was picketing the front and flank of our army, extending from Ship's Gap, on our left, to the Connesauga River, on our right.
For several days previous to the 6th instant strong demonstrations were made by the enemy driving in our pickets with a force varying from a brigade to a division of infantry, with cavalry and artillery. Howard's corps had marched from Cleveland and taken position in line of battle three miles from my headquarters at Tunnel Hill. A portion of Palmer's corps had moved through Ringgold Gap and formed upon Howard's right. Schofield's (Twenty-third) corps was moving from East Tennessee by way of Cleveland and Varnell's Station to join General Howard. The enemy being in line but six miles from the proposed line of battle of our infantry, I devoted myself to obstructing the toads and passes to prevent a rapid advance upon our line.
May 6, the enemy advanced in force near Tunnel Hill; resisted by our skirmish line, supported by two regiments. May 7, at daylight, the enemy commenced a determined advance in line of battle not less than one mile in length, with a heavy skirmish line in front; stubbornly resisted by dismounted cavalry fighting behind our obstructions and breast-works thrown across the roads at various points north of Tunnel Hill. On reaching said place my artillery was brought to bear upon their line, driving them back from several positions. At about 11 o'clock we were forced to abandon the town, and by 3 o'clock were driven back to our fortifications, where our infantry line of battle was formed. At dark I sent a regiment of Grigsby's brigade to re-enforce the picket at Dug Gap. May 8, the remainder of Grigsby's brigade was sent to Dug Gap, and with the rest of my command I moved to the Cleveland road, where I was joined by General Kelly, who had marched from resaca the previous day. McCook's cavalry brigade advanced from Carnell's Station, but after slight skirmishing retired before the command could be brought into position. We captured several prisoners. Grigsby's brigade was attacked about 4 p. m. at Dug Gap by Geary's division, of Hooker's corps. The enemy made several assaults upon the brigade, with repulsed them with great slaughter, killing and wounding nearly as many of the enemy as the effective total of Gigsby's brigade. The relative numbers engaged were about ten to one. May 9, McCook's division again advanced, supported by infantry. Dibrell's brigade and part of Allen's brigade were dismounted to check the enemy. The attempted to turn our right, which movement was checked by my escort. At this moment the dismounted men of Allen's and Dibrell's brigades charged the enemy on foot, and the Eighth Confederate and Eighth Texas Regiments charged mounted, completely routing the enemy and capturing 1 colonel (La Grange, commanding brigade) and 100 prisoners. We also captured 1 regimental stand of colors and a large number of small arms. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded was very heavy. The enemy's force was, 5,000 cavalry, supported by infantry. Our force engaged was less than 900. May 10 and 11, skirmishing along our line. Allen's brigade sent to Resaca. May 12, attacked Stoneman's corps near Varnell's Station and drove it to Rocky Face Ridge, killing, wounding, and capturing fully 150 of the enemy. The consternation of the enemy was so great that they fired a large number of wagons in order to present their capture. It was after-ward ascertained from scouts and citizens that they burned 400 wagons and a considerable amount of commissary stores; also