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[519] effect, literally strewing the ground with men and horses. I had halted Stanley four miles out on the Murfreesboro road. He at once crossed his forces over at Heights's Mills, vigorously attacking Forrest's divisions, moving down on the Lewisburgh pike, capturing six pieces of artillery and some two hundred prisoners; but, owing to the unfavorable nature of the country, was unable to hold them, being attacked by greatly superior numbers, outflanked and nearly surrounded. Our loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners is less than one hundred, while the enemy's cannot be less than three times that number. They were repulsed on all sides, and driven until darkness prevented the pursuit. Captain McIntyre, of the Fourth regulars, took the battery and prisoners, bringing off thirty odd of the latter.

G. Granger, Major-General. W. S. Rosecrans, Major-General.

Captain Matchett's report.

camp of the Fortieth O. V.I., near Franklin, Tenn., April 11, 1863.
Colonel S. D. Atkins, Commanding Second Brigade, Third Division, Army of Kentucky:
Colonel: I have the honor of submitting to you the following report of the engagement had by the Fortieth O. V. I. under my command with the combined rebel forces of Van Dorn, Cosby, and Brig.-General Jackson, on yesterday, (April tenth, 1863,) while on picket-duty. The Colonel and Major of the regiment being sick, and I being the ranking Captain of the regiment reported for duty, the command of the regiment for that day was assigned to me.

At twenty minutes past twelve o'clock M. the enemy commenced the engagement by attacking the outpost guards on, and adjacent to, the Columbia pike, with a large advance-guard. Companies E and K (First Lieutenants James Allen and David Roop, respectively) were in charge of that section of our line, with First Lieutenant David Roop commanding. The guards of that section were rallied on their reserve, where they gallantly repulsed two attacks of the enemy's advance before reenforcements reached them. Before the attack began I ordered company H, Capt. Meagher, and First Lieut. John W. Smith, company I, forward to strengthen Lieut. Roop's reserve. Seeing the strength of the enemy's advance-guard greatly outnumbered Lieut. Roop's reserve, I immediately sent company B, Captain Charles Ent, forward also to take position on the left of Lieut. Roop's reserve. A moment's glance at the enemy's force convinced me that the limited force under my command could maintain their lines but a short time against the numbers of the enemy in front. I therefore ordered my last company of reserves, (company A, under command of Second Lieut. Hart of company B,) to take position in the wood at the left of the railroad in order to strengthen company C, Second Lieut. J. C. Peck, who had been posted on our extreme left section of the guard, on the Lewisburgh pike. At the same time I sent for the provost-guards of Franklin, (company G, Second Lieut. J. A. Fisher commanding,) ordering them to reenforce my left by way of the Lewisburgh pike with all their force, excepting one relief of the prison-guards. This order was not obeyed. My messenger in a few minutes informed me that Lieut. Fisher and the Provost-Marshal, Capt. Avery, of Gen. Granger's staff, refused to send me the company. Company G, therefore, was not sent out of the town. With this disposition of my force, and with only seven companies of infantry — less than three hundred men — we maintained our lines, of more than one fourth of a mile in extent, for more than two hours against vastly superior numbers. Twice did they attempt to rout us with their cavalry, and as often were they repulsed with loss.

They next advanced several mounted companies as skirmishers, deployed in sections and platoons, and at the same time began to form a consolidated line on rear of his skirmishers for a charge. We held our lines thus long, momentarily expecting reenforcements. None, however, arrived, and I was informed that none were on their way. From the length of time that we were engaged, it was reasonable to suppose that we were not to be reenforced, but rather that it was the wish of the Commanding General for us to fall back. No order or intimation to that effect, however, reached me.

Our lines up to this time had been maintained in the skirts of a wood. To the rear of us for a distance of more than a half a mile, lay an open cotton-field without an obstacle or a shelter on it. A formidable line of cavalry, composed of three regiments, of from one thousand five hundred to two thousand five hundred men, as we learned from prisoners afterward taken by us, were just beyond the range of our guns to the front of us. The fences and houses of the town were our nearest shelter in rear. A force sufficiently strong to flank us were menacing our right and left. The woods must soon be yielded up to overwhelming numbers. From this critical position the men were relieved by the most noble daring and bravery that ever graced any arms. I gave the order to fall back on double-quick. His mounted skirmishers followed us. When they had advanced into the open field we halted, came to an “about,” and gave them a fire which soon sent them reeling on their main line. Taking advantage of their retreat, we fell back. His skirmishers soon recovered, and again charged us as before, and we again “faced about” and repulsed them. We again fell back as they fell back. This manoeuvre was repeated with equal success on our side until we gained about two thirds of the distance from our outpost line to the village, when the main line of the enemy's cavalry charged us. When within range of our arms, we kept up a continuous fire on him, which caused him to move toward us at a slow and cautious pace. At this time I caused the men to retire from front to the rear by the company. This order was executed in admirable style, the front company retiring on double-quick to the rear of the other companies, where they came to an “about,” and deliberately

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