upon a reconnaissance on the road leading from the Catoosa Platform and Varnell's Station road, down the valley on the east side of Rocky Face Ridge to Buzzard Roost Gap and Dalton, with instructions to feel the enemy sturdily if encountered in that direction, at least sufficiently to develop his strength and position, and to report what information could be obtained. These dispositions were completed by 12 m., and the two brigades were in motion.
Colonel Champion's brigade advanced steadily for 4 miles to the range of hills in front and sight of Tunnel Hill, reaching it just as the skirmishers of General Davis' advancing line struck the road on which he was passing and halted. A line of skirmishers was immediately thrown forward from his brigade in extension of General Davis left, commanding the east slope of the hill over which the road ran and the valley beyond to the Tunnel Hill ridge, and the brigade halted to conform to the movements of the right. The position of the brigade was reported to Major-General Palmer and to Brigadier-General Davis promptly, and orders awaited. Skirmishing and artillery firing was progressing to the right, but nothing transpiring in the front; a few rebels appeared on the Tunnel Hill ridge to the left. A company was ordered up the hill to reconnoiter it, when they ran away. In conformity to orders from the major-general commanding, the brigade remained in the position indicated. Saw our people occupy the hill and pass over it, and at, say, 4 p.m. received orders to return to Lee's Cross-Roads and go into bivouac, which was done.
Colonel Grose with his brigade, after leaving Lee's at midday, marched southeast, say 1 1/2 miles, crossing Rocky Face Ridge and a ridge beyond, and then turned south in the direction of Dalton and passed down the valley. He reached the point where the Dalton road struck the road leading to the right toward Buzzard Roost Gap and here, about 2.30 p.m., encountered the cavalry command of Colonel Long, which had been skirmishing with the enemy successfully on various approaches to Dalton during the day. These officers, upon joining their commands, determined to feel the enemy, who was reported to be in front in considerable strength. Nothing but cavalry, however, had hitherto been seen. Colonel Long took the advance about 3.30 p.m., been seen. Colonel Grose, and they drove the enemy's cavalry 2 miles before them, when they came upon a large infantry force of the enemy near Glaize's house in position on the railroad below Buzzard Roost Gap, and about 3 miles from Dalton. After considerable musketry and the use of the section of artillery, the enemy with quite a spirited skirmish were driven under cover of their rifle-pits and held at the railway till night-fall, when our troops fell back, say 2 miles, and bivouacked.
In this engagement the casualties fell principally on Colonel Long's command, who is reported to have charged the enemy in splendid style. Colonel Grose reported to me [while accompanying Colonel Champion's column] by courier all the particulars of these skirmishes, and he, being confident that he could "hold his own" or get out without too great hazard, the reserve brigade was not sent up to him. This reconnaissance developed the enemy in large force in Mill Creek Gap and below Buzzard Roost Gap and prepared to make a vigorous resistance to the occupancy of Dalton. During all the while he had been also successfully holding the gap above against the troops of Generals Johnson and Davis, who occupied, as was understood, the upper entrance of the gap, and had force enough all