this place. The whole camp excited, and all through the stampeding report of the cavalry. General Hindman ordered on detached service with his division. Went to General Bragg by order of General Polk to get a cavalry officer of experience with an additional force to cover the approaches from the direction of Chattanooga. Brigadier-General Armstrong ordered to relieve Rucker with his brigade. Learned that Hill was at La Fayette, and that our cavalry had been driven from Alpine, and the enemy had crossed the mountain at that place in force and apparently going toward Rome. Forrest ordered to Dalton with his command.
At 3.30 p. m. the following was received:
Four Miles above the Mill on Chattanooga Road-2.30 p. m.
I find Colonel Rucker at this place. His scouts report the enemy as having one regiment on the Crawfish Spring road (infantry), and one brigade of infantry and one regiment of cavalry moving on toward Ringgold, and had crossed the Chickamauga on old State Line road. Colonel Rucker's pickets are 2 miles this side of Rossville. I have three regiments feeding at Reed's Bridge, 2 1/2 miles east of this place, on Chickamauga. I will learn from my own scouts something more definite to-night, as I have started Colonel Woodward with a scout to find out positively what the enemy are doing. My headquarters are at this place. I will have the pickets strengthened on roads on my left. I have sent to communicate with cavalry on railroad, but have not learned where Colonel Scott is as yet.
FRANK C. ARMSTRONG,
At about 4 p. m. 3 Yankee prisoners from Crittenden's corps, Palmer's division (1 from Third Kentucky and 2 from Fifty-first Ohio Regiments), were brought in. They reported two brigades of that division moving on Dalton via Ringgold from Chattanooga.