him. After a short time, he commenced retreating in confusion. We followed as rapidly as possible, capturing about one thousand prisoners, twenty wagons, and a large amount of arms and ordnance stores. About dark, we also captured five large hospitals, with a considerable supply of medicines, camp equipage, and a great number of wounded prisoners, besides over one hundred surgeons. The pursuit was continued till two hours after nightfall, when we retired to feed our horses. Early on the morning of the twenty-first, I detached two regiments, pursuant to orders, to pick up stragglers and arms. About nine A. M., I received orders from General Longstreet to send a force of cavalry to find the enemy's position. At the same time I received orders from General Bragg, through Colonel McKinstry, to save the captured property. To accomplish both these objects, I detailed five hundred of my best mounted men, under Colonel Anderson, to comply with General Longstreet's order, with full instructions to report every hour to that officer. As previously stated, two regiments were already at work collecting stragglers and arms, leaving with me but about seventeen hundred men. Just at this time I received information from my pickets at Owen's Ford, that the enemy, in large force, was driving back our cavalry from that point. It was also reported that the enemy had a large train of wagons with him. At the same time I observed a heavy dust in Chattanooga Valley, which appeared to indicate a movement from Chattanooga, along the foot of Lookout Mountain, towards McLemore's Cove, for the purpose of succoring the command reported at Owen's Ford. I immediately moved over to Chattanooga Valley and drove back towards Chattanooga the force which was marching from that place. I then left the Eighth Texas rangers and my escort to hold the enemy in check, while, with the balance of the command, I moved up towards McLemore's Cove. After marching about five miles we met a large force of cavalry, which, seeing the dust of our approach, had deployed a considerable force in a strong position. I immediately deployed two regiments and commenced skirmishing. Finding their position strong, I detached a squadron to turn their right flank. This caused the enemy to waver, when we charged in line and also in column on the road, driving him in confusion. The enemy attempted to form a new line with his reserves several times, but we met him with such force as to disperse him each time, driving him before us. We continued the charge several miles, capturing, killing, or dispersing nearly the entire command, said to number about two thousand men. We secured immediately upon the road only about four hundred. We also captured eighteen stand of colors, and secured their entire train, numbering about ninety wagons, loaded with valuable baggage. Many of the men who escaped to the adjoining woods were picked up on the following morning, and only about seventy-five men, half of whom were dismounted, succeeded in joining the Federal army. We also captured a number of arms. The wagons and mules were turned over to the Chief Quartermaster of Army of Tennessee. On the following morning, pursuant to orders, we pressed on to within one mile and a quarter of Chattanooga, driving the enemy's cavalry behind his infantry. We remained in this position until night, when, pursuant to orders, I proceeded towards Trenton, preparatory to crossing the Tennessee River. After one day's march, I received orders to return and sweep up Lookout Mountain to Point Lookout. The order was received at two P. M., and I immediately started with an advance guard of two hundred men, ordering the command to follow. On arriving at Summertown at dark, I found one regiment of the enemy behind strong barricades. I dismounted my men to feel their position and charged their flanks, driving them for some distance. In this hasty retreat they left several guns, knapsacks, overcoats, and cooking utensils, also their supper already cooked. By that time I learned that my command had been stopped and ordered to Chickamauga Station. I, however, with my small command, which numbered one hundred and five dismounted men, pressed the enemy off the mountain. After surveying the enemy's works, and reporting fully his position to the commanding General, I proceeded to Chickamauga Station, where I received orders to cross the Tennessee River above Chattanooga. During the night, however, I received orders to move towards Charleston to support General Forrest, who was moving upon the enemy in that direction. On the twenty-ninth I received orders to cross the Tennessee River with that portion of my command then with me (one brigade having been left with the army) and three brigades which General Forrest had been ordered to send me. On the morning of the thirtieth, I learned that these commands had just arrived at a point about twenty miles from the point of crossing. I ordered them to the latter place, and proceeded there with the commands of Generals Wharton and Martin. The enemy had occupied the opposite bank, and immediately concentrated a force nearly, if not quite, equal to our own, to resist our crossing. This force had followed me up the river, and I found that at any point at which I should attempt to cross could be reached as easily by them as by my command. Under these circumstances, I determined to cross at the point I then was. The three brigades from General Forrest were mere skeletons, scarcely averaging five hundred effective men each. These were badly armed, had but a small supply of ammunition, and their horses were in horrible condition, having been marched continuously for three days and three nights without removing saddles. The men were worn out and without rations. The brigade commanders made most urgent protests against their commands being called upon to move in this condition.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.