In advancing to the front, reports from the cavalry showed a heavy infantry force marching from Stevens' Gap in the direction of Dug Gap. At about 2 1/2 miles from Davis' Cross-Roads I massed my two divisions and sent out reconnaissances, reports from which reached me between 11 and 12 o'clock, showed that a force of the enemy had been passing eastward over the road all the previous night and until 9 o'clock on that morning. I moved my column forward to the vicinity of Frick's, deploying Stewart's division on the direct route to Davis' Cross-Roads, and sent a cavalry reconnaissance forward on the diagonal road leading from Frick's to Dug Gap. This reconnaissance developed the enemy in force on that road, and reported them advancing on my left at the base of the mountain. The head of Preston's division then arriving, I deployed it en echelon in rear and to the left to Stewart and perpendicular to the diagonal road, at the same time throwing back Stewart's right being left en potence to guard against any movement against his right flank. I also occupied the heights at the base of the Pigeon Mountain with artillery supported by Preston's reserve, which it was necessary to employ on this duty in consequence of Hindman's division being still in rear. These dispositions having been made, my skirmishers drove in those of the enemy on the route to Davis' Cross-Roads. You also proposed to support this attack by Hindman's division, which was to be deployed to support the right of my line. The deployment of my column in the midst of a very dense undergrowth, through which the eye could penetrate but a few yards, was necessarily attended with considerable delay and difficulty. My line was established, however, and in readiness to advance pretty early in the afternoon, and I understood you were about to order an immediate advance, when the arrival of a dispatch from army headquarters induced you to delay the movement until further information of the strength of the enemy could be obtained. This information, when obtained, showed the enemy in retreat on the road to Stevens' Gap. As soon as this was reported to you, you directed me to advance. I immediately made a conversion of my line toward the right, and before it was accomplished on the left ordered an advance of Stewart's division upon the enemy. This was accomplished with as much rapidity as possible, through the dense woods and undergrowth and across a deep stream (the Chickamauga), in the direction of Bailey's Cross-Roads. The retreat of the enemy being rapid, Preston's division was ordered by a flank to pass in rear and to the right of Stewart's to form en echelon on his right, while Hindman's division, under Brigadier-General Anderson, was directed by my chief of staff (who, on account of the impracticable nature of the roads, was unable to bear to you the suggestion which I sent to that effect) to move upon the direct road to Lee's Mills to intercept the retreating enemy. The advance was made, I think, a little before 5 p.m. The pursuit which was attended only by slight skirmishing, was continued until after dark and until recalled by the orders of the general commanding.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. B. BUCKNER,
Major-General, Commanding Corps.