Louisville Journal account.
Somerset, Ky., April 6, 1863.I propose giving your readers an outline of our late movements in Central Kentucky, and more especially the part taken by Wolford's cavalry in the battle of Somerset. We were in camp near Stanford, when our scouts announced the approach of a large force of the enemy by way of Monticello. From the fact that they had a long wagon-train, and the advance was composed of cavalry and artillery as they passed through Wayne County from the direction of Knoxville, we all concluded that they told the truth for once when they announced a formidable invasion of the State under Breckinridge, Morgan, and Pegram. They left their wagon-train beyond the river with Chenault, Hamilton, and Champ Ferguson, with their commands, to protect their crossings on the Cumberland, and to press wagons, horses, negroes, and cattle in that vicinity, while the rest made an invasion of the central parts of the State. A printed handbill was also found by our scouts, signed by Morgan's Adjutant-General, giving all Union men of conscript age three days to leave the State or be conscripted into the Southern army. They crossed the Cumberland in three places, and those coming into Somerset marched in as infantry to make the impression complete that a large army was there. These impressions being reported to Colonel Wolford and to Gen. Carter at Danville, made it necessary for them to be cautious, lest another affair like that of Richmond last fall should again give up the whole State to the rebels. Under this uncertainty, it was determined to retreat from Danville, carrying back the supplies to the Kentucky River, and await further developments of their force and movements. It is quite easy for men now to criticise the movement, but we venture the opinion that no military man, with the information then in our possession, would have done otherwise than Gen. Carter did under his instructions, and the importance of holding communication with Lexington by way of the Kentucky River bridge at Camp Robinson. General Carter had not yet had time to prepare for this movement when the enemy appeared in force in his front at Danville, confirming the impression of their superior numbers. Wolford's cavalry and the battery of mountain howitzers at once engaged the enemy, and the Second Tennessee and Eighteenth Michigan infantry under Colonels Carter and Doolittle were brought out in line of battle, supporting the First Indiana battery. The rest of the forces had been sent to the Dick's River bridge to protect the rear and hold the bridge. The Danville fight lasted an hour, perhaps, until the train was ready, and then we began our retreat to Camp Robinson. We had barely gotten our train out of town, and the artillery and infantry had gotten nearly through, when the enemy made a furious attack upon the rear of Wolford's cavalry, which was protecting the retreat, guarding both the rear and the train in front. Repulsed from the rear, they charged up the street, and began an indiscriminate fire upon citizens and soldiers on the streets. Wolford's men rallied upon the streets, and repulsed them on every side, and prevented them, with the aid of a few shots from the artillery, from making any further attacks upon the train and the rear. Leading his men in a dashing charge upon the foe, in the streets of Danville, Lieut.-Colonel Adams, of Wolford's regiment, was cut off, and himself and three or four of his men were compelled to surrender. This was a heavy loss to us, but he finally succeeded in making his escape from his guard below Monticello, and has rejoined his command, to the great joy of his men. The night after our retreat to the Kentucky bridge they captured some thirty more of Wolford's men, while on picket, by closing in behind then; but Captain Boone, who was at Lancaster with some sixty men, recaptured most of them, and the Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Ohio recaptured others, and captured, in connection with Captain Boone's force, forty of the enemy. We lost in all only about tree of Wolford's men wounded, ten captured, and some twenty of the Eighteenth Michigan captured on picket, besides a few sick and a few commissary stores that we could not get wagons enough to carry off. The enemy lost one killed and six wounded, and over forty prisoners--one of whom is Major Paine, and several other commissioned officers. A more successful and orderly retreat has seldom been made; and, inasmuch as it was but a part of a higher plan, it was a complete success. As it was the first retreat Wolford's cavalry ever protected, (and as the infantry got no opportunity to assist, though they behaved with great coolness and steadiness throughout,) they and the howitzer battery were especially complimented by their gallant commander. Lieut.-Colonel Adams, Major Owens, Captains Rowland, Alexander, and Carter, Lieuts. Keene, Dick, Carpenter, and Beatty, and many private soldiers of the rear-guard we noticed, and no doubt others whom we did not see, especially distinguished themselves by their daring bravery in the fight. Colonel Wolford, conspicuous in every fight, was foremost in the danger, and Gen. Carter, and Colonels Doolittle and Carter, and with Captain Robinson's great coolness, performed their respective parties in the action and the retreat. After our retreat across the Kentucky River we had to await intelligence of the strength and position of the enemy. Four long anxious days did we await and skirmish with them, before we were certain of their strength and intentions. When we at last found out the truth, how impatient all were to avenge the wrongs, and drive out the thieving hordes from our State. They fled on Friday night from our front, and on Saturday morning we began the pursuit. Some of the gallant Ninth Kentucky cavalry had dashed into Danville and so alarmed the guilty crew that they burned the bridge betten Danville and Camp Robinson, and Wolford's cavalry and Col. Runkle's mounted infantry began to press upon their rear near Lancaster, when they fled across Dick's River, burning the bridge behind them,