La Fayette. I directed him to remain at this place and watch well out on both roads, and to keep me informed. I then signaled you. I thought the enemy had retired, and asked to have Colonel Harrison again pushed ut to his former position. I am inclined to think that the affair was simply a cavalry raid to gain information, but it may be connected with other movements elsewhere. I reported last night to General Palmer the number of wagons which I have. It is not sufficient to haul the property which is here, as every available team has been sent back to keep up our supply of forage. I will load such things as I can carry if compelled to fall back, and will destroy the rest. I don't apprehend now that such will be the case, but will have my command on the alert before daybreak.
The officer whom I sent to examine the Mission Mills road reports a portion between that place and Graysville as hardly passable for artillery, and the river too high to be passed without getting into the ammunition boxes. As to the Shallow Ford road, I can learn nothing of its condition. I hope, in case of necessity, to be able to go direct to Rossville. The Fourteenth and Thirty-eighty Ohio Regiments are encamped to-night somewhere near Pea Vine Creek, about 7 miles from here. This is a good position for the under the present circumstances. I will write you more fully of the condition of things here in the morning.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major General G. H. THOMAS.
RINGGOLD, March 6, 1864.
My party has returned from Lee's. Colonel Harrison was there. There were two brigades of rebel cavalry, Humes' and Davidson's. They came in by a gap this side of the Nickajack trail and returned same way.
Numbers 2. Report of Colonel Thomas J. Harrison, Eighth Indiana Cavalry.
Gordon and Lee's Mills, March 8, 1864.
GENERAL: On Saturday morning, 5th instant, the enemy came through Nickajack Gap and over the ridge on either side in large force.
Dismounting the center, our outpost gradually fell back but lightly pressed by the enemy, while a heavy force on each flank on parallel roads moved rapidly toward our rear and attempted to surround us; but as we fell back across a muddy stream we tore up the bridge, forcing those in the rear to a great distance around. The right was not so prompt as the left.