Eighty-third Regiment Illinois Volunteers, under the command of Major E. C. Brott, and a part of the rebel forces commanded by Colonel Napier. The official report of the same not having yet been received, having been with the expedition, I give the facts as correctly as the circumstances will admit.
The Federal force left Fort Donelson on Tuesday, October 22, at 1 o'clock p.m., consisting of 140 infantry, 30 cavalry and 1 rifled gun of Captain Flood's battery, and proceeded toward Waverly, which, is situated 40 miles north [south] west from Fort Donelson and 9 miles from the Tennessee River.
On Wednesday afternoon when within 6 miles of Waverly our advance guard of cavalry were fired upon by 25 mounted guerrillas, but without effect. At sunset of same day our advance came upon a band of 75 mounted guerrillas stationed in a thicket, one-half mile from the town of Waverly. They fired upon us, killing, 1 private and slightly wounding 2 others. Our force returned the fire, killing 4 (as near as could be ascertained) and wounding several others. We took I prisoner. The enemy immediately took to fight. Major Brott then ordered his command to fall back 1 mile, where we encamped for the night, troops lying on their arms. From the prisoner taken we ascertained that the rebel force amounted to 700 or 800 well-mounted men, armed with muskets and double-barreled shot-guns, with two rifled Parrot guns taken from the steamer Terry.
The next morning at 5 o'clock Major Brott ordered his command to fall back to White Oak Springs, about 14 miles, not thinking his force sufficiently strong to proceed farther. When about 6 miles from camp, at the crossing of a creek, a band of about 300 mounted guerrillas attacked us on our rear. At the time of the attack our forces were scattered, owing to a misunderstanding of the place of camping for breakfast. The order was to camp about 4 miles farther on. The enemy dashed in upon the troops, causing considerable confusion for a time, but they rallied and fired upon the enemy, the fire lasting about eight minutes, when he enemy retired with 8 men killed and several wounded, as was reported to us by their two surgeons whom we took prisoners. We had 1 man severely wounded and 2 slightly. On the battle grounds and on the march we took 15 prisoners. Our forces were then ordered to march back to Fort Donelson, where they arrived on Friday evening, October 25.
I suppose the reason of the whole of Napier's force not attacking us was from the fact that a Federal force of about 250 infantry, and cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick, of Fifth Iowa Cavalry, coming up on the opposite side of the river from the enemy's camp, and they (the enemy) fearing an attack did not send out a large force. We did not know that Colonel Patrick was on the opposite side of the river. He was ordered to go out on the road from Fort Heiman to Paris to reconnoiter, and on his return to camp went over to the river opposite the enemy's camp. He succeeded in destroying twelve barges and row-boats belonging to the enemy. he also fired several shots at them.
The foregoing are all the facts of importance that would be of service.
JNO. B. COLTON,
Quartermaster Eighty-third Illinois Volunteers.