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No. 2.-report of Lieut. Charles H. Murray, Fifth Ohio Cavalry.

Adamsville, April 1, 1862.
Sir: I was yesterday evening intrusted with 28 men from Company I, Fifth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and instructed to proceed on the main road from this place to Purdy and relieve the temporary cavalry picket that had been thrown out, under command of Lieut A. C. Rossman, on the approach of our forces to this place. On reaching the rendezvous of our picket Lieutenant Rossman reported that the enemy's pickets had been seen during the afternoon but a quarter of a mile in advance of our own, and that there were suspicious indications that the enemy's cavalry contemplated making a charge upon our pickets. With this information I deemed it necessary to advance all the force under my command, to station the first night relief, and reconnoiter the ground of our outer pickets, with a view to place them in the safest position for the night. When I reached our out pickets I found the enemy were hovering around a neighboring woods in front. I drew in our pickets a short distance, and stationed 4 carbineers and 2 men with pistols below a small hill in the road, where they would be in some measure screened from the enemy, and yet able to discover their approach a long distance on the road. I had just completed this arrangement and wheeled my main force to return when the picket signaled the approach of the enemy's cavalry. I immediately commanded the [79] main force about and ordered the carbineers to support the pickets. The carbineers in the force advanced with the pickets to the brow of the hill and checked the rebel charge. When they reached this position the rebels, who had advanced within a few paces, opened a rapid and severe fire from their double-barreled shot-guns. This our men returned with spirit, nor did a man flinch until they had emptied their carbines and pistols.

I cannot speak in too high terms of the bravery that this little band manifested, as they received the full fire of an overwhelming foe. During this engagement I commanded the main force to stand firm below the hill, where they were under cover — the enemy's fire passing 3 or 4 feet over their heads.

When the pickets gave way and fell back on our ranks many of the horses, which were unaccustomed to firing, became restive and produced confusion in our ranks. At the same time the enemy advanced, and our men, most of whom were armed with nothing but a saber, gave way, and a general retreat followed. The enemy pursued about half a mile.

We lost in this engagement 3 men, with their arms (armed with carbine, pistol, and saber), as follows: Sergt. E. T. Cook and Privates William Ledwell and John Pelley. When Sergeant Cook was last seen he was riding amongst the rebels fighting them hand to hand. It is not ascertained if he was wounded before being taken prisoner. Ledwell is supposed to be badly wounded or killed, as his saddle was covered with blood. Pelley is a prisoner, and supposed unharmed. The horses of the captured men by some means escaped and returned to camp with their saddle equipments. Four of our horses were hit; one disabled.

In concluding this report permit me to say that our men will not stand and cope with such a well-armed foe while they themselves are so inefficiently and poorly armed. We have now but 7 carbineers to our company and no cartridges for them. We are in possession of but 28 pistols, and they were long since condemned as wholly unfit for service. They are a spurious weapon, made out of cast iron, and one half of the time will neither cock nor revolve. These facts contribute to discourage our men and chill their ardor.

Every succeeding defeat similar to the present will render our men more timid and the rebels more confident. Every engagement of our cavalry with theirs, under our present poorly-armed condition, must prove disastrous. Our men are brave. They ask for good arms; they deserve them. They say, “Give us good weapons and we will fight to the death.”

I am, sir, your most obedient servant,

C. H. Murray, Lieutenant Company I, Fifth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. Col. C. R. Woods, Comdg. Third Brigade, Western Tennessee.

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Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Purdy (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Adamsville, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (1)
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A. C. Rossman (2)
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Charles R. Woods (1)
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April 1st, 1862 AD (1)
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