the Nickajack Creek. Its skirmishers are over the creek about half a mile. No enemy in their front, but they hear of a rebel force of infantry about a mile farther up the Marietta road. I have ordered them to hold a good position and examine their left in the direction indicated, by smaller scouting parties. The reconnaissance from Colonel Cameron has followed a cross-road toward Ruff's Mill, and advanced about one mile and a half as they report. They find a mounted force just across the creek in their front, and the cannonade in front of General Smith is on their right rear. I have ordered them to hold a good position, communicate with Colonel Byrd's detachment on Marietta road, and watch carefully the effect of Hascall's and Smith's reconnaissance, advancing if practicable.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. COX,
MOSS' HOUSE, July 3, 1864-10.30 a.m.
GENERAL: I have advanced a regiment in front of Colonels Strickland's and Hobson's brigades and General Smith had advanced two regiments on the road toward Watson's house, and two on the Ruff's Station road. My regiment in front of Colonel Strickland soon encountered the enemy's cavalry skirmishers, but drove them back to the vicinity of Nickajack Creek; Colonel Hobson's regiment not yet heard from. General Smith's two regiment on the Ruff's Station road encountered the enemy in considerable force, and found more difficulty in pressing him back. They have tow or three pieces of artillery already operating on the Ruff's Station road. General Smith's regimental commanders report that a strong line of infantry skirmishers are advancing against them on the Ruff's Station road, backed by a line of infantry. This may be so, or it may be dismounted cavalry. If it is infantry, an attack here is not improbable. I am by no means certain that it is infantry. General Smith and myself thought we could not develop much by advancing our skirmishers simply, so left them where they were, and made the dispositions already described. General Smith's force on the Watson house road have encountered nothing but cavalry, and are now about a mile and a half in advance; skirmishing with the cavalry somewhat brisk. Artillery firing is heard in that direction, but it may be our artillery with General Stoneman. The enemy's earth-works are visible from our advanced position, and are probably beyond Nickajack Creek.
MILO S. HASCALL.
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding Division.
P. S. - The cavalry are advancing simultaneously with us. General Smith's force on the Ruff's Station road now reports that it is cavalry in their front, but that they discover an infantry force on a rise to their right. I give this for what it is worth.
M. S. H.,