War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0560 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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In conclusion, colonel, allow me to assure you of the high regard and confidence myself, officers, and men of this regiment feel toward you, and which have only been strengthened by the skill and valor you displayed in the engagement of December 19.

I am, colonel, with much respect,



Forty-third Regiment Illinois Volunteers.

Number 7. Report of Colonel Jacob Try, Sixty-first Illinois Infantry, of capture of Humboldt and Trenton.

BENTON BARRACKS, MO., January 17, 1863.

I herewith transmit a report of the raid of General Forrest, of the rebel army, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and the attack on Trenton and Humboldt, on December 20:

Some eight days previous to the attack I received a telegraphic dispatch from Major-General Grant giving information from Major-General Rosecrans that Forrest was moving with his force toward the Tennessee River, and ordering me to be on the lookout. I immediately dispatched a detachment of the Second West Tennessee Cavalry to look after the enemy and watch his movements. I also prepared this place for defense by throwing up earthworks and digging rifle-pits on an elevation completely commanding the depot and other public property. These were completed on the 17th in a most secure manner, of sufficient capacity to hold 1,500 men, and I was confident that with my force I could hold it against Forrest's entire command.

On the 15th news was received that Forrest was crossing the Tennessee River at Clifton, immediately east of Jackson. Colonel Ingersoll, chief of cavalry on General Sullivan's staff, ordered Colonel Hawkins, of the Second West Tennessee Cavalry, with all his effective men to join his force, the Eleventh Illinois and 300 of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, at Lexington. This order was promptly obeyed by Colonel Hawkins.

On the 17th [18th] Colonel Ingersoll met the enemy near Lexington, and after a very sharp engagement was repulsed, with a loss of some men and two pieces of artillery. The same day General Sullivan telegraphed to know what my available force was at Trenton. I replied that I had about 500 available men, with three pieces of artillery, not more than sufficient to hold the place if attacked.

The next morning I received an order from general Sullivan for the whole of my force to move to Jackson (with two days' rations), reserving only the convalescents for guard duty, and to notify the citizens that they would be held responsible for any damage to the railroad or other public property, which order was promptly obeyed.

The last of the troops left Trenton on friday morning, the 19th, at 3 o'clock (a portion having had to wait for the train from Union City with troops also ordered from that place to Jackson). As the troops had been ordered from Trenton I was compelled to abandon my rifle-pits and to concentrate what force I had at the depot.

On Thursday evening and Friday morning I had the depot platform (some 150 by 40 feet) barricaded with cotton-bales and other stores and armed all the convalescents that were able for duty.

On Friday morning I learned that a wood train passing Carroll Sta-