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Doc. 67.-fight near Brentville, Tennessee.


Colonel Martin's report.

headquarters Thirty-Second brigade, camp near Nashville, Tennessee, December 9, 1862.
Lieutenant T. W. Morrison, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Ninth Division.
I have the honor to report that in obedience to order from headquarters Ninth division, I ordered the Twenty-Fifth regiment Illinois volunteers, Lieut.-Col. McClelland, and the Eighth Kansas battalion, Capt. Block, to proceed on a reconnoisance to the front, in the division of Franklin, at two o'clock P. M. to-day. The command left promptly at the hour, and I rode with it as far as the outside pickets, which had a short time before been fired into by a small body of the enemy. Here I received an order from headquarters to send out another regiment, and a section of artillery, and in compliance I immediately ordered the Eighty-first Indiana volunteers, Major Woodbury, and two pieces of Capt. Carpenter's Eighth Wisconsin battery, to join the reconnoissance, and then went forward to join the force in advance.

Lieut.-Colonel McClelland had already deployed four companies of the Twenty-Fifth and Eighth as skirmishers in advance, on each side of the road, and these had engaged in a brisk running fight with the enemy, who were also thrown out as skirmishers. The rebels retreated, abandoning their guns, and even some of their clothing in their hasty flight.

I directed the battery to move up the road behind the infantry. Captain Pease, of Gen. I)avis's staff had meantime joined the command with a small force of cavalry, and was doing valuable service in skirmishing to the right and front.

The whole command then moved forward, the skirmishers keeping up a brisk fire, until we were about five miles beyond Brentville, when a considerable body of the enemy was seen in the road about a mile distant. I had the battery immediately placed in position in the road, and fired several rounds at them. The enemy scattered and disappeared at the first shot in great haste.

We remained here until just before sundown, when, in accordance with our orders, we returned to camp. From the best information I could gain along the road, the enemy's force is all cavalry, and numbers three or four hundred men. We drove them from their camp, finding their campfires yet burning brightly when we came up. One private of the Twenty-Fifth Illinois is reported slightly wounded. What loss the enemy sustained, I am unable to state, although several were seen to fall.

I am very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

John A. Martin, Colonel Commanding Thirty-second Brigade.

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