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9 Series I Volume XXXII-I Serial 57 - Forrest's Expedition Part I

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Page 9 Chapter XLIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

the disqualifying effects it would have upon them and our war material for a spring campaign. He then went on to say, that as I had been preparing for a move, he deemed it advisable to make one to my immediately front, the object being to gain possession of Dalton and as far south of that as possible.

In accordance with the above instructions, everything being in readiness, Johnson's and Baird's divisions moved out from Chattanooga and occupied Ringgold, Ga., on the 22nd, taking up a position on the ridge west of East Chickamauga Creek, with two regiments of mounted infantry (Colonel Boone's Twenty-eighth Kentucky and Colonel Harrison's Thirty-ninth Indiana), on the east side of the creek, the former on the right flank and the latter on the left. Carlin's brigade, of Johnson's division, was stationed about midway between the main line and Taylor's Ridge.

Cruft's division of the Fourth Corps moved on the 22nd from Blue Springs, near Cleveland, to Red Clay. Long's brigade of cavalry co-operated with Cruft's column, Long's instructions being to establish communication with Cruft at Red Clay, and then push on as far as possible toward Dalton, on the Spring Place road, observing well the movements of the enemy, so as to give timely warning of any attempt to turn Cruft's left flank, and should the enemy retire, to notify Cruft, so that the latter might advance from Red Clay. During the evening of the 22nd General Palmer notified me, from Ringgold, that he had reliable information that Johnston had dispatched Cheatham's and Cleburne's divisions to the relief of Polk in Alabama, who was falling back before General Sherman's column. On the 23rd Davis' division of the Fourteenth Corps closed up on the balance of General Palmer's command at Ringgold. Brigadier-General Matthies, commanding a brigade of the Fifteenth Corps stationed at Cleveland in reserve, was directed to send six regiments from his command to re-enforce General Cruft at Red Clay. Colonel Long, having established communication with Cruft the evening before, advanced with his brigade of cavalry along the Spring Place road, driving in the enemy's vedettes when within 4 miles of Dalton, attacking a regiment of rebel infantry which was encamped 1 mile beyond, driving them from their camp and capturing some prisoners. The enemy then formed, and Long withdrew his command to Russell's Mills, 4 miles east of Varnell's Station, on the Cleveland, and Dalton Railroad, and encamped there for the night. Cruft, by instructions from General Palmer, took position on the 23rd at Lee's house, situated at the cross-roads on the road, leading from Red Clay to Tunnel Hill. The command being at this time well concentrated in the vicinity of Ringgold, and having reconnoitered thoroughly on both flanks, General Palmer advanced to feel the enemy in his position at Tunnel Hill, skirmished with him 3 or 4 miles, and, finally, drove him from his position entirely, to a point about 1 mile beyond Tunnell Hill, where he formed line and opened on us with his battery. The main force then withdrew and went into camp about 3 miles northwest of Tunnel Hill, and on the morning of the 24th the line stood as follows: Baird's division south of Taylor's Ridge, near Ringoold, with Cruft's division at Lee's house, Johnson's and Davis' divisions in advance, toward Tunnel Hill, with Boone's and Harrison's regiments of mounted infantry (the former on the left), and Harrison's men leading the advance toward Tunnel Hill, Long's brigade of cavalry at Varnell's Station, on the Cleveland and Dalton Railroad supported by Grose's brigade of


Page 9 Chapter XLIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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