Greatly concerned at the beginning of September over the North Korean attack and penetration of the southern sector of the Pusan Perimeter in the 2nd and 25th Divisions' zone, General Walker on 1 September ordered the 1st Cavalry Division to attack north or northwest in an effort to divert to that quarter some of the enemy strength in the south.
General Gay's initial decision upon receipt of this order was to attack north up the Sangju road, but his staff and regimental commanders all joined in urging that the attack instead be against Hill 518 in the 7th Cavalry zone, and they talked him out of his original intent. Only two days before, Hill 518 had been in the ROK 1st Division zone and had been considered an enemy assembly point. The 1st Cavalry Division, accordingly, prepared for an attack in the 7th Cavalry sector and for diversionary attacks by two companies of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, on the 7th Cavalry's right flank. This left the 8th Cavalry only one rifle company in reserve. The regiment's 1st Battalion was on the hill mass to the west of the Bowling Alley [top center of map 15] and north of Tabu-dong; its 2nd Battalion was astride the road.