HEADQUARTERS OUTPOST AT HARRISON'S HOUSE,
On Trent Road, N. C., November 13, 1862.
COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report for the information of the commanding general:
On Tuesday, the 11th instant, I gave Captain Denny permission to send Lieutenants Drennan and Tew, with 50 men, out beyond the lines toward the red house to get some fresh meat (the subsistence department having failed to supply them any for some time) for his detachment. On their way back they came across a force of the enemy which they drove back toward the Deep Gully about 3 o'clock p. m.
Lieutenant Drennan then came on toward camp, and when he arrived at our outpost, or vedettes, they were followed by the enemy's cavalry and some artillery, which they posted near, and fired a couple of shot with a 6-pounder. Lieutenant Drennan made a stand, together with our cavalry, and fired several rounds, but finally falling back to the Jackson Creek Bridge. One of the cavalry vedettes (Henry Rancier) was wounded in the calf of his leg (flesh wound).
Information being sent me that we were attacked on the outpost by cavalry, artillery, and infantry, I immediately proceeded with my company, and, ordering Captain Denny with his infantry detachment to follow, I arrived at the creek bridge just as Lieutenant Drennan had crossed, and a shot from the cannon striking near did not deem it prudent to make whole force across.
Lieutenants Ebbs and a couple of my company went across to see what position they were in. I had four men tear up the planks of the bridge to make it impassable for the artillery to cross.
I formed my men on the right of the road and sent Lieutenants Ebbs with two or three men behind Mr. French's house to the road leading to the red house, and a couple to the road leading toward Taylor's to prevent a flank movement.
I also ordered Lieutenant Drennan to fall back a little, for his men and himself were completely jaded out. When Lieutenant Richter came up with a squad I ordered him to deploy on my right as skirmishers. Then I withdrew a little more an account of the enemy coming up in full force with infantry and forming in front of us, and their cavalry on their left, with a piece of artillery.
A piece of artillery at the Jackson house was worked with shell, which exploded over the left flank of my company. At this time (it getting quite dark) I ordered Captain Wageley and his company (G) on the left of the road to watch the bridge and to prevent their crossing at the mill, and ordered Captain Denny with the balance of the infantry to fall back to the junction of the road leading from Trent road to the red house this side Mr. French's house, and afterward fall back with my company to the house known as Ben. Ansley's, this side French's, but leaving nine mounted vedettes at three points (three in each place). At this place Sergeant Middaugh, in charge of Major Garrard's advance guard, came up. I ordered Captain Denny and the infantry to fall back and form on the right and left of the road at the 50-mile post, and ordered Lieutenant Ebbs to form my company in rear of them behind a skirt of pine timber. At this time Lieutenant Chamberlain came up and delivered a message from Major Garrard for me to have the infantry fall back to camp, and after the infantry fell back to camp to have my company fall back and cover their retreat. I posted at six different places with three mounted vedettes in a place, and after visiting them went back and reported to Major Garrard.