When I arrived with the main column I found the enemy drawn up in line of battle in the edge of a woods, a large field between us with high fences intervening. I dismounted my infantry, and with my artillery drove them out of the woods, he forming in another thick jungle a short distance in the rear. The fight lasted for two hours, until after dark, when I camped in the field. Here, again, I was unable to ascertain the number of his killed and wounded, but left instructions for the citizens to collect them. I learned that it was the intention of the enemy to take Murfreesborough and then go to La Vergne, destroying the railroad between these two points, and that he had sent squads of men who were familiar with the country to destroy telegraphic communication between Murfreesborough and Nashville, which they succeeded in doing. I tried to get a dispatch through to the commanding officer at Murfreesborough to hold out until I could get there, but the courier could not get through.
At Readyville I crossed over on to the Liberty pike, so as to get between them and La Vergne, and also to prevent them from ambushing me on the road. By this move I drove them off in the direction of Shelbyville. I found every person at Murfreesborough in great consternation, and overjoyed to see us. They were momentarily expecting an attack from the enemy, and felt that their force was too weak to repel him. I found here an officer of the Engineer Department who was very kind and energetic, giving me all the assistance in his power. Through the want of proper attention to duty on the part of the assistant quartermaster and commissary of subsistence, l was unable to procure anything for my men and horses until nearly morning (although I had marched 41 miles that day and my men had had no rations for five days), greatly retarding my march. The next night I camped 2 miles beyond Guy's Gap.
From this point I sent my scouts in different directions, who brought prisoners from the enemy's camp. General Mitchell, with the First Cavalry Division, came up with us here.
Next morning I was ordered by him to march on the road to Farmington, south of Duck River. About 3 miles from Shelbyville I found Davidson's division encamped on Duck River, some 2 miles north of the road. The brigade of mounted infantry being in the advance, and seeing the enemy's ranks in confusion, I ordered them to charge on horseback. They drove the enemy a short distance into a cedar thicket, and I then dismounted them. At the same time I ordered Colonel Long's brigade to the front, and, headed by Colonel Long, it made a most gallant saber charge, driving the enemy 3 miles, killing and capturing a great many rebels. The enemy made another stand in a cedar thicket, where it was impossible for the cavalry to operate in. I sent the mounted infantry to the front as soon as possible, when they dislodged the enemy, who again made a stand on the main road, and were driven from this point, falling back toward Farmington, skirmishing as they retreated.
About three-fourths of a mile from Farmington I found him posted in force in a dense cedar thicket. I at once dismounted my infantry, deploying them on each side of the road. When I attacked Davidson's division in the morning, breaking through it, part of his column went to the right. Fearing that it would turn my flank I sent back instructions to Colonel Minty, whose position was int he rear of the column, to move to the right and anticipate them.
I supposed that Colonel Minty had carried out my instructions, but