War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0595 Chapter XXIX. FORREST'S EXPEDITION INTO W. TENN.

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tured the gun, losing his orderly-sergeant by the fire of the gun when within 15 feet of its muzzle. My men have all behaved well in action, and as soon as rested a little you will hear from me in another quarter.

Our loss so far is 8 killed, 12 wounded, and 2 missing. The enemy's killed and wounded over 100 men; prisoners over 1,200, including 4 colonels, 4 majors, 10 captains, and 23 lieutenants. We have been so busy and kept so constantly moving that we have not had time to make out a report of our strength, and ask to be excused until the next courier comes over. We send by courier a list of prisoners paroled.

General, I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

N. B. FORREST,

Brigadier-General, Commanding in West Tennessee.

General BRAXTON BRAGG,

Commanding Army of Tennessee.

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Clifton, Tenn., January 3, 1863.

GENERAL: I forwarded you from Middleburg, per Lieutenant Martin, a detailed report of my operations up to the 25th ultimo, which I hope reached you safely.

I left Middleburg on the 25th, proceeding via the Northwestern Rail-road to McKenyie's Station, destroying all the bridges and trestles on that road from Union City to McKenyie's Station. From McKenyie's Station we were compelled to move southward in the direction of Lexington, as the enemy in force occupied Trenton, Humboldt, Huntington, and Lexington. After my command left Trenton they commenced recommend and prevent us recrossing the Tennessee. Understanding a force was moving on me from Trenton in the direction of Dresden, I sent Colonel [J. B.] Biffle, [Nineteenth Tennessee Cavalry], in that direction to protect our movements toward Lexington, intending if possible to avoid the enemy and go on and go on and attack the enemy at Bethel Station, on the Mobile and Ohio road, south of Jackson.

We left McKenzie's Station on the morning of December 28, but in crossing the bottom had great difficulty in crossing our artillery and wagons; the bridges proved to be much decayed and gave way, forcing us to drag our artillery and wagons through the bottom and the creeks. It was with great difficulty we got through by working the entire night, and our men and horses were so much fatigued that I was compelled to encamp at Flake's Store, about 16 miles north of Lexington, when under ordinary circumstances and good roads we ought to have reached Lexington that night, which place had been evacuated by the enemy, believing that I would either cross the Tennessee At Huntington or else that I would move northward.

On the morning of the 31st we moved off in the direction of Lexington, but had not gone more than 4 miles before we met the skirmishers of the enemy. We engaged and fought six regiments for five hours, driving them back until 3 o'clock in the evening, [when] they took shelter in a grove of about 60 acres inclosed by a fence and surrounded by open fields. I had sent four companies to Clarksburg to protect and advise me of any advance from Huntingdon, and finding that we were able to whip the enemy, dismounted a portion of my cavalry to support my artillery and attack in front while I could flank them on each side and get Colonel [A. A.] Russell's regiment, [Fourth Ala-