where we encamped the previous night and where the road forks to Grand Junction and La Grange about twenty minutes before the rebel cavalry, closely followed, as I have since learned, by their infantry and artillery. They hung upon our rear until about 1 o'clock, when, arriving near the creek, about 2 miles north of Van Buren, where, finding it necessary to halt my train for rest and water, I placed my command in position so as fully to command the approaches and sent out a small force of cavalry to see whether the rebels were still on our track. They soon returned, with the rebel cavalry at their heels. Letting them approach to within easy range, Mann's battery (Lieutenant Brotzmann commanding) opened on them and sent them flying back. My train by this time having rested and watered we continued our progress, and arrived in camp at dusk.
Our casualties were few, for which I refer you to the accompanying reports.
I have the honor to be, general, your most obedient servant,
J. G. LAUMAN,
Commanding Fourth Division, District of West Tennessee.
Report of Colonel Silas Noble, Second Illinois Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND ILLINOIS CAVALRY,
Bolivar, Tenn., September 22, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that in compliance with Orders, Numbers 200, I marched with 350 men of my command as the advance of the forces under command of General Lauman, and entered Grand Junction about 5 p. m. of the 20th; found everything quiet at that place and but very few inhabitants left there. From all the information I could gather the force of the enemy near Davis' Mills was about 8,000. Having accomplished the reconnaissance of the place and vicinity I returned about 4 miles to the camp of General Lauman and bivouacked for the night.
On the morning of the 21st, in accordance with orders from General Lauman, I went again to Grand Junction, sending two companies, under command of Major Mudd, to La Grange, to examine that place and the country around it. At Grand Junction all was in the same condition in which I found it the evening previous. I was directed to hold this place until the arrival of General Lauman with the main force. But, upon learning from Major Mudd that the enemy in large force was making a movement to pass to the rear of our army through La Grange, I at once retired and joined General Lauman, and with him returned to this place, the cavalry under my command being employed as flankers and reconnoitering parties.
Major Mudd was active in ascertaining the position and force of the enemy. I have the honor to inclose his report.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Illinois Cavalry.
Captain HENRY BINMORE,