From information received from citizens I was sure that there was not more than two hundred cavalry at Decatur, and so informed the General commanding. General Cruft, with the First provisional division, having crossed the river and lagoon, came up and joined my right. We then moved forward into Decatur with but little resistance. We moved from Decatur on the twenty-eighth of December, with the whole command and arrived at Courtland on the thirtieth December. On the thirty-first, in accordance with directions from the General commanding, I started with my division from Courtland to proceed as far as La Grange and Leighton. to support the cavalry under Colonel Palmer, that had gone to destroy the train of the enemy. Moved on this day as far as Town Creek, when we found it necessary to build a bridge, which was done with great dispatch by the Eighteenth Ohio volunteer infantry. We moved from Town Creek at four o'clock A. M., January first, 1865, and arrived at Leighton at nine o'clock A. M. Sent Colonel John A. Hottenstein, with the Second brigade colored troops, to La Grange, with orders to take post there and find out all he could about Colonel Palmer, and to communicate to me any information that he might receive. On the second, received orders from the General commanding to move east with my command, and rejoin him at Courtland. I started immediately, but at Town Creek received orders directing me to send one brigade to Leighton, and with the others to remain, when the order reached me, until Colonel Palmer could be heard from. In compliance with this order I went into bivouac with the First and Second brigades colored troops, and sent the reserve brigade to Leighton. On the fourth of January, received orders to move to Courtland, as Colonel Palmer had been heard from, and was on his way to Decatur, having destroyed the pontoon and another of the enemy's trains. On arriving at Courtland, found that the General commanding, with the First division, had gone to Decatur, orders having been left for me to follow with my command. On the fifth, moved to within four miles of Decatur, where I received orders to move with my old command (the Second brigade colored troops) to Nashville, Tennessee. On the sixth of January, moved to the terminus of the railroad opposite Decatur, and waited transportation. On the seventh sent the Twelfth regiment off, and on the eighth started for Nashville with the Thirteenth and One Hundredth regiments. On arriving at Larkinsville, found that the rebel General Lyon had cut the road, and was sent in pursuit of him by General Cruft, who was at Larkinsville. Moved to Scottsboro on the morning of the ninth, and found that Lyon had gone towards the Tennessee river. In conjunction with Colonel Malloy's brigade, started in pursuit on Guntersville road. On the tenth, overtook Mitchell's brigade, and marched to Law's Landing, where, by order of General Cruft, I took post. On the eleventh, I received orders to return to Larkinsville, as Lyon had escaped across the Tennessee river. Arrived at Larkinsville on the evening of the twelfth, and loaded troops the next evening (thirteenth), and started for Nashville, at which place we arrived at four o'clock P. M., on the fifteenth day of January, 1865. The conduct of the troops during the whole campaign was most soldierly and praiseworthy. Before making the assault on the enemy's works, the knapsacks of the troops comprising the Second brigade were laid aside, and after the works were taken, being ordered to go in pursuit, these were left; and without blankets or any extra clothing, and more than one-half the time without fifty good shoes in the whole brigade, this whole campaign was made with a most cheerful spirit existing. For six days rations were not issued, yet vigorous pursuit was made after the rebel General Lyon. To Colonel John A. Hottenstein, Thirteenth United States colored infantry, commanding Second brigade colored troops; Colonel Morgan, Fourteenth United States colored infantry, commanding First brigade United States colored troops, and Colonel Felix Pr. Salm, Sixty-eighth New York volunteer infantry, commanding Reserve brigade, my thanks are due, and are warmly given for their promptness to answer every call, and for their great assistance to me in helping to lighten the heavy responsibility that chance had thrown upon me. Of the officers of my staff, Captain Henry A. Norton, Twelfth United States colored infantry, Acting Assistant Inspector-General; Lieutenant George W. Fish, Twelfth United States colored infantry, Acting Assistant Quartermaster, wounded by the enemy after having been taken prisoner, while taking stores to the command; Lieutenant Wm. H. Wildey, Twelfth United States colored infantry, Ordnance Officer; Lieutenant John D. Reilly, Thirteenth United States colored infantry, Acting Aide-de-Camp ; Lieutenant Thos. L. Seaton, Twelfth United States colored infantry, Act. Assistant Adjutant-General; Lieutenant D. A. Grosvenor, One Hundredth United States colored infantry, Acting Aide-de-Camp, who, after having been wounded in three places, took the colors of his regiment from close to the enemy's earthworks — the color bearer having been killed; and Lieutenant R. G. Sylvester, Twelfth United States colored infantry, Commissary of Subsistence of the brigade, I cannot speak too highly. Uniting in the performance of their several duties, and on the field anxious to do the cause service in the most dangerous places, they richly deserve the thanks of the country. To the glorious dead we drop a tear, and
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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