Later, Major-General Wheeler
reported that two strong columns had passed around the mountain and were moving down Crow Valley
toward us, one following the base of the mountain, and the other the parallel ridge to the east of it. The first was formed by a division and six regiments under General Crufts
; the other was General Baird
was directed to meet this demonstration with Stevenson
's division and Clayton
's brigade of Stewart
's. He chose the best position for this purpose, and disposed his troops in it skillfully: Clayton
's and Reynold
's brigades on a detached hill near the base of the mountain and in the intermediate pass, and Stevenson
's three other brigades (Brown
's, and Cummings
's) on the opposite height to the east.
The skirmishers soon became engaged on both sides of the valley, and the enemy halted.
The skirmishing continued, however, with more or less spirit, until near night.
Late in the afternoon a sharp attack was made upon Hindman
's left, falling principally upon Clayton
's brigade, but, after a brisk engagement of half an hour, the assailants were repulsed.
The other Federal division retired at the same time, having engaged Stevenson
, only with its skirmishers and artillery.
In Mill-Creek Gap one threat of serious assault was made by a body of troops which entered it on the north side of the stream, and advanced against Stewart
's division; they met, however, the fire of a battery in their front and musketry from the hill above, which drove them back in confusion.
When I returned to Dalton
after nightfall, it was reported to me that the guard posted in Dug Gap had