Pitt's Cross-Roads. Learned here that the enemy had divided his force, one portion under General Wharton ascending the Cumberland Mountains at Pikeville, while the remainder, under General Wheeler, had passed down the valley, and wound ascend the mountain at Dunlap, concentrating at some point beyond the Cumberland Mountains and then move on McMinnville. I also found here that the enemy had some fourteen hours the start of me. I took the intermediate road, Robinson's Trace, and, although the mountain was very bad to ascend at this place, I succeeded in getting up my entire command that night. Next morning, after marching some 10 miles, I struck Wharton's trail where he came into the Robinson Trace. I did not meet any of his force, except some stragglers, until I arrived at the descent of the mountain, where he had left some sharpshooters to oppose my advance, and drove them before me, they leaving 5 of their dead and 1 wounded on the field.
After descending the mountain I found the country rocky and brushy, no place for cavalry to operate. As soon as I could get my infantry down the mountain I dismounted them, sending them so as to completely surround their force, holding my cavalry as a support. In this way I had Colonel Crews' Texas brigade completely surrounded in a space not over 10 acres, my men under cover and his exposed. My men poured several volleys into them, but by this time it had become so dark we could not tell friend from foe. Under cover of darkness they broke through my lines, my men not firing for fear of shooting each other. The fight lasted for a couple of hours after night, the remainder of Martin's division coming to Crews' support.
My loss was 46 killed and wounded. The enemy's loss is not definitely known. We found some 10 of their dead close by the road, and a good many of their wounded scattered along the road in houses. I pushed on after them early next morning, and could not ascertain their loss. I left instructions with the citizens to collect them and give them all proper attention. I saw nothing of the enemy until within a couple of miles of McMinnville, where some of his scouts fired into us.
On arriving at McMinnville I found that the garrison had surrendered without making any resistance. The enemy sacked the place, destroying a great deal of public and private property, and left in the direction of Murfreesborough. I was also informed by an intelligent Union man that he counted 4,000 of the enemy, and saw enough more that he was unable to count to make up fully 6,000.
After leaving McMinnville I became satisfied, from the time occupied by his force in passing a given point, he had between 5,000 and 6,000 men, my own force at this time numbering about 3,500 effective men. I had not marched more than 2 miles on the Murfreesborough road until I came upon his rear guard, posted in the edge of a woods, who commenced skirmishing with my advance. being satisfied that the guard intended to detain us so that the main body could march unmolested, I ordered Colonel Long to send a regiment ahead to make a saber charge. The Second Kentucky, Colonel Nicholas commanding, with Colonel Long at their head, made a most gallant charge of some 5 miles, breaking through his lines, killing and wounding several of his men, capturing 11 prisoners, and driving the remainder into the main column, compelling him to turn round and give me fight.