Doc. 112.-the fight at Shelbyville, Tenn.
Colonel Minty's report.
headquarters First brigade, Second cavalry division, camp fear Salem, Tenn., July 8, 1863.sir: At half-past 6 A. M., on the twenty-fourth of June, I marched from Murfreesboro to Cripple Creek, on the Woodbury pike, with my brigade, consisting of two thousand five hundred and twenty-two officers and men. At one o'clock I was ordered to countermarch to Murfreesboro and fighting and report to Major-General Stanley at that place. General Stanley directed me to move out on the Salem pike and get within supporting distance of General Mitchell, who, with the First cavalry division, was supposed to be hard pressed somewhere near Middleton. I encamped within two miles of General Mitchell that night. June 25.--Crossed the country to Shelbyville pike and camped at Christiana. Pickets of the Fourth United States cavalry on Shelbyville pike were driven in by rebel cavalry. Fifth Iowa and Fourth Michigan went out and drove the enemy through Fosterville to Guy's Gap. June 26.--Remained in camp at Christiana, with heavy pickets on front and right. June 27.--At eight A. M. the entire cavalry force was ordered to move on Guy's Gap, the First division in advance, my brigade, with the  exception of the Fifth Iowa, (which was left at Christiana to guard baggage-trains,) following. On nearing the Gap, General Stanley ordered me to the front. I found the enemy in position at the Gap, with a strong force of skirmishers behind the fences on the face of the mountain, and a column moving through the woods threatening our right flank. I deployed the Fourth regulars to the front, and General Stanley took the Fourth Michigan, Seventh Pennsylvania, and Third Indidna to the right, and drove the enemy from there. I now received permission to advance on the Gap. The Fourth United States cavalry advanced in line. I moved up the road with the First Middle Tennessee, and ordered in the other regiments from the right. Lieutenant-Colonel Galbraith, with a dozen men, dashed forward and removed a barricade which the rebels had built across the road at the top of the hill, and then with his regiment charged the rebels, who were now rapidly falling back. I followed to his support with the Fourth regulars for about two miles, when finding that his men were very much scattered, picking up prisoners, I formed line and waited their return. In about twenty minutes a messenger came in from Colonel Galbraith, who stated that the enemy had rallied and was showing fight. I immediately pushed forward with the Seventh Pennsylvania, Fourth Michigan, and Third Indiana, (who had just come up,) and found the enemy behind their intrenchments, about three miles from Shelbyville with an abattis and an open space, about a mile in width, between them and us. Captain Davis, Seventh Pennsylvania, took his battalion, dismounted the front, deployed as skirmishers, and engaged the enemy, who immediately opened on us with artillery. I ordered Major Mix to take the Fourth Michigan to the right, about three quarters of a mile, push across the intrenchments, and take the enemy in flank. Lieutenant-Colonel Klein, with the Third Indiana, I sent to the left, with the same directions. I at the same time despatched a messenger to Captain Mcintyre to move forward with the Fourth regulars, to General Mitchell, asking him to send me a couple of pieces of artillery, and to General Stanley, notifying him of the position of affairs. Immediately after the arrival of the Fourth regulars on the ground, I heard the Michigan rifles speaking on the right, and at once moved forward the Seventh Pennsylvania on the right of the road and the Fourth regulars on the left. Captain Davis at the same time pushed forward with his skirmishers and relaid the planks which had been torn off a small bridge on the road. Finding that the enemy was now giving way, I brought the Seventh Pennsylvania into the road in columns of fours, and ordered them to charge, which they did most gallantly, led by Lieutenant Thompson (who was honorably mentioned for his conduct at McMinnville, April twenty-first,) and well supported by the Fourth regulars. At this point we made about three hundred prisoners; the Fourth Michigan had one officer and seven men wounded and twenty-one horses killed and wounded, while charging the breast works, and Lieutenant O'Connell of the Fourth regulars, (who distinguished himself so nobly at Middleton,) was thrown from his horse and had his shoulder broken. When within a quarter of a mile of Shelbyville, the rebels opened on us with four pieces of artillery, well posted in the town. I again sent back to General