Decatur and Stevenson Railroad) and in pursuit of the enemy under Generals Wheeler and Roddey:
Being notified by my scouts and otherwise that General Roddey intended attacking Elk River bridge and Sulphur Branch trestle simultaneously, I immediately ordered the posts of Pulaski and Athens placed in the best possible state for defense, and moved at 1.30 a. m. of 31st of August, with my mounted force, to Elk River bridge, arriving there at daybreak; immediately placed the same in good condition for defense; ordered Colonel Wallace Campbell from Athens, with all the force that could be spared from that post, to Sulphur Branch trestle, and placed the same also in good condition for defense. After such arrangements were concluded, I returned to this post to complete defenses for balance of my district and to gather information. On the 29th day of August I had sent a scout of 100 men Ninth Indiana Cavalry, under the command of Captain William Robbins, to Florence to feel the enemy and watch his movements. This command returned on the 1st day of September and reported the enemy in force moving against the bridges above named; had skirmished with the enemy under Roddey, losing 1 wounded and 5 missing, and inflicting a loss upon the enemy of 17 killed and wounded.
Gathering together this command, and with 130 more men, I returned to Elk River bridge on the morning of the 2nd day of September, finding there a section of First Ohio Artillery and the Seventy-third Indiana Infantry, which has been sent me by general commanding, as also the Third Tennessee Cavalry, which was stationed at Elkton. Colonel Jackson, of Ninth Indiana Cavalry, informed me that the enemy had fired into the last train passing south the night previous, and had been handsomely repulsed, the train moving on in safety. Enemy, however, had destroyed a small portion of the railroad track and telegraph line, retiring in direction of Sulphur Branch trestle, closely followed by a portion of the mounted command under Major Lilly, Ninth Indiana Cavalry.
I immediately ordered Third Tennessee Cavalry from Elkton to Sulphur Branch trestle; enemy demonstrated against that point and was handsomely repulsed; then retired in the direction of Athens, and, demonstrating there, was again handsomely repulsed, when they again made feint against Sulphur Branch trestle, retiring at the same time rapidly toward the Tennessee River. My orders being to save the bridges and line, I do not allow the enemy [to be] followed only sufficiently far to demonstrate the fact that Roddey was retreating to the river rapidly as possible, with intention of crossing. At last demonstration against Sulphur Branch trestle all mounted forces at Elk River bridge that could be spared were moved in direction of that post. At this time my scouts reported Wheeler moving rapidly and with strong force against the northern portion of my district defenses. I communicated the fact to the general commanding, who ordered my mounted force retired from Sulphur Branch, and for a movement to Pulaski at once. Arrived at Pulaski, I found that General Wheeler's command was moving south from Columbia toward Lynnville, and having been joined by Colonel Thornburgh's command, Second and Third Tennessee Cavalry, I moved out to meet him and give him battle; moved seven miles north and formed line of battle; here I was joined by generals commanding, with infantry, by cars. Received