command, in two columns, having pursued two distinct routes, one via Salem Church and the other via Red Clay, arrived at Catoosa Springs on the morning of the 4th of May. Major-General Thomas having already reached Ringgold with the rest of the Army of the Cumberland, a junction was thus substantially formed with it. A very little skirmishing occurred to the east of Catoosa Springs with a detachment of General McCook's cavalry that had covered my left flank during the march from Cleveland.
Not feeling sure as to the intention or strength of the enemy, my command took up a strong position covering its own approaches and those to Ringgold. Here the corps remained until the 7th of May. The day before instructions were received to march on Tunnel Hill in such a way as to take the enemy in flank, if possible, while Major-General Palmer with the Fourteenth Corps threatened from Rocky Face by a narrow valley, and situated to the west of it. The tunnel on the Chattanooga railroad is through this hill. From Catoosa Springs my command marched on the Alabama road due east to the vicinity known as Lee's house. General Newton's division here formed, facing in the direction of the movement as a cover, while General Stanely, followed by General Wood, turned into a cross-road which led directly south toward Tunnel Hill. Stanely skirmished with the enemy's cavalry all of the way, and removed obstructions that had been placed in the road. He came in sight of Tunnel Hill Station at about 9 a. m. Here the enemy appeared in considerable force on the most prominent part of the ridge, and was firing with artillery upon our advance, and also upon that of General Palmer in his district front. We soon ascertained that this artillery was supported by cavalry, and General Stanley moved a force along the northern slope, and carried the hill by 11 a. m., driving the enemy before him. The command was then posted in such a way as to hold Tunnel Hill in conjunction with Palmer's corps on my right.
The enemy occupied a strong position between us and Dalton, with the barrier Rocky Face intervening. This barrier is a continuous ridge some 500 feet high, exceedingly narrow at the top, except where an occasional spur juts out to the east or west. In many places six men could not march abreast along the crest. The western face is generally, within sixty feet of the summit, an almost perpendicular steep, that cannot be climbed. The eastern slope is, for the most part, more gradual. Buzzard Roost Gap is a pass through Rocky Face a little southeast of Tunnel Hill. The railroad and a wagon road lead through this opening toward Dalton, besides a small creek runs in the same direction, which the rebel general had dammed up to complete his defenses. These defenses consisted of several batteries situated on the right and left of the gap, bearing upon the approaches to his position, and a well constructed line of intrenchments at right angles to the railroad, also enabling the enemy holding them to bring a strong musketry fire upon any column moving toward his position.
General Thomas was directed to threaten the enemy in front on the 8th of May, while General McPherson was moving through Villanow in order to seize and occupy Snake Creek Gap. My part of this movement was to endeavor to put a force on Rocky Face Ridge, and make a demonstration toward Buzzard Roost Gap in conjunction with the Fourteenth Corps. General Newton's division on the morning of the 8th of May moved to the north end of Rocky Face,