Mitchell, requesting him to hurry forward a couple of guns, but finding that the enemy was getting our range, I was forming for a charge, when Captain Ayleshire (Eighteenth Ohio) reported to me with four pieces from his battery. I ordered two to the front, placed one each side of the road at less than a quarter of a mile from the rebel battery, and directed Captain Ayleshire to throw one shell from each gun; the moment they were fired, the Seventh Pennsylvania, in columns of fours, passed between them, and, with a yell, rushed upon the enemy. I had, before ordering the charge, sent Lieutenant Lawton, Fourth Michigan, to Captain McIntyre, directing him to take his regiment (Fourth regulars) through the woods to the left, and turn the enemy's right flank. This would effectually have cut off their retreat by Newsomes or Scull Camp Bridge. General Mitchell came up at the moment that Captain McIntyre received my order, and told him not to go, but that he would send a fresh regiment in that direction. The regiment sent by him was without a guide, mistook the direction, and got on the ground about one minute too late, and thus Generals Wheeler and Martin escaped capture. The Seventh Pennsylvania were followed by one platoon of the Fourth regulars under Lieutenant McCafferty, of the First Middle Tennessee under Lieutenant-Colonel Galbraith, and the Fourth regulars, under Captain McIntyre. There was one discharge from the rebel artillery, as we charged down the narrow road, but being badly aimed, killed only one man and two horses. At the railroad station, a party in ambush poured a volley into the head of the column of the Seventh Pennsylvania, killing Lieutenants Rhodes and Reed and two men. On the hill directly in rear of the railroad buildings, the First confederates (regulars) attempted to rally, but in doing so they lost their colonel, lieutenant-colonel, major, and nearly half the regiment taken prisoners. As the Seventh Pennsylvania arrived at Scull Camp Bridge, the Third Indiana, who had kept well to the left after crossing the intrenchments, swept down the north bank of the river, driving a crowd of refugees before them. The bridge being completely blocked, these men were driven into the river, where they perished by scores. Major Sinclair kindly sent an orderly to General Stanley, informing him of our success, and that we had captured three pieces of artillery and many prisoners. General Mitchell came up with his division shortly after. I rode forward a short distance with him, and got my brigade together once  more, and found that I had lost two officers and eighteen men wounded; but I had captured three pieces of artillery and five hundred and ninety-nine men and thirty commissioned officers. Their killed and wounded must have been at least two hundred, including those drowned in the river. Generals Wheeler and Martin had to take to the water with the other fugitives. The Adjutant of the Eighth confederates reined in his horse to allow the two generals to take their dip before him, but his doing so threw him into the hands of the Third Indiana. I bivouacked near the railroad station. June 28.--Returned to within two miles of Guy's Gap. June 29.--Reveille at one o'clock A. M. Marched to Fairfield via Shelbyville. The Fifth Iowa and Third Indiana were detached and left with General Granger at Guy's Gap. June 30.--Marched to within four miles of Manchester. July 1.--Returned to Walker's Mills, within three miles of Manchester. July 2.--Reveille at one A. M. Waited four hours for the First division to move. Marched to Elk River, where I rejoined the Second division. The enemy showed himself in force, the Seventh Pennsylvania skirmished with him a short time. Camped one mile south of the river, the Fourth Michigan remaining on the north side to guard Stokes's battery. July 3.--Marched to Decherd, the Fourth Michigan making a dash into that place, but finding that the rebs had removed, camped a mile and a half from Decherd. July 4.--In camp, Fourth Michigan sent to Tullahoma for rations. July 5.--In camp, rejoined by Third Indiana. July 6.--Marched to within five miles of Salem and went into camp. July 7.--In camp. I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain Curtis, A. A. G., Second Cavalry Division
Captain Curtis, A. A. G., Second Cavalry Division
Robt. H. G. Minty, Colonel Commanding.
General Wheeler received a severe wound (shot through the body a little above the left groin) while crossing the river. One hundred and eighteen dead rebels have been taken out of the river. Fifteen were buried on the field, and in every house was left from one to four too badly wounded to be moved.