Report of Brigadier General Robert B. Mitchell, U. S. Army, Chief of Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS CHIEF OF CAVALRY,
DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Decherd, Tenn., October 20, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to forward for your information a report of cavalry operations which came under my notice and direction in the pursuit of Wheeler and Roddey, in their raids upon our rear:
From the time I left Anderson's Gap, which was on the 4th day of October, the First Division of Cavalry acted directly under my command.
General Crook having moved directly from Smith's Cross-Roads toward McMinnville with the Second Division of Cavalry and Wilder's brigade of mounted infantry, I moved on the morning of October 4 up the Sequatchie Valley through Dunlap, and up the mountains toward McMinnville, and after a toilsome march up and over the mountain, bivouacked at 9 o'clock for three hours, and again commenced my march toward McMinnville. Arrived at McMinnville at 8 o'clock on the morning of the 5th, and after stopping long enough for the horses to be fed and the men to make a cup of coffee, continued the march on the Murfreesborough road, the enemy and General Crook's command having both preceded me in that direction. I continued the march till midnight, and hearing from General Crook that he had arrived in Murfreesborough and that the enemy had passed the place without attacking ut, I encamped at midnight on Cripple Creek, 8 miles from Murfreesborough on the Woodbury pike, having made in the twenty-four hours preceding a march of 52 miles with the whole division.
October 6.-I marched at daylight into Murfreesborough, where I halted the command to draw rations. General Crook moved on in pursuit at 9 a. m., his command having commenced drawing rations the evening previous, and as soon as the First Division had drawn rations, I followed with it, all moving on the Shelbyville pike.
On the road out I met parties of bridge guards whom Wheeler had captured on his route, but had not time or means to take along, as his movements were very precipitate.
The whole command was brought together 7 miles from Shelbyville, and bivouacked for the night, and scouts, sent out to find the direction the enemy had gone, returned without gaining any definite information.
October 7.-I moved forward to Shelbyville with Crook's command, leaving the First Division in camp until the direction and movements of the enemy were more fully ascertained. I found, before reaching Shelbyville, that the enemy had divided into three columns, one moving to the left to attack Wartrace, another moving on the direct road into Shelbyville, and the third turning to the right and going toward Unionville. I also learned that the party that went toward Wartrace had returned during the night and joined the main command.
I immediately sent Colonel McCook, commanding First Division