his horse a dying man of the Twenty-ninth Indiana, who had been deserted by the retreating infantry. I came up with a company to relieve the one then on outpost just before the firing ceased, and did not suppose the skirmishing was serious until parties of infantry commenced retreating across in squads, some accompanied by their officers and all apparently very much excited and frightened. I ordered their officers to halt the men and form them, which they did. Some mounted officer afterward came up and ordered them to resume work again, which they did. These men were detachments, I believe, from the Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania, Twenty-ninth Indiana, and Michigan Engineers. Their officers told me that 4,000 or 5,000 of the enemy had attached and driven them back.
Colonel Innes, of the Engineers, came to the road where the engineers had been working, and requested me to send some of my men to the other side of the slough. I sent a sergeant and 4 men, who took position behind the log house in the field and drove the enemy back with their carbines through the skirt of woods. They remained there for an hour and a half after the working party had been withdrawn, and only returned to this side of the glade when ordered to do so by me, and after I was fully satisfied there was no further prospect of a fight.
None of my men on yesterday or at any other time have every behaved in a manner which Colonel Fry terms "discreditable to the army and themselves." They did all an more than duty required, and I regard it, to say the least, as unjust and unsoldierly to cast this stain upon the honor of the regiment and the State before carefully investigating the facts and fully ascertaining whether so serious a charge, and one so fatal to the reputation of both officers and men, had any foundation. I have no doubt but that the statements which have misled the general commanding have been made by parties who desire to cover their own shame and cowardice by casting undeserved odium upon another arm of the service.
I respectfully demand an official investigation of this matter.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWARD M. McCOOK,
Colonel Second Indiana Cavalry.
Colonel JAMES S. JACKSON,
Commanding Cavalry, Army of the Ohio.
The language quoted above as the "terms" of the letter is not correct according to the records made of the letter in my office. The terms used were "In a manner not at all creditable," and not "discreditable," &c. The difference between the two phrases in apparent.
JAMES B. FRY,
Colonel and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,
In Camp, May 10, 1862.
The cavalry force in front of General McCook's division yesterday were approached by small parties of the enemy's skirmishers (who were