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No. 224.-report of bapt. Isaac W. Avery, Georgia mountain Dragoons.

Sir: On the 4th instant (Friday) my company was the advance guard of General Hindman's division, composed of your own and Shaver's brigades, and in the line of battle formed that afternoon it was placed on the left of the brigade. That night, by orders of General Hindman, I divided my men into two parties, and did the picket along the whole line of battle, one part protecting the right and front of Hindman's division and the other the left and front of Cleburne's brigade. This was done without a guide, in a country we knew nothing of, after dark, and amid a terrible storm. We advanced 2 miles beyond the line and a mile beyond the outermost pickets. [612]

Five minutes after we were relieved (on the morning of the 5th, Saturday) we received orders to report immediately to General Hardee, which we promptly did that afternoon. By General Hardee's orders I carried the company out to reconnoiter. We were out until nearly night, going within half a mile of the enemy's camps and getting within 200 yards of a column of their infantry marching through the woods, probably to their drill ground, as their drums indicated. We were exposed to constant firing on the part of their pickets, and were finally driven in and compelled to fall back.

On Sunday morning (the 6th) I was awaiting orders from General Hardee, when General Beauregard and staff, taking position near our line, he ordered us to do duty during the fight with Colonel Adams' regiment of cavalry, stationed upon the extreme right, near Greer's Ford, and sent us with Major Brewster, of General Breckinridge's brigade, as a guide. He had previously attached to my corps a straggling body of Colonel Clanton's cavalry, which left me before we got to the field, taking four guns and accouterments belonging to four of my sick men. After much delay, owing to Major Brewster's ignorance of the country, we arrived at Greer's Ford. Having gone 5 miles or more, and finding that Colonel Adams' regiment had moved toward the field, I refused to listen to Major Brewster's proposition to remain at the ford with Colonel Forrest's cavalry, and we proceeded at a hard gallop to the field, and came up with Adams' cavalry at the enemy's first camp drawn up in line of battle, and having reported to the commanding officer, my men were put on the left of the line.

The entire day we were following the infantry and taking position in ravines sometimes, and sometimes exposed behind the fighting, in order to charge when necessary. Our situations were often dangerous. Once we were subjected for half an hour to a heavy cross-fire of a battery on one side and infantry on the other, while at another time we were exposed to a heavy shelling on a hill from the enemy's gunboats.

My men lost several horses, while large numbers were shot through the clothes. Bullets, shot, and shell fell thickly around us, and it was a matter of wonder that many were not killed.

Late in the afternoon we supported the infantry that surrounded the enemy at their last stand, and began a charge which we were not permitted to follow up, the enemy retreating within protection of their gunboats.

Sunday night we encamped in a swamp near the enemy's camp occupied by our infantry until 1.30 p. m.

On Monday our action was the same as on Sunday, viz: Following the battle and experiencing that worst of fortunes to the impatient soldier, being exposed to fire without the privilege of returning it. A little after noon we were detailed to ride back and bring up the stragglers, and in that duty we sent over two regiments of men back to the fight.

That night, by order, we returned to Corinth, a portion of the company remaining to accompany the wagon train. None were killed. Third Sergt. A. C. Gunz, acting orderly, was slightly wounded in the leg with a piece of shell. We lost 4 horses. My men conducted themselves through the entire battle with the coolness of veterans, and gave a gratifying earnest of their future usefulness to our cause. My officers behaved with the gallantry I expected from them. I took 54 men from Corinth and 8 of 26 Tennesseeans belonging to Captain Bibb's company, attached by General Pillow to my troop. Privates [613] Ramsey, Anderson, Rollins, and Ayres reported themselves sick the morning of the battle. Corporal Mathis, Privates Week and Williams, of the Tennesseans, reported themselves, about Sunday noon, too unwell to remain longer in the field. Private R. A. Jackson reported himself sick on Monday. All of said men left against my advice, but with my permission.

While I would make no invidious distinctions, I feel it my duty to notice the coolness of Orderly Sergt. A. C. Gunz, Sergts. M. V. Shields and Perry Roberts, and of Privates B. F. Jackson, Mury M. McDonald, Harris Blaylock, Bellak, Philips, Holtzclaw, Alexander, Bownman, Lively, Parker, Sutherland, B. F. Stevenson, Warren, and Scaley.

Respectfully submitted.

I. W. Avery, Captain, Commanding Georgia Mountain Dragoons. General Wood.

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