War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0573 FORREST'S EXPEDITION INTO W. TENN. Chapter XXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

On the 27th we moved by rail to Trenton, and on the morning of the 28th started on the march toward Huntington, arriving there on the afternoon of the 29th. We bivouacked near the town, and spent the time until the morning of the 31st in gathering provisions and preparing them for use. In this we were greatly benefitted and aided by the inhabitants of the country, who proved their loyalty and good feeling in a most substantial manner, bringing in to us in considerable quantities corn-meal, pork,&c.

At daylight on the 31st we were on the road to Lexington. When about 10 miles from Huntington we halted and General Sullivan came up. He gave orders to remain there an hour or an hour and a half, and then push on; but receiving notice a short time afterward that a scouting party of the enemy's had suddenly appeared at the little town of Clarksville, about a mile ahead, and had probably made the general a prisoner as he was passing through, Colonel Fuller ordered an immediate advance, and I sent Company A, under First Lieutenant Theodore Sawyer, on ahead as skirmishers. Arriving at Clarksville we found no enemy, but heard from citizens that a company of rebel cavalry, numbering about 50 men, had dashed through the place, and that General Sullivan and staff left the road and took to the woods in great haste to escape them.

Distant cannonading now being heard from the direction of Lexington, rendering it probable that Colonel Dunham's brigade, which had left Huntington the previous night, was engaged with the enemy, Colonel Fuller ordered the brigade to move forward with all possible haste. From this time cannonading was heard continually, and after an hour or two musketry was readily distinguished. A citizen from the front gave information that our forces were fighting Forrest's cavalry and needed aid. About noon we came in sight of the battle-field. Firing had ceased on both sides, and flags of truce were-passing between the parties engaged. The enemy had surrounded Dunham's brigade on three sides, so that we now came upon them in their reach. By order of Colonel Fuller I formed my line on the left of the road, fixed bayonets, and charged down the hill and across the open fields which lay between us and the enemy. In an orchard we found a large number of rebel cavalry horses, with equipments, &c., complete, being held by a detail made for that purpose, all of which we captured. Pushing forward we captured three pieces of artillery and one extra caisson, filled with ammunition, which was taken by the rebels at Trenton. The enemy, being taken wholly by surprise, made but feeble resistance. Those who were mounted, or whose horses were near at hand, escaped with little loss, though a few saddles were emptied by some of the skirmishers in Company A.

One man, Adam B. Elderkin, a private in Company E, was struck by a musket ball just below the right knee; and Isaac Jenkin, a private in the same company, received a flesh wound in the calf of the right leg, probably from the same ball.

These casualties, received during a change of front forward on left company, by order of General Sullivan, were the only injuries sustained by my command. It being so easy for the enemy to get out of our range, and they not being disposed to give us combat, the engagement was not one of great bloodshed nor long duration.

Retiring from an advanced position on the left to the cross-road, I detailed a force to drag off the field the captured artillery and collect the small-arms, &c., which the enemy had thrown away or abandoned in their hasty retreat.