before us, the pike formed a straight cut through a very dense cedar glade. On the right and left, cedars large and small filled every space, and it was impossible for a horse to go through. The enemy opened with his artillery, the battery being in position in the main street of the town, which was nothing more than the pike. To our right and rear there was an old field of four acres, the cedars forming an impervious hedge around it. Stokes's battery was placed in position on the pike at one corner of the field, and the Second brigade, in column of battalions, within the field. The Third Ohio had been ordered off to the right, to guard that flank. Meantime, Miller's command had dismounted, deployed in line on the right and left of the road, and advanced into the cedars. We were not long kept in suspense. A terrible fire opened all along the line; Miller had become engaged, and Stokes gave shot for shot with his battery. The enemy used grape and canister on our advancing line, and Stokes replied with shell and solid shot against the rebel battery. The crashing of grape through the cedars made a peculiar and terrible noise; but those same cedars saved the lives of many soldiers. The firing of volley after volley, together with all the noises of battle, continued — increased. A portion of the rebel battery turned on Stokes, and he soon had to send a piece to the rear, with a wheel shattered. While at its height, and the battle had a doubtful aspect, General Crook cast many an anxious look back on the road, hoping, evidently, to see Minty's brigade approaching, but no Minty came. Presently the firing began to recede, and from that time it steadily got further away. The General, with the peculiar light of victory in his eye, ordered the Second brigade to advance in column down the road, at a gallop. On entering the town a scene of indescribable confusion presented itself: dead and wounded lay thick together — women and children screaming at the highest pitch of their lungs, as usual, after all danger to themselves had passed. One woman flourished a navy pistol, and uttered loud screams of vengeance against the rebels, who two hours before had told her to wait and see the Yankees run. Three pieces of the enemy's artillery stood in the street, one with caisson exploded. The Board of Trade battery had disabled, and the Seventeenth Indiana and two companies of the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois, had driven the rebels away from them. The victory was ours, but it must be made complete. Had the First brigade been there, two divisions of the enemy, which were disorganized and routed, might have been utterly destroyed. The Second brigade, with the Second Kentucky in advance, began a charge. They came upon the flying column, but an unexpected obstacle presented itself. The road was doubly barricaded, and in the check impossible to be prevented. Darkness following day-light, a halt was ordered, and our fatigued and hard-worked men went into camp. As near as I can learn, the result of the day's fighting was as follows:
The gallant Colonel Monroe, of the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois, and formerly from Kentucky, was killed.
Colonel Clay (rebel Kentucky regiment) was killed.
The prisoners represented twenty-seven regiments — the two divisions of Wharton and Martin having been engaged.
General Wheeler had command in person.
Among the prisoners were majors, captains, and lieutenants.
The First Kentucky Mounted Rifles (rebel)out of eight captains lost six killed. Among the latter was captain William Bowan, of Bardstown.
I did not see him, but was informed so by a prisoner of his regiment, named Thomas, a son of Mr. Grisby Thomas, of Nelson County, Kentucky.
The First brigade arrived during the night.
It was past noon when they left their camp.
The march next day (October eighth) to Pulaski, thirty-five miles, was completed with a solitary halt of half an hour at Lewisburgh.
During the night we had been reenforced by the Third brigade, Colonel Low commanding.
From the hill overlooking the town of Pulaski, the rear of the rebel column was seen passing out the far side, on the Lamb's Ferry road.
The sun had set: a long and fatiguing march had been made during the day, and rest for man and horse was necessary, and the command went into camp on Richland Creek.
Colonel Low's command had the advance next day, October ninth, and the Second brigade the rear; consequently, I can write very little of the day's march.
A brigade of the enemy had been strongly posted behind a double barricade near Sugar Creek, about twenty miles from Pulaski, and some distance from the Tennessee River. Colonel Low's command gallantly carried the barricades, taking a large number of prisoners, and killing and wounding several, with the loss of two men wounded.
I believe from there the road to the ferry was clear.
Arriving at Rogerville, four miles from the river, I heard that the enemy recrossed, and was then safe on the other side of the river.
So the chase ended.
It was night, and with a breath of relief the command slept.
From Murfreesboro till the Tennessee River had been placed between him and General Crook's command, no part of Wheeler's army was out of the saddle for more time than to cook their meals and feed their horses.
His loss is estimated, including all those who were scattered and driven to the woods, at one thousand to fifteen hundred men, while by the activity of General Crook, the
|left on the field by the enemy.|