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Doc. 157.-fight at Trinity, Alabama.

Colonel Walker's report.

headquarters Thirty-First Ohio volunteers, Winchester, Tenn., August 8.
Adjutant-General Charles W. Hill:
General: I beg leave to report that at about four o'clock on the afternoon of the twenty-fourth ult., Lieut. M. B. W. Harman, in command of company E, Thirty-first O. V. I., with one platoon of his company, numbering twenty-five men, including non-commissioned officers, who were stationed at a place called Trinity, near Decatur, Ala., for the purpose of guarding the Memphis and Charleston Ralroad, were attacked by a force of rebel cavalry, which numbered about three hundred and fifty men. The attack was made when Lieut. Harman and his little band were engaged in erecting a stockade-fort, and they were without immediate possession of their arms, which were stacked near at hand. At the first fire they sprang to their arms and commenced the most Spartan-like resistance which the history of this war, so far, has furnished. At least twelve of the enemy were killed, and not less than thirty or forty wounded, but the precise number of either killed or wounded could not be ascertained, as the enemy was able to carry off his wounded and all but five of his dead. Lieut. Harman held his position, fighting like a lion at bay, though he was badly wounded in the face, and painfully though not seriously in the left arm. His example inspired his men to emulate his conduct, and all but two of the twenty-six fought with desperate valor. Charles Cross was shot in the right iliac region, the ball passing upward and backward. He died immediately. Zachias Buckingham was struck by a large musket-ball, which entered at an inferior angle to the scapular, passing out between the second and third ribs, cutting the upper section of the right lobe of the lung. The wound is considered mortal. Walter Case was hit in the shoulder by a musket-ball. John F. Clason was wounded by a ball passing through the fore-arm. Wm. S. Bennett was shot in the neck. Wm. Herenden received three buckshot in the right arm, and a rifle-ball in the right thigh. F. Conklin was shot through the back of the head; James Maxwell in the right thigh; Lewis Rose, in the hand; J. Le Roux, through the arm; and L. Bard, through the back. Two other privates were wounded whose names I have not [562] learned. It is thought by the surgeons that all except Buckingham will recover.

You will see by this report that one half of this little band were killed and wounded. The work upon the fortifications had not advanced far enough to afford them any protection. They remained masters of the field until a late hour at night, when they were taken to Decatur.

It is believed that the same force which attacked Lieut. Harman did much mischief along the railroad during the same day. Near Courtland, Ala., eighty of the Tenth Kentucky volunteers were taken prisoners, and two companies of the Tenth Indiana driven away, and in addition to which bridges and trestlework all along the line between Courtland and Decatur were destroyed.

This report would have been finished sooner, but for the reason that we have been upon the march ever since the fight occurred.

Respectfully submitted,

M. B. Walker, Colonel Commanding Thirty-first O. V.I.

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