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Doc. 215.-battle at La Vergne, Tenn.

General Negley's report.

headquarters United States forces, Nashville, October 9.
sir: Major-Gen. J. R. Anderson, Brig.-General Forrest, and Gen. Harris, have been rapidly concentrating a large rebel force at La Vergne, fifteen miles east, with the avowed intention of assaulting Nashville. Deeming it a favorable opportunity to check this project by a sudden blow, a concerted movement was made on the night of the sixth instant, by a force of four hundred infantry and four hundred cavalry, and four pieces of artillery, under command of General Palmer, sent via Murfreesboro road. At the same time one thousand eight hundred infantry, under Col. Miller, marched by a circuitous route to the south of La Vergne. The enemy's pickets and vedettes were in considerable force on the roads, and skirmished with our advance ten miles, enabling the main force, consisting of one regiment, the Thirty-second Alabama infantry, with one steel rifled cannon, and three thousand cavalry, to assume a position, forming their lines in anticipation of our entire force advancing on the Murfreesboro road, which was part of our object. The enemy commenced the action by opening fire with three pieces of artillery at a distance of three hundred yards. This was soon silenced by a shell from one of our guns exploding their ammunition chest, at the moment the enemy were directing their movements against the right flank of Gen. Palmer's force. Col. Willis's infantry arrived, advancing in splendid line of battle, delivering a well-directed fire into the enemy's ranks, which was followed by a skilful deployment of the right and left, to cut off their retreat. The confederates held their ground for thirty minutes, and then fled in the wildest disorder, leaving one hundred and seventy-five prisoners in our hands, among whom were two lieutenants, two lieutenant-colonels, and a number of line-officers; three pieces of artillery, ordnance and quartermaster's stores, a large amount of provisions, camp equipage, personal effects, stand of regimental colors, and three railroad cars, which we destroyed. Their defeat was complete. Their loss in killed and wounded was about eighty.

The conduct of our officers and men was highly meritorious, with numerous instances of individual bravery and efficiency.

A report in detail will be forwarded by the first opportunity.

Our loss is five killed, nine wounded, four missing.

I have the honor to remain, yours very truly,

Jas. S. Negley, Brigadier-General Commanding. Colonel J. B. Fry, A. A.G. and Chief of Staff.

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James S. Palmer (2)
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