On Sunday, 21st instant, orders were received from department headquarters commanding me to report to Major General John M. Palmer for duty during the proposed reconnaissance, which was promptly done. During the day orders were had from General Palmer to move light and with three days' rations on the following morning, occupy Red Clay, prosecute a reconnaissance in direction of Varnell's Station, and await further orders.
Monday, 22nd instant, at 8 a.m., the Second and Third Brigades, of the Fourth Corps [the First being left in position at Ooltewah], were moved to Red Clay, distant 10 miles, reaching there at 1 p.m. Captain Van Antwerp's detachment of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry [ordered from Ooltewah] arrived at the same time. At 2 p.m. Colonel Grose's [Third] brigade was sent upon a reconnaissance south toward Varnell's Station along the road near the railway, with Captain Van Antwerp's cavalry covering its left along the Cleveland and Dalton wagon road. This reconnaissance was satisfactorily made by Colonel Grose and the cavalry as far as Varnell's Station, and resulted in driving in the enemy's cavalry pickets near that place and the capture of 3 prisoners, returning about night-fall. Upon arriving at Red Clay dispatches were sent to Major-General Palmer at Ringgold by way of Parker's Gap by couriers. At 8 p.m. a dispatch was received from Colonel Eli Long, commanding Second Brigade, Second Division Cavalry, from the burnt mill on Cleveland and Spring Place road, giving information of his arrival there at 2.20 p.m. Colonel Long subsequently moved to Waterhouse's Mill, on the Connesauga River, and encamped for the night.
Tuesday, 23rd, at 11 a.m., the First Brigade of Brigadier-General Matthies' detachment of Fifteenth Army Corps, Colonel W. A. Dickerman commanding, reported at Rd Clay. Three regiment [Colonel I. M. Kirby commanding] from First Brigade [Colonel D. A. Enyart] of this division also reported at a position indicated some 3 or 4 miles west of Red Clay to observe the roads and gaps upon the flank in that direction. The latter force remained during the day, and returned in the evening to camp at Ooltewah. About 2 p.m. Major D. W. Norton, acting assistant adjutant-general to Major-General Palmer, arrived from Ringgold, bearing orders to move the command to Catoosa Platform, on the Chattanooga and Atlanta railway. At 3 p.m. the column moved, and encamped on the east bank of Tiger Creek, near the Stone Church, about 10 p.m. The distance marched by Colonel Dickerman's brigade this day was 25 miles-by the residue of the column 12 miles. Colonel Long was informed of the change of position. The substance of the dispatch received from Colonel Long, advising me of his attack at 11.30 a.m. upon a rebel camp about 3 1/2 miles from Dalton, and capture of 12 prisoners, was promptly forwarded to headquarters during the evening.
Wednesday, February 24, in accordance with verbal orders from Major-General Palmer, at 10 a.m. the command was marched back to Lee's house at the intersection of the roads leading from Catoosa Platform to Varnell's Station and from Cleveland to Tunnel Hill, and 3 1/2 miles from the platform. Here Colonel Dickerman's brigade was placed in position to hold the valley and be thrown as a support to either of the others. Colonel Champion was ordered to advance with his brigade on Tunnel Hill road and take position upon the left of our troops that were advancing on the hill along the line of the railway. Colonel Grose's brigade, with a section of artillery and Captain Van Antwerp's detachment of cavalry, was dispatched