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[408] of me. Col. Munday informed me, in this communication, that he believed the enemy were advancing in considerable force. I caused two copies of Col. Munday's letter to me to be made out, one of which I sent to Lancaster and the other to Lexington, directed to you, not having been informed at which place you might be found. I also sent a written message to Colonel Munday, directing him to hold the enemy in check, and ascertain if possible his strength and position; also to learn if the enemy had left the main road and taken either to the right or left from the turnpike road, near the foot of Big Hill, with any of his forces. I ordered the men to stand to arms, in the First brigade, and be ready to move at a moment's warning. I also sent forward four additional companies to strengthen the picket which I already had in that direction, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Wolfe, of the Sixteenth Indiana.

At two o'clock P. M. of the same day, a messenger arrived and informed me that the cavalry under command of Col. Metcalfe and Lieut.-Colonel Munday, and the infantry picket under command of Lieut.-Colonel Wolfe, were retreating as fast as possible to the camp; and that the enemy, to the number of four or five thousand, was pressing hard upon them. The only question for me now to determine was whether I should allow the enemy to attack me in my camp, or whether I should advance and meet him. It did not take me a moment to decide which course to pursue, as all the hills a mile and a half south of me completely commanded my camp, and I did not think it my duty to allow the enemy to obtain possession of them without a struggle. I therefore ordered forward the First brigade, consisting of the Fifteenth, Fifty-fifth, Sixty-ninth and Seventy-first Indiana regiments, and the artillery under command of Lieut. Lamphere. When I had advanced three quarters of a mile, I discovered a heavy column of the enemy's cavalry, half a mile east of the road. I immediately ordered Lieut. Lamphere to get a section of his artillery into position and open upon the enemy, which he did with admirable effect, scattering the enemy in every direction.

I then moved forward a mile, and took possession of a high ridge, formed line of battle on the right and left of the road, with artillery protecting each flank, and commanding the open country and turnpike road as far south as Rogersville. The enemy in a few minutes made his appearance in considerable numbers of cavalry, infantry and artillery. I opened upon him with my artillery, and after a sharp skirmish of an hour's duration, succeeded in driving him, in some confusion, from the field, capturing some prisoners, horses and one cannon.

I advanced again to Rogersville, distant about a mile, where I had the men bivouac, with orders to sleep on their arms, and sent forward Colonel Metcalfe with his cavalry to pursue the enemy and ascertain, if possible, what his strength was. Col. Metcalfe returned about eleven o'clock P. M., and stated that he had passed down the road in the direction of Big Hill six miles, and had there encountered some of the enemy's cavalry pickets, who, after a slight skirmish, retired and fell back some distance. Col. Metcalfe here had two men killed, and two wounded. At the same time I sent out the cavalry to scout the road. I also sent an order to General Cruft to place a strong picket on the Lancaster pike, and on the road that comes into Richmond on the east side, and to hold his brigade in readiness to move at a moment's notice.

On the morning of the thirtieth, at four o'clock, I caused the men to stand to arms, directing that there be details made from each company to make coffee and fill the canteens with fresh water. At six o'clock I ascertained that the enemy was advancing upon me, and sent an order to Gen. Cruft to join me with all the forces under his command as quickly as possible, whereupon I gave orders for a forward movement; taking the advance myself with the Fifty-fifth Indiana. I met the enemy's advance half a mile beyond Rogersville, and drove them back, took possession of some woods and high ground upon the left of the road, and formed line of battle, the Fifty-fifth Indiana on the left of the road behind a fence, the Sixty-ninth Indiana on the right of the road, artillery on the left of the Fifty-fifth on high ground, the Seventy-first Indiana three hundred yards in the rear as a support for the battery and as a reserve. I ordered skirmishers to be thrown in front, which was done, those of the Fifty-fifth Indiana opening the battle in the most gallant style. In a few minutes, the Sixteenth Indiana coming up, I ordered it to take position upon the left of the Fifty-fifth in the woods, which they did, gallantly maintaining their ground against a very heavy force of the enemy more than an hour, when an attempt was made to turn their flank. I ordered the Seventy-first regiment to go forward to their support, which, in moving to the point indicated, was exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy. I regret to state that Major Conkling of the Seventy-first Indiana was killed while moving to the support of the Sixteenth, and bravely cheering on his men; and that very shortly afterward, Lieut.-Colonel Topping fell from his horse mortally wounded while encouraging the men of his command.

The rebels seemed determined to turn my left flank, and I was compelled to transfer seven companies of the Sixty-ninth regiment from the right to the left, where, together with the Seventy-first, they faced the enemy and fought bravely.

In the mean time, General Cruft arrived on the field with two sections of artillery, and the Ninety-fifth Ohio regiment in advance. I directed him to place this regiment on the ground that had been occupied by the Sixty-ninth, to support the three companies of skirmishers now warmly engaged, and to charge upon a battery that the enemy was then endeavoring to plant upon an eminence only a short distance to the front and right. In attempting to take this position they were exposed to a severe fire, which threw them into some confusion, and the enemy pressed forward



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