On the evening of the 5th, following the rear of the entire column, crossed the Tennessee River and commenced the advance from Morganton to Knoxville.
On the 6th, I received orders to return and recross the Tennessee River at Morganton, which movement was executed by the morning of the 7th, when, in compliance with orders, I marched, via Madisonville, for Columbus, on the Hiwassee, which place was reached by rapid marching late in the evening of the 8th.
Awaiting orders, the division remained at Columbus until the morning of the 15th. The intervening six days were occupied in procuring subsistence from the surrounding country, which was found in abundance.
The mountains in the vicinity were infested with bands of guerrillas and murderers, and many of these bands were ferreted out and broken up. Parties of infantry, mounted upon horses procured from the farmers, were sent in every direction and did, in some instances, good service in hunting out and punishing these scoundrels.
On the morning of the 15th, in obedience to orders, the march was resumed. Passing through Charleston the division encamped 5 miles went into camp at McDaniel's Gap. Owing to the heavy rains which fell during the night and the rapid rise of Wolftever Creek, the march was not resumed until late in the forenoon. This delay enabled the troops only to reach the Chickamauga at Shallow Ford, where we bivouacked for the night.
On the 18th, the division reached Chattanooga, but owing to the breaking of the pontoon bridge many of the troops did not reach their old camps on the opposite side of the river until the 19th.
Thus ended twenty-nine days of active operations. The discipline and endurance of the troops were thoroughly tested in this campaign, and were never found wanting. On every occasion where the enemy was met the utmost coolness and confidence was exhibited by both officers and men. But few depredations were committed by the troops on the march, notwithstanding the hardships and temptations to which they were exposed.
I am under many obligations to my brigade commanders for their zealous co-operation throughout the campaign.
My staff always do their duties well, and on this campaign laid me under additional obligations to them. Captain C. O. Howard, mustering officer of the division, was slightly wounded with a musket-ball in the engagement near Graysvile while gallantly performing the duties of aide-de-camp on the field.
On its return from this long and arduous expedition, the division was honored by an official complimentary notice of their services from General Sherman commanding. It was read to the troops, and highly appreciated by all.
A list of the killed, wounded, and missing during these operations is herewith submitted.*
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JEF. C. DAVIS,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
Major R. M. SAWYER,
*Embodied in revised statement, p.84.