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Doc. 195.-fight near Bolivar, Tenn.

Colonel Crocker's report.

headquarters Second division, District of Jackson, Bolivar, Tenn., August 30, 1862.
Captain A. K. Ryan, A. D.C. and Chief of Staff:
Colonel Leggett, commanding first brigade, was sent out by me this morning on the Grand Junction road with one regiment of his brigade, four companies of the Second Illinois cavalry, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Hogg; two companies of the Second Illinois cavalry, under command of Major Puterbaugh, and one section of artillery, with instructions to drive off a force of the enemy's cavalry, supposed to be one hundred and fifty strong, and reconnoitre the country. When arriving at the ground Col. Leggett at once became engaged with a large force of the enemy's cavalry. The engagement lasted about seven hours, mostly skirmishing, but occasionally becoming a hand-to-hand fight, our forces repelling charges of the enemy's cavalry. About four o'clock in the afternoon the enemy drew back, and Col. Leggett receiving reenforcements about that time, they did not renew the attack. I then ordered Col. Leggett to fall back with his entire force to a position inside our picket-lines, where he is now stationed, expecting a renewal of the attack at daylight. We have had in killed and wounded about twenty-five, Lieut.-Col. Hogg, of the Second Illinois cavalry, among the number. During the engagement to-day all the men, infantry, cavalry, and artillery, behaved with the greatest gallantry, and though opposed to largely superior numbers, not only maintained their ground, but drove the enemy back. The force of the enemy engaged was seven regiments of cavalry.

Yours, respectfully,

M. M. Crocker, Colonel Thirteenth Iowa Volunteers, Commhanding Second Division, District of Jackson, at Bolivar, Tenn.

Report of Colonel Leggett.

headquarters First brigade, Bolivar, Tenn., September 1, 1862.
Colonel M. M. Crocker, Commanding Post:
I have the honor to report, that about seven o'clock A. M., of August thirtieth, I received from you, orders to take a portion of my command, one section of the Ninth Indiana battery, and two companies of the Eleventh Illinois cavalry, and drive back a force of rebel cavalry, reported to be about four hundred strong, upon the Grand Junction road and near our lines.

Col. Force, of the Twentieth Ohio, having received information that a small rebel force was menacing our pickets, very properly took the responsibility, in my absence, of sending out two companies, under Major Fry of his command, to guard the lines and feel of the enemy. On arriving at my headquarters, I immediately sent forty-five of my mounted infantry to support the two companies sent out by Col. Force, and followed as rapidly as possible with the balance of the Twentieth Ohio, and three companies of the Seventy-eighth Ohio, leaving orders for the remainder of the Seventy-eighth Ohio to be ready to march at a moment's notice. The cavalry and artillery had orders to meet me at the picket-post on the Grand Junction road, but, on arriving at that point, I found that neither had got there. I left the infantry at that point under command of Col. Force, to escort the artillery when it should arrive. With my staff, I pressed rapidly on to the front to prevent, if possible, an engagement until my main force could come up.

When I reached the advance, I found the two companies of the Twentieth Ohio and the mounted infantry deployed in a piece of woodland on the Van Buren road, about five and a half miles from Bolivar, and briskly skirmishing with the enemy. I immediately discovered that we had been deceived as to the number of the rebels, and sent back for the balance of my command to come forward as rapidly as possible. Shortly afterward the two companies of the Eleventh Illinois cavalry, under Major S. D. Puterbaugh, numbering in all forty men, came up.

The nature of the ground being such that cavalry could not be used, some twelve or fourteen of those who had carbines dismounted and formed with the infantry. After driving the enemy steadily, but slowly, for three fourths of a mile, I gained a position where I had a distinct view of the foe, and found that I was contending with a force of over six thousand, instead of three or four hundred. I then notified you of the fact, and asked for reenforcements, which were promptly supplied; but the distance from camp being over six miles, it necessarily took several hours to get infantry reenforcements upon the ground.

At this time I would have withdrawn my little force from the contest, having less than one man to twenty of the enemy, but the nature of the ground over which I would have been obliged to retreat was such, that my force must have been annihilated had I attempted to escape from such overwhelming numbers. I had not men enough to retreat, and consequently had no choice left but to fight until support could reach me. After we had been engaged about two hours, six companies of the Twentieth Ohio, under Col. Force, came up, also two pieces of artillery under Lieut. W. Hight, of the Ninth Indiana battery. Two of these companies were immediately deployed to relieve the cavalry and mounted infantry, that they might be held in readiness to meet any flank movement of the enemy. There being no adequate support for the artillery, I dare not bring it into action, but sent it about a mile to the rear, to take a position at the junction of the Van Buren and Middleburgh road, and await reenforcement. About noon I discovered that the enemy were making a determined effort to flank us upon the right, and get to our rear upon the Middleburgh road. Leaving Col. Force in command on the Van Buren road, I took the two companies of the Eleventh Illinois cavalry and mounted infantry, and passed over the Middleburgh road, where we found the enemy advancing in large numbers. The infantry immediately dismounted and engaged the enemy with great vigor and determination, and, after a desperate

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M. D. Leggett (5)
M. F. Force (5)
M. M. Crocker (3)
S. D. Puterbaugh (2)
Harvey Hogg (2)
A. K. Ryan (1)
W. Hight (1)
James B. Fry (1)
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