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May 5, 1862.-action at Lebanon, Tenn.


No. 1.-Brig. Gen. Ebenezer Dumont, U. S. Army.

No. 2.-Col. William W. Duffield, Ninth Michigan Infantry.

No. 1.-report of Brig. Gen. Ebenezer Dumont, U. 8. Army.

Lebanon, Tenn., May 5, 1862.
I surprised and attacked the enemy under Colonels Morgan and Wood this morning at 4 o'clock at this place, and after a hard-fought battle of one and a half hours and a running fight of 15 miles in pursuit achieved a complete and substantial victory. My force was about 600, composed of detachments from Colonels Wynkoop, G. Clay Smith, and Wolford; that of the enemy, as stated by himself, upward of 800, besides which the disloyal inhabitants not in the army opened a murderous fire on our soldiers from their houses and kept it up until all the organized forces of the enemy had fled or been slain or captured. The loyal inhabitants — not a few, but having no arms-could render us no assistance. Forces on either side'were exclusively mounted troops. I captured, say, 150 prisoners, among whom is one Colonel Wood, 3 captains, and 4 lieutenants; upward of 150 horses and upward of 100 stand of arms, I would think. Our killed will not exceed, as now advised, 6, and our wounded 25. Among the latter is Col. G. Clay Smith, Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, seriously, in the leg; Colonel Wolford, First Kentucky Cavalry, in the abdomen, dangerously. I am not as yet advised that we lost any prisoners except Major Given, Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, who fell into the hands of the enemy during the street fight by mistaking the enemy for our own troops.

I will make a detailed report as soon as 1 can get returns which will enable me to make it strictly accurate; they are not yet in. The detailed report can make little change or in any way affect the substantial value of the victory; that was and is complete and overwhelming.

Never did men behave better. It will be my duty in my detailed report to mention meritorious conduct, a duty which justice to the meritorious requires and which I shall execute with exceeding delight, for in this little affair intrepidity, personal daring, and heroic courage were conspicuous from the firing of the first to the last gun. Battles of more import, measured by the number of troops engaged or results, might afford less to commend than does the battle of Lebanon of May 5.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

E. Dumont, Brigadier-General. Capt. Oliver D. Greene, A. A. G., Nashville, Tenn.

No. 2.-reports of Col. William W. Duffield, Ninth Michigan Infantry.

I have this instant returned from Lebanon after a four days chase [885] after Morgan. Detachment of Seventh Pennsylvania and First and Fourth Kentucky Cavalry overtook Morgan at Lebanon this morning at 5 o'clock, completely surprised him, thoroughly routed him, and captured a large quantity of arms and horses and 150 prisoners, among the number Lieut. Col. Robert C. Wood, of Adams' cavalry, late an officer in the U. S. Army. The enemy were pursued by General Dumont to the Cumberland River. General Dumont is still at Lebanon.

Wm. W. Duffield, Colonel, Commanding Twenty-third Brigade. Capt. Oliver D. Greene, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Heeadquarters Twenty-Third Brigade, Murfreesborough, Tenn., Tuesday, May 6, 1862.
Captain: Agreeably to verbal instructions received from Brig. Gen. E. Dumont, I started in pursuit of the rebel force, commanded by Col. John H. Morgan, which had attacked General Mitchel's train at Pulaski, leaving early on the morning of the 3d instant, and taking with me the Ninth Michigan Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Parkhurst, and the Eighth Kentucky Infantry, Colonel Barnes. Upon reaching Wartrace, and learning that the Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, Colonel Smith, had been ordered to Shelbyville, I directed Colonel Barnes to occupy Wartrace, and protect the bridges at that place with the Eighth Kentucky Infantry, where it still remains. With the Ninth Michigan Infantry I moved on to Shelbyville, reaching that point at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Learning from scouts that the enemy was at Unionville and moving northward, I telegraphed Colonel Lester, of the Third Minnesota Infantry, to place strong guards at the bridges at Murfreesborough, and to Colonel Barnes, of the Eighth Kentucky Infantry, to adopt similar precautions near Wartrace, and, after bivouacking for the night on the Fayetteville road near Shelbyville, proceeded to Murfreesborough at daybreak on the 4th instant, by railway, with the Ninth Michigan Infantry, halting at the cross-roads and throwing out scouting parties in both directions.

