I find it about impossible to punish the enemy for his frequent attack on my pickets, as he withdraws his pickets and outposts at dark near to his camps and in rear of barricades, but I shall make every effort to do so and to render his attack fruitless.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Third Cavalry Division.
Captain J. E. JACOBS,
Numbers 2. Report of Captain Edward W. Ward, Third Kentucky Cavarly.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,
Ringgold, Ga., April 29, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in pursuance to verbal orders received from you, I proceed with a detachment of 50 men of the Third Kentucky Cavalry to Nickajack Gap, to pass over Taylor's Ridge and come down the valley beyond by a road said to run at foot of Taylor's Ridge on the east side.
I left these headquarters at 1 o'clock this morning, and passed outside the pickets on the old Alabama road until I reached the last cavalry post on said road, which had fallen back from its old position at Lyle's farm to an old house this side about 1 mile.
I halted my command at this place, which is about 6 1/2 miles from these headquarters, until three-quarters of an hour before day, when I directed the lieutenant in charge of the post to resume his old position at Lyle's farm, so that he could be in supporting distance of me in case I should be compelled to fall back. I moved up behind him and halted at Lyle's farm until he had resumed his position, when I moved on Nickajack Gap.
I crossed the ridge without opposition, and seeing no rebel pickets at the foot of the mountain, as was reported, went on Tunnel Hill road until I arrived in front of a gap in the next ridge, about 1/2 miles farther on Tunnel Hill road, the place where the road turns off toward Ringgold. Here was a rebel picket; their vedettes were about 100 or 200 yards in front of the gap; their reserve was on the side of the mountain in the gap. I did not learn the strength of this last, because it could not be approached, on account of a valley of cleared land in front. There is a creek just before you get to the gap also.
Seeing no chance whatever to surprise or to successfully charge this post, I showed them a part of my command and withdrew. I took the road which comes down the valley just at the foot of the hill and continues at a distance of one-quarter of a mile from Taylor's Ridge for a distance of 4 miles, where there is a fork. One of these forks goes on one side of a ridge (which suddenly rises here) and the other goes on the other. The right-hand road forks again about three-quarters of a mile from where this fork is; one branch goes over to Mr. Hambright's, on the railroad, about 5 miles from Ringgold, and the other fork, the left-hand, joins the left-hand fork spoken of after passing around this sudden ridge, which is perhaps 2 miles. I took
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