around Dalton to prevent the cavalry approaching nearer than 3 miles. Things remained in this shape during the early part of the night. Report of the information obtained was made to the major-general commanding during the evening. Division staff officers were sent to Colonel Grose's front, from time to time, to observe the condition of affairs and every effort made to acquire knowledge of the enemy's position, numbers, and intention. At 12 midnight orders were received to move the remainder of division up to the point where Colonel Grose was bivouacked, starting at 3 a.m. in the morning.
Thursday, 25th, the column started from Lee's house at 3 a.m. and made a rapid march to Burke's farm, say 5 miles, the head arriving before dawn of day. It was here rested for a short time. The morning was cloudy and raw, the atmosphere heavy and full of fog and mist. It was impossible to see the lay of the country or to discern objects at any considerable distance. Colonels Grose and Long were in position, and had their pickets out covering their respective troops.
Shortly after daylight orders were received from the major-general commanding to push the column toward Dalton and attack any force that might be met. After a brief conference with Colonels Grose and Long, and consideration of the information which they had obtained over night, the column was ordered up to Neal's farm at the point where the road tuned left to Dalton direct, and the formation of a line of battle commenced preparatory to an advance. While forming the line the enemy commenced a sharp attack upon the pickets, who reported the advance of a heavy column of infantry. Measures were instantly taken to ascertain the truth of the report, and a temporary line of battle was rapidly formed of such troops as had come up to resist any assault and cover the formation of the residue. At this time, say 8 a.m., Major-General Palmer arrived. The column of Brigadier-General Baird had arrived a short while previous, and an interview been had with General Baird. Major-General Palmer, upon investigating the condition of affairs on our front and right flank, adopted the plan of attack that was in progress of preparation, and took command of the field. Brigadier-General Baird was ordered to occupy Cox's Valley and advance down it, occupying the right in the attack. The line of this division was adopted as a point from which to commence the advance. The space over which Brigadier-General Baird marched to get into line consumed some time. The line of this command was formed with two brigades front and one in reserve opposite the interval of the front line, all in double lines. The cavalry of Colonel Long and Captain Van Antwerp covered the left flank thoroughly as far as the Cleveland and Dalton railway. Colonel Grose's brigade was upon the right of the line of battle, and was the brigade of direction; Colonel Champion's brigade on the left, and Colonel Dickerman's brigade formed by regiments at double-column on center, in reserve. The two batteries were each on the right of their brigade.
At 11.20 Major-General Palmer gave orders to advance. Colonel Grose was immediately put in motion, and the line started. In a few moments the skirmishers ran on those of the enemy, and a sharp discharge of musketry commenced. The lines were pressed steadily on for somewhat over a mile. At this point the enemy occupied a steep wooded ridge in our front in considerable force. It was successfully carried by the Second and Third Brigades without breaking step, the enemy falling back to a ridge beyond. Upon obtaining the crest of the first ridge and commencing the descent the brigade of direction was halted about 1 p.m. by command of Major-