HEADQUARTERS DAVIDSON'S CAVALRY DIVISION, October 7, 1863.
GENERAL: The enemy are following me. I am now 6 miles below town on the south side of the river. I have not yet made a decided stand.
H. B. DAVIDSON,
Report of Colonel George B. Hodge, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY BRIGADE, Muscle Shoals, October 11, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I submit the following report of the part taken by the brigade of cavalry which I command in the late campaign:
On the night of September 29, being then on the return march from the expedition under General Forrest, which had driven the enemy from Charleston, Calhoun, and Athens, I received an order from Brigadier-General Davidson, commanding the division of which this brigade is a part, to be ready at daylight to march to Cotton Port. Although my horses and men were wearied with marches, which, for eight weeks, had averaged 30 miles a day, I obeyed the order, and, joining the column of division, marched on Cotton Port, arriving there at 4 p. m. on the evening of the 30th. I was met at the margin of the stream by an aide-de-camp of General Wheeler, who instructed me to ford the stream, which I did, bivouacking on the northern bank for two hours, when I received orders from General Davidson to march with the column, then composed of three divisions, through Washington, and to the foot of Walden Hills. Rain commenced to fall and the large and unusual quantity of wagons caused a march of 9 miles to consume the whole night, when my brigade found itself at the foot of the mountain range with orders to cover the rear, which was then being attacked by the enemy, who skirmished with us for perhaps two hours, when they retired.
The 1st of October was passed in crossing the mountain plateau and descending the other or northern side over a road the most execrable I ever traversed; my brigade did not reach its camping ground at the northern foot of the ridge until 2 a. m. on the morning of the 2nd . At 8 I marched again, occupying all that day in passing the second mountain plateau, and encamped at night 9 miles from McMinnville.
At 9 a. m. on the morning of the 3rd October, I was ordered to lead the advance on McMinnville with my brigade. Clay's battalion was sent forward as my advance guard, which Brigadier-General Davidson accompanied. At 12 m. a courier reached me with an order from General Davidson to hurry forward with my command, which I did at a gallop. Arriving on the edge of the town, I found that Clay's battalion, under the lead of that gallant officer, and