At 7 p. m. the following was received
HEADQUARTERS AT MCDONALD'S,
September 10, 1863-5 p. m.
COLONEL: Your dispatch received. The enemy are encamped (about a division) on the Chattanooga and Ringgold road, at the crossing of Pea Vine Creek, 6 miles from Ringgold. They have over 100 wagons, and at 3 p. m. were halted to feed. This force was encamped in the valley, and could be distinctly seen from the village. I have a line of couriers from Ringgold to this place, crossing Chickamauga at Alexander's Bridge. I have also sent (at 3 p. m. to-day) Colonel Woodward with 75 select men to ascertain, if possible, the intentions of the enemy. Colonel Rucker's force is still on this road, but I have advanced his line of vedettes, and cannot discover any force of consequence between here and Rossville. The enemy holds that point. An infantry force, reported by Captain Darwin, of Rucker's regiment, to be two brigades (Van Cleve's division), on the Crawfish Spring road, nearly west of this place. I have sent 75 men of Rucker's regiment on that road, with instructions to picket well out to the left. I will move with two regiments (600 men) to Reed's Bridge, 2 miles west of this place and 3 miles from where the enemy were feeding, and, if an opportunity offers, dash in upon them. From all I can learn, I am inclined to think the enemy are moving most of their force on the Ringgold road, one column via Chickamauga and the other I have mentioned. They have not much cavalry.
FRANK C. ARMSTRONG.
[P. S.]-Please forward to General Bragg.
At 8.20 p. m. the following was received from General Armstrong:
(Through General Polk):
COLONEL: I inclose you Colonel Woodward's dispatch. I find there is a road leading down in direction of Snow Hill, east of Chickamauga Creek and west of Pea Vine. This is the road Colonel Woodward mentions the enemy are on. I will throw the most of my command across the Chickamauga and leave Colonel Rucker here. Communications will reach at Reed's Bridge through Colonel Rucker at this place.
FRANK C. ARMSTRONG.
The following was inclosed in the above:
I find the enemy to the right of the Ringgold road, and that Pegram's are between them and you. Some of his men have had a skirmish with their infantry and taken 54 prisoners. I shall go on and communicate with Pegram and scout in a direction between you and him.
T. G. WOODWARD,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Detachment.
Above all sent to General Mackall by his courier, Bryant. Immediately after sending above, all the headquarters train was put in motion for La Fayette. Hindman's wagons were sent in advance, General Polk's followed, then the train of Cheatham and his division. Shortly after starting the general sent me on to General Bragg to get him to interpret the following order, dated 7.30 p. m., Gordon's Mills:
General Polk will start all his trains immediately for La Fayette, to be followed by his troops. General Polk will halt his column at Anderson's, so that Hindman may be protected, unless forced to retire from the pressure of the enemy.
By command of General Bragg: