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[611] them with infantry, hence some cavalry companies, under Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick, were pushed forward to prevent their tearing up the Read River bridge, the only direct and available approach to the town. The cavalry came upon them in the very act, charged them, drove them from it, and held the position, till the main force came up. Two pieces of artillery were planted on a bluff completely commanding the place. The guerrillas fled precipitately through the town, not taking civil leave even of their dear friends, and scattered in every direction. Col. Lowe sent in a flag of truce, demanding the “immediate and unconditional surrender” of the place, or giving ten minutes for the removal of the women and children, as the town would be shelled unless surrendered. It humbled itself before the “mud-sills” of the North, and they occupied it. It was a proud day for the remnant of the Seventy-first; and, riding in advance with Major Hart, I turned in my saddle, and looked with a thrill of pleasure upon the “boys” as they covered with dust, marched with a steady, firm tramp into the public square, bearing aloft their regimental flag.

The expedition was admirably conducted. Colonel W. W. Lowe, who planned and executed it, is a fine officer — a West-Point graduate — prudent, cautious and brave. The loss of the enemy was seventeen killed, and from forty to fifty wounded. Our loss, none. We captured about fifty horses, and a considerable quantity of arms and accoutrements. We also took a number of prisoners, burned about one thousand bales of hay, destroyed two hundred and fifty boxes of commissary stores, captured three Government wagons, and, by pressing teams, we brought away about two hundred boxes of Government property.

Having received peremptory orders from the War Department to return to this post, we left Clarksville alone in her shame, and arrived here on Wednesday, (tenth,) A. M., having made a march of over seventy miles, met and whipped the enemy, superior to us in numbers, recaptured Clarksville, all in about five days.

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W. W. Lowe (2)
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