The recent reconnaissance developed the enemy in force [with infantry, artillery, and cavalry] at and near Dalton, and prepared to dispute every approach. It is most probable that Stewart's and Stevenson's divisions, and Breckinridge's old division, Wheeler's cavalry, and Smith's Texas brigade of the enemy, participated to a greater or less extent in the fight on the 25th ultimo.
With assurances of regard to the major-general commanding Fourteenth Corps.
I am, major, very truly, your obedient servant,
Major D. W. NORTON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Numbers 4. Report of Surg. Samuel G. Menzies, First Kentucky Infantry, Medical Director.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, FOURTH ARMY CORPS, Blue Springs, Bradley County, Tenn., February 29, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report as follows, viz:
That on the 22nd day of February, 1864, twelve regiments of this division, commanded by Brigadier General Charles Cruft, left camp at and around Blue Springs, Bradley County, Tenn., and marched 9 miles to Red Clay, Ga., the old council ground of the Cherokee Indians, where they were joined by six regiments of General Matthies' division, under Colonel Dickerman. The troops were in fine health and spirits, marched well, and were joyous at the prospect of meeting the enemy.
Next day, the 23rd, the whole command, eighteen regiments, moved 6 or 8 miles to the farm of Dr. Lee, near Catoosa Springs, a locality in the region of Catoosa Platform, Stone Church, Ringgold, and Tunnel Hill. In the night moved 2 miles toward Stone Church.
After maneuvering in the mountains the 24th, staid at Dr. Lee's until 3 a.m. of the 25th, Third Brigade being 4 miles in the front at Big Spring. At that hour we started forward, and came to the mountain on the north side of Buzzard Roost Gap by 9 o'clock, and found the enemy in force on the top of the mountain. General Cruft, forming the left of our line, marched this division up the hill-side and the attack commenced. At the foot of the hill, in some old cabins on a small rivulet, I established a field hospital. Wounded began to come by 11 a.m., and continued coming slowly until the middle of the afternoon, when the shells began to fly so thick around the hospital we were compelled to fall back 2 miles to Big Spring, where a barn was policed and three hospital tents pitched.
Before leaving the first hospital site, 25 patients in ambulances were sent to Chattanooga, under charge of Surgeon Cooke, Twenty-fourth Ohio Volunteers. They were dressed and cared for before leaving, except 3 or 4, who came down the mountain and fell in the train for Chattanooga without orders.
At 9 p.m. orders came to leave Big Spring, return to Dr. Lee's farm, and send the rest of the wounded to Chattanooga. This was done, all the patients going but 1, an artilleryman, who was hurt in the hip and exsection of the upper third femur made by Surgeon Abbott. He was left with a family at Big Spring. Along with our