I immediately proceeded with my command, accompanied by a company [about 40 men] of Colonel Forrest's cavalry, to the point occupied by the enemy, and finding him apparently in considerable force, and having formed my command in line of battle to his front, I made a personal reconnaissance of his lines. This revealed his cavalry, about 300 strong, with a line of infantry in its rear, the extent of which I could not determine, owing to a dense brush-wood in which the latter was placed. I discovered too, as I thought and still think, artillery almost entirely concealed by the thick undergrowth of timber. I could not ascertain the strength of this battery.
Deeming it unadvisable to attack a force so strong and advantageously situated-their position and the nature of the ground rendering a charge by cavalry extremely hazardous-I retired to a more favorable position, and learning here that the enemy was attempting to pass my flank in force I commenced to retire again to a point beyond that which it was supposed they would reach my rear. At this time I met Captain [Isaac F.] Harrison, of Col. Wirt Adams' cavalry, commanding about 40 men of that regiment. He informed me that his regiment was so situated as to prevent the flank movement attempted by the enemy.
Being joined by him I returned to my position near the hospital, where I found Colonel Forrest commanding in person the company of his cavalry above named. On consultation with him it was determined to charge the enemy then formed for battle to our front. The charge was immediately executed. The front line of the enemy's infantry and his cavalry in its rear was put to flight; a portion of the latter only after a hand-to-hand engagement with the Rangers had attested their superior skill in the use and management of pistol and horse. My command not having sabers and our shots being exhausted I ordered a retreat on the appearance of a strong line of infantry still to our front, which was well executed by the Rangers. I rallied and reformed them