No. 3 Report of Captains William A. Haw and Henning von Minden, Fifth Iowa Cavalry.*
SPRING CREEK, TENN., May 9, 1862.
The command started under the command of Major Shaeffer [de Boernstein] (130 men strong), on May 2, toward Paris, where we were delayed until late in the afternoon of the 3rd by shoeing the horses. Heavy rain was the reason we started on the 4th from Paris toward Como (13 miles), and passed the night 3 miles farther, at the farm of Mr. Erwin. There a report was made by a citizens coming from Caledonia that a large force of Confederate cavalry had passed, going toward Paris, which induced Major Shaeffer [de Boernstein] to go to Dresden and possibly toward Mayfield and Hickman. We made a night march on a very dark and stormy night, and reached Dresden at about 1 a.m. Pickets were sent out toward Como, which reported (very late) that the enemy had his pickets at out last camping place-Erwin's farm.
We left Dresden at 1 p.m., taking the road toward Mayfield, 28 miles. It was about 6 p.m. when we reached a place called Lockridge's Mills, on the Obion River, in Weakley County, Tenn., where a bridge (the North Fork) crosses the said river. Major Shaeffer [de Boernstein] concluded to stop there for the night. I took the picket with my men (45), established three lines of them, because I was fully satisfied that we would be attacked, and knowing that we could not resist the expected force, I intended only to prevent a surprise. The pickets had not been set out more than twenty minutes when the enemy made his appearance. Drew back my first pickets, then the second line, and soon found us in great confusion, because the main body of us had unsaddled our horses. Major Shaeffer [de Boernstein] ordered the command to fall back beyond the bridge in our rear; but it was too late. The enemy followed and occasioned a stampede, in which the speediest horse could only win the prize. I lost 4 killed and 34 prisoners, of whom 5 are wounded. I was wounded at the bridge in trying to make a stand; my horse, like the others, could not be held, because he was wounded, too, and ran with me. After a race of about 3 miles I fell from the horse from weakness and was taken. My wounds are not dangerous; one in the arm, two in the back, and one in the head. Captain Minden's horse tumbled down and fell on its rider's leg, hurting him badly. He, too, has been taken. He received a slight wound in his head. Lieutenant Vredenburg had the same fate. Major Shaeffer [de Boernstein] was shot a few paces behind me and taken. Captain Nott, Lieutenants Wheeler and Smith I hope made their escape; the latter, I have heard, was wounded. To-day the rumor was spread out that Major Shaeffer [de Boernstein] died last night.
The commanding officer, Colonel Th. Claiborne, allowed me to send this report to you; but I dare not misuse his kindness in stating the force against which we had to work. I only feel myself authorized to say that it was a large one-larger than we could and did expect. The commander, his officers, and even his men, treated us like true soldiers and gentleman, which I take great pleasure to state.
W. A. HAW,
Captain Company F, Curtis' Horse.
H. V. MINDEN,
Captain Company G, Curtis' Horse.
*The address of this report not known. It was found in the Confederate archives as accompanying document to Colonel Claiborne's report of the affair. See p.879.