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[211] was cut off, the section of the battery was placed in position and opened fire, not so much with a view of damaging the enemy as signal-guns to any force which might be in reach of Columbia trusting to thus give them a cue to the route pursued by the rebels. I ordered the troops to go immediately into camp, feed stock, and make details for cooking, while the men could get that rest they so much needed after the forty-eight hours heavy duty they had undergone. I also ordered the company of pioneers attached to the Thirty-fourth brigade to be immediately set to work in clearing the obstructions from a dirt road that crossed the river but a few hundred yards below the bridge. In the mean time the whole column closed up, the Twelfth and Sixteenth Kentucky having marched twenty-two miles in seven consecutive hours. I had not yet abandoned the hope of overtaking the enemy at Cumberland River. I also learned that Colonel Wolford was certainly at Greensburgh in command of four regiments of cavalry. I immediately despatched to him, notifying him of our pursuit, and suggesting that he should press on to Columbia — in the event that he should find Morgan in camp at the latter place to quietly await our arrival, which would be some time during the night. By ten o'clock P. M., of the first instant, the obstructions in the road were removed. I then directed that the whole cavalry force under my command should move forward, accompanied by one section of the battery, with instructions to Colonel Boyle that if he should find Morgan in camp at Columbia not to disturb him, unless he should attempt to move off, until he was supported by my infantry or Colonel Wolford's cavalry. Following immediately in the rear of the cavalry was the remainder of the force under my command. As soon as I saw the principal part of the Thirty-fourth brigade across the river I pressed forward to the front, and to my surprise found the whole column halted at six o'clock A. M., six miles from the bridge which they had left at eleven o'clock the previous night. The apology for such a direct violation of orders by the cavalry was that a citizen had told them that Morgan had left Columbia at eight o'clock the previous night, and that their horses were worn down. The infantry and artillery were moved forward and reached Columbia about noon on the second instant, when, learning that the Cumberland was certainly fordable, I abandoned the pursuit and ordered my men into camp. Soon after going into camp General Fry arrived and assumed command of all the troops in the vicinity of Columbia, and ordered the pursuit to be resumed, which order was countermarnded at a point three miles beyond Columbia. The result of these operations was the capture of about one hundred and fifty prisoners, a number of horses and trappings, some arms, two caissons, and a quantity of ammunition for artillery and small arms. It is also reported by a citizen that one of our shells exploded among the rebel rear-guard at Green River and killed three of their number. I regret that there could not be more concerted action between Colonel Harlan and myself, for, had he pressed upon and followed Morgan to Springfield, I could have attacked him in front while he engaged his rear, or we could have attacked him unitedly. I also regret that the reenforcements from Danville never reached me. My determination was to attack Morgan at Springfield had they come up.

To Colonel Reid, and the officers and men of his brigade, I take pleasure in expressing my thanks for the promptness and alacrity with which they executed orders confided to them. It may be proper to state that the aggregate force of this brigade did not exceed one thousand eight hundred men, and my whole effective force did not exceed three thousand three hundred men.

To Captain Miller, of company M, First Illinois battery, thanks are due for his efficient services as an artillery officer. My thanks are due to Colonel Craddock for his energy and valuable suggestions, as well as to all the officers on the expedition ; but, above all, the gallant soldiers composing the command deserve especial notice for the cheerfulness with which they endured the privations to which they were necessarily subjected, and the alacrity with which they obeyed all orders. To my aids, Captain Letcher, of the Twelfth, Captain Help, of the Tenth, Lieutenant Mannen, of the Sixteenth Kentucky, and Lieutenant Nell, of the First Kentucky battery, my thanks are due for the efficient manner in which they discharged their duties. Captain Gaubert, Post-Quartermaster, displayed great energy and efficiency in getting up on short notice transportation and rations for the expedition. And while it may seem invidious to make distinctions where all deserve commendation, yet especial thanks are due to Lieut.-Col. Gantt and Major Harbeson, of the Sixteenth Kentucky, Majors Farris, Rue, and Fidler, of the cavalry, and Dr. S. M. Cartmell, Medical Director of the Expedition; nor should I forget Captains John S. and Carr B. White, of the Sixteenth Kentucky, and Lieutenant Crozier, of tire Twelfth, who, with their companies, supported sections of battery, and were always in place and ready for duty. I ought perhaps to state that I labored under great disadvantage from the fact that I could get no definite information of Morgan's force. I had been officially notified that Morgan, at the time of his attack on Elizabethtown, had less than three thousand men, and certainly but two pieces of artillery. I had also been officially notified that simultaneously with his attack on that place, an attack was made en Munfordville, supposed to be led by Kirby Smith, whose force was unknown. When I learned that the force advancing on Lebanon certainly had ten pieces of artillery, I inferred that a junction of the two forces had been effected — the whole force being reported by citizens and scouts at eleven thousand.

Very respectfully.

Your obedient servant,

W. A. Hoskins, Colonel Commanding Expedition.

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