With this. state of things I allowed the worst horses to be returned to the rear, and with the remainder crossed in the face of an enemy nearly as large as our own force. We assailed and drove the enemy about three miles. On the morning of November second I reached Sequatchie Valley, and at three o'clock on the following morning proceeded down towards Jasper, with about fifteen hundred men. After travelling about ten miles we overtook and captured thirty-two six-mule wagons, which were destroyed. The mules were carried on with the command. On approaching Anderson's Cross-roads we were met by a considerable force of cavalry, which we charged and drove before us. We here found a large train of wagons, which proved to extend from the top of Waldron's Ridge for a distance of ten miles towards Jasper. This train was heavily loaded with ordnance, quartermaster, and commissary stores. The number of wagons was variously estimated at from eight to fifteen hundred. No one saw, perhaps, more than half the train. The Quartermaster in charge of the train, as well as other employees, stated that there were eight hundred six-mule wagons, besides a great number of sutler wagons. The train was guarded by a brigade of cavalry in front and a brigade of cavalry in rear, and on the flank, where we attacked, were stationed two regiments of infantry. After a warm fight the guards were defeated and driven off, leaving the entire train in our possession. After selecting such mules and wagons as we needed, we then destroyed the train by burning the wagons and sabering or shooting the mules. During this work my pickets were driven in on both flanks and my rear. Fortunately the enemy was repulsed, and we remained undisturbed for eight hours, and until our work was thoroughly accomplished. Just before dark, as we were retiring, a large force of cavalry and infantry moved upon us from Stephenson, skirmishing with our rear until dark. During this General Martin, Colonel Avery and Lieutenant-Colonel Griffith were distinguished for gallantry. During the night I moved over Cumberland Mountain, and early next morning joined General Wharton near the foot of the mountain, and went forward to attack McMinnville. The enemy was pressing close behind, but we succeeded in capturing the place, with an enormous supply of quartermaster and commissary stores, with the fortifications and garrison, which numbered five hundred and eighty-seven men, with arms, accoutrements, &c. Two hundred horses were also captured. The day and night were occupied in destroying the stores, a locomotive, a train of cars, and a bridge over Hickory Creek — such of the stores as could be transported having been distributed to the command. On the following day we marched to Murfreesboroa. After making a demonstration upon the place, we moved over, and, after a short fight, captured a strong stockade guarding the railroad bridge over Stone River, with its garrison of fifty-two men. The day was occupied in cutting down the bridge and thoroughly burning the timber. We also burned the railroad ties and track for three miles below the bridge. The following day we destroyed a train and a quantity of stores at Christiana and Fosterville, and destroyed all the railroad bridges and tressels between Murfreesboroa and Wartrace, including all. the large bridges at and near the latter place, capturing the guards, &c. We also captured and destroyed a large amount of stores of all kinds at Shelbyville — the enemy running from his strong fortifications upon our approach. That night I ordered Davidson's division to encamp on Duck River, near Warner's Bridge; Martin's division two miles further down, and Wharton's two miles below Martin's. During the evening I learned that the enemy, who had been closely pursuing, had encamped near Frazier's farm. I immediately informed General Davidson of the position of the enemy, and directed him to keep the enemy observed, and to join me should the enemy move towards him. This order was shortly after repeated with this modification, that he should move immediately to my position (Crowell's Mill). Unfortunately he failed to comply with this order, and on the following morning was attacked by a superior force of the enemy. I received two consecutive dispatches from General Davidson which indicated he was moving down Duck River, but on questioning his couriers, I ascertained that he was moving towards Farmington. I immediately started at a trot towards Farmington, with Martin's division, ordering General Wharton and the wagons to follow me. I reached Farmington just in time to place five regiments of Martin's command in position when the enemy appeared. I had ordered General Davidson to form in column by fours on the Pike, and to charge the enemy when they were repulsed by Martin's division, General Davidson having officially reported to me that only three regiments of the enemy had been seen during the day. The engagement commenced warmly, but the enemy was soon repulsed. General Davidson had failed to form, as stated, and, instead, had moved for some distance. The enemy soon after came up in strong force, with a division of infantry and a division of cavalry. We fought them with great warmth for twenty minutes, when we charged the line and drove it back for some distance. General Wharton's column and our train having now passed, and the object for which we fought being accomplished, we withdrew, without being followed by the enemy. The enemy, in his own account of the fight, acknowledged a loss of twenty-nine killed, including one Colonel, and one hundred and fifty-nine wounded. My entire loss was less than one-fourth of the above figures. A reconnoissance was made towards Columbia, which caused the enemy to .evacuate that place and destroy all their stores, including thirty days rations for the garrison. We then proceeded to the Tennessee River at
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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