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, I 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, Lieutenant. Colonel Robert C. Wood, jr., all of Colonel 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.
Captain T. P. M. BRAYTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Nashville, Tenn.