War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0455 Chapter XLIV. DEMONSTRATION ON DALTON, GA.

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Numbers 19. Report of Brigadier General Jefferson C. Davis, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.


McAfee's Church, Ga., March 22, 1864.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this division during the recent reconnaissance against the enemy's position in the vicinity of Dalton, Ga.:

Previous to the reception of orders preparatory to the commencement of these movements, the brigades composing the division were posted as follows: The Firts Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General J. D. Morgan, occupied its position in the permanent camp of the division at this place. The Second Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Carter Van Vleck, was posted at Tyner's Station, guarding the railroad to Knoxville. The Third Brigade, commanded by Colonel Dan. McCook, occupied a position at chickamauga Station.

On the morning of the 23rd February, in compliance with orders received during the night from department headquarters, I concentrated the First and Third Brigades at Ringgold, and reported to Major-General Plamer, commanding, during the afternoon. Later in the evening, in compliance with instructions from department headquarters, the Second Brigade was ordered to join the division, which it promptly did during the night.

On the morning of the 24th, in compliance with instructions from the general commanding, I ordered the Second Brigade to hold the gap and approaches to Ringgold, and moved forward with Morgan and McCook in support of General Johnson's division, in the advance upon Tunnel Hill. On reaching Tunnel Hill, General Johnson found the enemy occupying the ridge in rear of the town. A field battery, which they had posted in a strong position on the road leading to Dalton through Tunnel Hill, opened fire whit considerable effect upon the head of the column, and gave indications that our advance would be strongly disputed at this point. After making a reconnaissance of the position, I asked and obtained permission from General Johnson to move with Morgan's brigade and take possession of the hill, some one-half to three-fourths of a mile north of the tunnel. While executing this movement, the commanding-general appeared upon the ground and gave it his approval.

Morgan's skirmishers soon took possession of the hill, and, wheeling upon their right flank, drove the enemy's skirmishers down the ridge in the direction of Buzzard Roost. This movement, by turning the enemy's position, together with the assistance of a section of the Second Minnesota Battery, placed in position by Captain Hotchkiss, chief of artillery, for that purpose, caused the enemy to retire in considerable haste. In this movement General King was ordered by General Johnson to support me with his brigade should an emergency arise requiring it. The execution of this movement threw Morgan in the advance, with his skirmishers closely pressing the retiring enemy.

The general features of the pass through which the road at this point runs indicated strong defensive positions for the enemy in advance of us, and I ordered General Morgan to push his skirmishers well to the front, and to move forward his main lines in this manner in pursuit. McCook, in compliance with orders, came promptly to the