No. 5.-reports of Lieut. Col. John A. Jaquess, First Louisiana Infantry, of expedition against Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
Farmington, Miss., Saturday Evening, March 15, 1862.General: After I had sent my dispatch of last night the enemy began to land troops from the transports; in what numbers I could not ascertain, although I believe them considerable. Among them was a force of cavalry, which advanced upon and drove in my pickets and then advanced as if to take a position immediately in my rear. Fearing that my command would be cut off, I determined to retire from the position which I then occupied. My march in this direction was commenced at 2.30 o'clock a. m. The enemy's cavalry followed for some distance, but did not approach near enough for us to engage them. In consequence of the smallness of my command, being without rations and forage and the men being completely exhausted by the active nature of their duties and the inclement weather which has prevailed for several days, I concluded to fall back upon this place and await further instructions. I would respectfully suggest that at least one full company of cavalry be added to the infantry assigned to this duty, as owing to the peculiar nature of the country it is impossible for infantry properly and fully to perform the service required of them. I shall have the honor of reporting in person to-morrow morning. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Farmington, Sunday, March 16, 1862-1.30 a. m.sir: Through a citizen who lives near Red Sulphur Springs, and who I had engaged to furnish me information, I have just learned that the enemy made an unsuccessful attempt to march to Burnsville night before last. They were unable to cross Yellow Creek in consequence of its swollen condition. They returned to their boats yesterday, and were this morning still at the mouth of Yellow Creek. Respectfully, your obedient servant Johnt A. Jaquess, Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Detachment Louiiana Infantry.
Shelbyville, Tenn., March 19, 1862.sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of a portion of my command on the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th inst.: At about 4 o'clock p. m. on the 15th instant, with Colonel Wood and a detachment of 40 men I left Murfreesborough for Gallatin, having learned that no Federal forces remained at that place. The chief objects of the expedition were to intercept the mail, to destroy the rolling stock on the road, to make prisoners, and to obtain information of interest to the service. Our destination was kept secret, and the command having been sent from Murfreesborough in separate parties by different roads to unite at some distance from town, it was impossible that the enemy could be apprised of the movement until after the blow was struck. A citizen of Murfreesborough, whose zeal and loyalty are undoubted made the necessary arrangement of runners to keep us perfectly posted as to any movement that might be made with the view of cutting us off. Our first march, conducted mostly at night, carried us about 2 miles beyond Lebanon. Early next morning continued the march, crossing the Cumberland at Canoe Branch Ferry, and reached Gallatin about 4 o'clock p. m. Leaving the command just outside the town, Colonel Wood, myself, and the men, disguised as Federals, entered and took possession. The colonel, myself, and 2 men galloped to the depot and secured the telegraph operator, his instruments, books, &c. Among the papers found are several orders of General Buell's, some in cipher, which please find inclosed.1 We secured also, a few minutes after, as it came in, an engine and tender, carrying a number of carpenters to repair the road. They were made prisoners, but were released as we left the town. As soon as the citizens were made aware that we were Confederate troops every facility was afforded us to carry out our plans. Upon securing the engine we at once commenced to accumulate all the rolling stock (a large quantity) on the main track preparatory to burning. When this was completed the fire was applied, and in the course of an hour all except the engine was rendered permanently useless. That night, having picketed securely, we remained in Gallatin. The next morning we destroyed the water tank, and taking the engine the colonel and myself  proceeded some miles up the road with a view of discovering any approach of the enemy or the mail train. In the mean time 1 first lieutenant and 4 privates of Grider's regiment, on their way to Nashville, were taken by the pickets. The mail train being some hours behind time, and learning that our presence might have become known, we concluded to withdraw and re turn to Murfreesborough. Shortly after leaving Gallatih we learned that a party of 20 of the enemy, in charge of 3 prisoners, were approaching Gallatin by the Scottsville road. It was determined to cut them off. Pushing the prisoners with a guard across the Cumberland we returned to effect the capture. Having taken our position on the road so as to secure the capture of all, and when within a half a mile of them, they were warned of danger by a negro, and fled precipitately to the woods, Captain Austin, in charge, making his escape on a horse cut from a buggy. It being too dark to follow, we remained, picketing the road until morning. No further opportunity offering, we commenced our march to Murfreesborough, and after traveling about 60 miles reached there about 2 o'clock the next morning. We were made acquainted just before reaching the latter place that a body of Federal cavalry hal ridden through the town the evening before and that the enemy were in large force near by. We remained about 12 miles from town long enough to ascertain their exact locality, and then passed safely through, within 2 miles of their infantry. We reached Shelbyville about 4 o'clock p. m. to-day, the men andhorses a good deal jaded. Yesterday seven transports passed down the Cumberland, carrying the remnant of Thomas' division. As our party had not entirely crossed we did not fire into them. From all we could learn the enemy has commenced to move. A large body of cavalry was seen on the road to Columbia. It is believed that the enemy have sent a large force down the Tennessee by boats, and will also move in force across the country. It is reported in lNashville that they intend to end the campaign before June. The prisoners will be sent forward in the 3 o'clock train tomorrow. Pursuant to General Johnston's instructions I shall start early tomorrow — with my command bor Huntsville. I have omitted to mention that before leaving Gallatin the engine was destroyed, thus leaving but one on the road, another having been broken up by accident a few days before. I have ascertained beyond all doubt that Love, a man of my command who was taken prisoner in the affair of the 8th instant (since died), was shot after being taken. The whole country through which we passed turned out in masses to welcome us. I have never before witnessed such enthusiasm and feeling; men, women, and children never wearied in their efforts to minister to [our] wants. All expressed themselves gratified at the presence of Southern soldiers in their midst. A handsome flag was presented by the ladies of Gallatin, and some accompanied us even to the ferry. Upon our return a number of Colonel Bate's regiment were enabled to accompany us. Deeming it important for the accomplishment of the expedition, I requested Colonel Wood to accompany me. Very respectfully, yours,