there I learned that a body of the enemy under General [C. C.] Washburn, of 7,000 or 8,000 strong, consisting of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, were moving upon Oakland from Mitchell's Cross Roads. I determined to fight him at the junction of the road upon which he was traveling with the Charleston road and half a mile beyond Oakland. I ordered Colonel Boggess to make a demonstration on the enemy's left flank and rear, Captain Wharton on the left on the Charleston road, and Colonel Hawkins and Major [John H.] Broocks, who was in command of the advance guard, composed of three companies, to the center. Major Broocks, being in advance, engaged the enemy. Colonel Hawkins, dismounting his Legion under cover of a small hill, moved up to his assistance. General Washburn moved up through a long lane, and when he arrived within 200 yards of us opened his batteries upon us, pouring in grape and canister at a fearful rate and with a rapidity that excelled anything I ever saw before. I ordered the charge, and with a wild, defiant shout the two commands double-quicked it, took the battery, drove back its support, and still pressed on. While this battery was being taken the enemy planted another on their right and commenced cross-firing upon me. I immediately ordered Captain Wharton to dismount his regiment and take that battery. He dismounted his men with the usual eagerness he evinces to discharge his duties in times of danger. At this particular juncture I was informed that the enemy was flanking me on my left. Having fought them a spirited battle of some fifty minutes, I ordered my command "To horse." The safety of the command demanded an immediate withdrawal, which was done in good order to Oakland, where I again formed.
My loss was only 8 wounded (all brought off the field), 2 of whom (severely) were taken to a private house and left in charge of one of my surgeons and a nurse. The enemy lost several killed and, I have learned since, 18 wounded. Some of the horses belonging to the battery having been killed, I could bring away but one of the pieces of artillery and 4 prisoners. Six-shooters, coats, blankets, hats, &c., dropped in such rich profusion by General Washburn's body guard, were picked up and borne away in triumph by my boys.
I remained at this place some half an hour. Finding the enemy had concentrated his strength I fell back 2 miles and selected a place to give him battle. He however showed no disposition to follow me, and toward night I fell back 8 miles to a place of safety that my men might rest, as they had had but little sleep or rest for five days and nights in succession.
On the following morning I moved up to fight him again and found he had gone back to the cross-roads. I occupied the place until night and fell back 4 miles and went into camp.
To Colonel Boggess and Captain Wharton I am obliged for the promptness with which they obeyed my orders during the engagement of the 3d. It was their misfortune and not their fault that they were not under fire.
To Colonel Hawkins, for his skill as well as gallantry, and to Major Broocks, who displayed in an eminent degree those two traits of character so absolutely necessary in a military commander-prudence combined with desperate courage-I am especially indebted for the success attending my efforts.
I would not forget my other officers and men, but to mention the names of some where all did so well would be an injustice, when each, in the face of terrible volleys of musketry, canister, and grape-shot from the artillery, charged to the cannon's mouth and sent back in dismay