Doc. 169.-the battle at Sparta, Tenn.
Colonel Wynkoop's report.
Nashville, Tenn., August 11, 1862.I left McMinnsville with my command on Sunday, August third, for reconnoitring. Leaving the army at McMinnsville, under General Nelson, there were in the command sixty-three men of the Fourth Kentucky and one hundred and seven of the Seventh Indiana. We saw nothing of the rebels on Monday. We crossed the river for Sparta, and within a mile of the river we encountered their pickets. With our advance-guard drove them over the river, and pursued them a quarter of a mile from the bridge. The advance found the rebels too strong, and retired over the bridge. Our men then came up, and we had a skirmish for one hour. Finding the enemy too strong — they numbering seven hundred men and two pieces of artillery — the Colonel thought best to withdraw his men towards the main army, which lay encamped on the river ten miles from where we had the fight. Had they been up with us, we would have captured the whole party at Sparta. Our loss is one man missing, one wounded slightly, and three horses shot. According to the account from the enemy, they had thirty killed and ten wounded. We took one prisoner. We came back from the river seven miles, and encamped for the night. On the fifth, took up the march again for Sparta, and when within three miles of the town, received orders from Gen. Nelson to return to McMinnsville, where we arrived on the sixth, at twelve o'clock M., all well. It was one of the hardest marches we ever experienced, as it was night and day, and we had to subsist on corn-fields, our wagons being in the rear of Gen. Nelson's army, which did not keep up with us. I can safely say that for seven days, while on the march, the sleep did not average three hours out of twenty-four. The Seventh has been worked very hard, and men and horses are nearly all used up. I am in hopes they will give the Seventh a respite for a while, and let them recruit up.