reasonable rate of speed. The skirmishers pursued the enemy beyond the forts, through the gap, when they were relieved by the Tenth Illinois.
I captured two siege guns and a large supply of commissary and quartermaster's stores, and a number of prisoners. I am unable to state the loss of the enemy in killed and wounded, as they carried them from the field, but from information derived form prisoners it far exceeded mine. My loss was small, only 10 wounded, and but 5 of that number serious. Not one killed.
The contending foe was represented to be the rear guard-(a division under command of Breckinridge) of Bragg's retreating army.
At 2 p.m. the division continued the pursuit, your brigade in the center, and did not reach the enemy until near Graysville, when the First Brigade was ordered up, about sunset, to the support of Colonel Dan. McCook, commanding Third Brigade, who had engaged the enemy, but, in spite of our rapid march, did not reach the scene of conflict in time to take part. The enemy were gone and it was too dark to pursue.
At sunrise the following morning the division continued the pursuit, the First Brigade on the left, and by 4 p.m. marched within 2 miles of Ringgold, but saw no more of the enemy. At that point we bivouacked for the night.
On the 27th, the pursuit having been abandoned, the division was ordered to return, but did not go far before we were met by orders turning our course in the direction of Knoxville, to the relief of General Burnside, who was closely besieged by Longstreet.
On the 28th, we passed through McDaniel's Gap, taking a northeast course (in parallel direction with the Dalton and Cleveland railroad), leaving Cleveland 2 miles to our right, crossing Hiwassee River at Charleston (on bridge constructed by the Eleventh Army Corps, which was in our advance), arriving at Loudon on the 4th of December.
On the 5th, crossed Little Tennessee River at Morganton, and on the 6th, when within a few miles of Maryville and within 18 miles of Knoxville,the brigade received orders to return to Chattanooga, taking the same route we had marched, with the exception of taking Madisonville and Columbus en route to Charleston.
With the exception of the detention of six days at Columbus, returned to Chattanooga without delay, arriving at that place ont eh 18th of December, having marched over 250 miles. While at Columbus my regiment was occupied for two days collecting material for meal and flour from the rich valley in the vicinity of Benton, and grinding it at a large mill close by for the use of the division, the rations of hard bread having been consumed.
I cannot close my report without saying a word in praise of the men and officers of my command for their conduct during the recent campaign. Their patience under the sufferings and hardships attending the march was great, and their daring deeds of bravery at Chickamauga Station I am confident has not been surpassed. Always in their place, whether on the march or in camp, and I know not a single instance of marauding in the command during the expedition.
The trials and exposures were met without a murmur. Short rations, wearisome marches, through weather cold and bleak, when poorly clad, in many instances feet lacerated for the want of shoes, was all borne with heroic endurance and cheerfulness, and through it all my command (as well as other regiments of your command)