Doc. 205.-the battle at Cherokee Station, Alabama.
Memphis Bulletin account.
Memphis, October 26, 1863.the advance of the Union forces eastward from this point met with a sharp resistance on Wednesday, the twenty-first instant, at Cherokee Station, on the Memphis and Charleston railroad, about eight or nine miles this side of Tuscumbia. The troops of the gallant Fifteenth corps met the rebels with their usual bravery, however, and soon made themselves masters of the situation. On the day previous a brisk cavalry fight took place near the same spot, between a considerable body of rebel mounted infantry and the Fifth Ohio cavalry, in which six rebels were killed, and fifteen wounded left on the field. Our gallant troops went into the rebels with a shout, cutting and slashing right and left, and cleaned them out in short order, losing only two men killed and five horses. The Third regular cavalry also went forward to participate, but the Ohio boys had completed the job. This was on Tuesday evening. The cavalry then fell back near the advance of General Osterhaus's division. The next morning, Wednesday, broke dark and lowering, with rain and fog. The movement of the First division, General Osterhaus's, which was to have been at six o'clock, was delayed till eight. The Second division, General Morgan L. Smith, lay close up to the First division, waiting until they should move ahead before striking camp. Major-General Blair commanded both divisions. When General Osterhaus moved forward toward Tuscumbia, he had not proceeded far before his advance, consisting of the Fourth, Ninth, Twenty-fifth, Twenty-sixth, Thirtieth, (the Thirtieth in the advance,) and Thirty-first Iowa regiments, encountered a large force of rebels, estimated at between four and six thousand, under command of the rebel Generals S. D. Lee, Roddy, and Richardson. A heavy musketry fire was immediately opened, and the fight was furious for an hour, when the rebels fell back with heavy loss in killed and wounded. General Osterhaus hurried up several twenty-four-pounder Parrotts, which made havoc in their retreating columns, and our whole division was soon on the ground. The General managed his troops with great skill. The loss on our side will not exceed one hundred in killed and wounded. The death of Colonel Torrence, of the Thirtieth Iowa, was the most serious disaster. This brave officer was killed while in advance of his men, in the midst of the fight. Mistaking a party of rebels, who were dressed in Federal uniforms, for our troops, he rode forward to ascertain who they were, and at half-range distance was shot down by them. The regiment seeing him fall, raised a yell and rushed forward, at a charge, regaining his body and scattering the rebels in all directions. The loss in this regiment was twenty-nine killed and wounded. Captain H. Randall, of company D, was killed; Captain Hall, of company A, was severely wounded in the leg, which he will lose; Captain Clark, of company H, was seriously and probably mortally wounded in the back; Captain Smith, of company E, was also seriously wounded; Adjutant Clendenning was wounded in the head and thigh, and had six or seven bullets through his clothes. In company E three privates were killed. Several other regiments,  including the Fourth and Twenty-Fifth Iowa, lost more or less, but we were unable to learn particulars. The bodies of Colonel Torrence and Captain Randall arrived here last evening, where they were embalmed, and will be sent North to-day in charge of C. D. Gage, Sutler of the Thirtieth regiment. Colonel Torrence lived at Keokuk, Iowa. He served with distinction through the Mexican war, and was one of those men whose influence and character were almost without blemish. Tall and commanding in person, active, energetic, strict in discipline, kind of heart, he was held in great regard among the troops. Iowa has lost in him one of her most worthy and gallant sons. Since the above was written, we have gathered a few additional items of interest, which are subjoined: It appears that the rain and fog had delayed an early advance movement on Wednesday morning, and the first known of the proximity of the rebels was the driving in of our pickets and forage-teams, and their appearing in sight. The regiments above named were immediately ordered into line, and skirmishers thrown out to feel their position. The enemy did the same, except that a large portion of their force had dismounted and were lying in ambush. The advance of the enemy wore the United States uniform, and in the fog it became difficult for Colonel Torrence to distinguish friends from foes. He therefore ordered his men to cease firing, and approached the enemy dressed in blue, and when within a short distance they opened a galling fire upon him, piercing his body in many places, and killing him instantly. At the same time they opened a murderous fire upon our left flank, killing and wounding the Captain and Adjutant above named. For a few moments the Thirtieth regiment was thrown into confusion, but when Colonel Torrence's Orderly came back and announced that their Colonel was in the hands of the enemy, the men rushed forward with a yell, recovered his body and dispersed the rebels. They found, however, that his body had been searched, and all his money and watch stolen. Our troops pursued the fleeing rebels back to their fortifications. The rebels are said to have very strong fortifications about one mile this side of Tuscumbia, on the railroad, and prisoners report that they expect to make a strong defence there. They say they had four thousand men there on Tuesday, and received reenforcements of one thousand cavalry on Wednesday morning, and that some twenty thousand more are expected there from Bragg's army. The following officers are said to be in command there: Generals Loring, S. D. Lee, Roddy, Richardson, and Forrest. Colonel Torrence, who was in command of the thirtieth Iowa, is said to have been an officer of rare excellence. He served with distinction in the Mexican war, and entered the service again as soon as the war commenced--first as Major of the First Iowa cavalry, and then Lieutenant-Colonel of the Thirtieth Iowa infantry. On the death of the gallant Colonel Abbott, in the charge on Vicksburgh, he assumed command of the regiment, and was an officer of substantial merit and a man of rare virtue. Some of the prisoners taken at the Cherokee Station give as an explanation of their blue uniforms, that the rebel Government intends to clothe all their troops with blue overcoats. This statement may have been trumped up for the moment, but the fact that hundreds of their men appeared in the front rank of battle dressed in the uniform, would seem to give it some color of probability. It is said that rebel despatches from Johnston have recently been captured, in which rebel officers have been conjured not to permit our forces to open up the road between Memphis and Decatur. Tennessee River is reported to have risen in the vicinity of Eastport some nine feet, and is still rising fast. There have been heavy rains in that section, and, if necessary, we presume that gunboats can now ascend that stream to any point where their services may be effective. An impression exists, induced by existing circumstances, to the effect that probably before this our forces have encountered the enemy and drove them from their fortiflcations. If such a conflict has not taken place, it is because the rains have prevented, or the enemy has run away.