companies of the Sixtieth Illinois, Colonel Anderson commanding, and eighth companies of the Tenth Michigan, Lieutenant-Colonel Dickerson commanding (two companies from each of these regiments having been ordered the day before, under the command of Major McDonald, Sixtieth Illinois, to McLemore's Cove to watch the movements of the enemy, said to be marching in that direction), moved out on the direct road to Ringgold, bivouacking for the night on the west side of the East Chickamauga.
At daylight of the 24th, moved out on the road to Tunnel Hill, on the left of Colonel McCook's brigade. Moving cautiously forward to within 1 1/2 miles of that place, deployed in line of battle on the right of the road, relieving a brigade of the First Division, Colonel McCook forming on my left.
At 1.30 p. m. were ordered by General Davis in person to move to the left and gain the ridge in rear of Tunnel Hill. This movement was promptly and successfully executed. This gave my command the advance, and after passing through the works and exerted amps of the enemy, pushed forward into the valley, the Sixtieth Illinois flanking to the left to the railroad, by direction of division commander. Arriving at the former headquarters of the rebel General Cleburne, the column was halted for a short rest. Skirmishers were again thrown out and advanced toward Mill Creek (or Buzzard Roost) Gap. Here the enemy were found strongly posted, and opened a brisk fire of musketry and artillery. The sun now being down and men much fatigued, after posting a strong guard, moved my command to the left and bivouacked for the eight in the valley to the north and west of Rocky Face Ridge.
Before daylight on the morning of the 25th, took up a strong position in the gap on the left of the railroad, Colonel McCook on my right. The morning was very smoky, and it was late before any attempt was made to feel of the enemy in front. At 9 a. m. skirmishers were deployed, and during the day were briskly engaged and successfully during the enemy from point to point until 4 p. m., when by order of the general commanding division, was directed to make a strong demonstration, and, if possible, make the enemy develop his line and strength. Moving my command onward to a strong position on a spur of Rocky Face, I ordered Colonel Anderson to move forward with six companies of his regiment, four deployed as skirmishers and two in reserve, and push forward to a point in front designated to him. This was promptly executed. No sooner had this force entered the valley than a terrible fire of infantry and artillery was opened upon them from right, left, and front. All having been accomplished for which the movement was intended, Captain Wiseman, my assistant adjutant-general, was ordered to promptly recall them, but they had nobly gained the point to which they were ordered. Captain Stinson, my provost-marshal, was at the same time directed to order Lieutenant-Colonel Dickerson to move with his command briskly to the right to cover the retreat of the Sixtieth, when to my astonishment, I was informed that the Tenth Michigan had pushed forward with the Sixtieth. I also sent for the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois, of Colonel McCook's brigade, which I had placed in position in the morning by direction of the division commander, and that regiment had been moved. My command was promptly reformed and in position and well to the front.
My loss under this severe fire was heavy (a list casualties herewith inclosed, marked A).