On reaching Murfreesborough at 4 o'clock in the afternoon I learned that the enemy at noon had crossed the railway 10 miles north of that place, tearing up the track and burning the station house and a quantity of cotton stored there, and that upon the arrival of the First Kentucky Cavalry, Colonel Wolford, from Nashville, Colonel Lester had dispatched that force in pursuit, together with the Third Battalion of the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, Major Given. I also learned that the Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, Colonel Smith, had reached Murfreesborough, from Shelbyville, and the Second Battalion Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, Colonel Wynkoop, from Nashville, and that both forces had united at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and proceeded with General Dumont and yourself to Lebanon. Taking only my own escort of 15 men, I also started for Lebanon at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Lieutenant-Colonel Parkhurst and three of my own staff followed after, overtaking me at Los Cases. Here also I met the First Kentucky Cavalry, Colonel Wolford, and the Third Battalion Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, Major Given, returning from the pursuit, having been informed that I had been cut off at Shelbyville and needed re-enforcements. I directed this force to turn back with me at once and unite with the one recently dispatched from Munrfrcesborolgh under General Dumont, and pushed on all night for Lebanon, overtaking the forces under General [886] Dumont, who had halted at 1 o'clock on the morning of the 5th instant within 4 miles of that place and rested until daybreak. The column was then put in motion, proceeded at the trot, drove in the pickets, and charged into the town. The enemy was completely surprised, and was only aware of our presence by the fire of his pickets, posted less than a mile from the village. His main force was quartered at the college buildings, on the outskirts of the town, from which he endeavored on foot to reach the livery stables in the village, where his horses had been picketed for the night, to saddle up and mount; but being overtaken by the head of our column, threw himself into the houses lining the street, and maintained a heavy and well-sustained fire from the windows upon each side of the street. He was, however, driven from house to house until he fled from the town in the wildest confusion.

I need not inform you of the personal daring and gallantry of our troops, exposed, as they were, to this murderous cross and flanking fire from a sheltered and concealed foe, yet still delivering their fire at the windows with great coolness and precision, falling back to load and again returning to the attack, as both General Dumont and yourself were present and can speak from personal observation.

During the time occupied in forcing the street a large portion of the enemy rallied in the public square, but were repulsed by a vigorous charge, and retreated toward the north and east, our troops following in close pursuit.

General Dumont and yourself having followed, directing the pursuit, and being left in charge of the town, I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Parkhurst to search the village and collect the wounded with my own escort and the small force of 15 men of the Third Battalion Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Captain Essington, which did not join in the pursuit. While so engaged several scattering shots were fired upon us from the windows of adjoining houses and a sudden and most unexpected volley poured in from the windows of the Odd Fellows' Hall. The attack was so unexpected that the troops fell back in great disorder, but were promptly rallied in the public square. The Odd Fellows' Hall was a large brick building, in the center of the village, immediately opposite the stables occupied by a portion of the enemy's horses, and he had thrown himself into it, barricaded the lower windows and doors, and was firing from the second-story windows. Having no artillery with which to shell him out, 1 directed Captain Essington, the officer in command of the troops remaining in the village, to dismount his men, and, with my own escort, also dismounted, to advance under cover of the houses and stables on the other side of the street, to maintain a steady fire upon the windows, and when the enemy had been silenced to demand an unconditional surrender, and in case of refusal to fire the building. This was done, and the enemy laid down his arms and surrendered unconditionally to Lieutenant-Colonel Parkhurst. His force was more than double our own, consisting of 50 privates, 10 non-commissioned officers, 4 lieutenants, 1 captain, and the field officer in command, Lieut. Col. Robert C. Wood, jr., all of Col. Wirt Adams' rebel cavalry, in all 66 prisoners, who were turned over to General Dumont on his return that afternoon.

I inclose you herewith the list of prisoners taken and an inventory of the captured arms.

I remain, captain, your obedient servant,

Wm. W. Duffield, Colonel, Commanding Twenty-third Brigade. Capt. T. P. M. Brayton, Assistant Adjutant-General, Xashville, Tenn.


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