Freeman's and Roberts' batteries out on the Franklin pike 5 miles. The Abolitionists were in ambush with four regiments of infantry, twelve pieces of artillery, and a battalion of [William B.] Stokes' cavalry, commanded by Brigadier-General [James S.] Negley. They opened fire upon us from their position. I placed Freman's and Roberts' batteries (four pieces each) on left of Franclin pike, between the Nolensville and Franklin pike, and returned their fire. After a spirited contest of an hour, they gave way, falling back down the Franklin pike toward Nashville. At this time I ordered my cavalry to charge, which order was quickly obeyed, their infantry and cavalry retreating down the pike toward Nashville. From this position my guns commanded the pike and played upon the Abolitionists with good effect, killing and wounding some 20 at one fire, which caused them to break and flee in disorder. I followed them up for a mile, when my artillery ammunition gave out and i withdrew my forces.
My loss in this action was 1 killed and 3 wounded. Loss of Abolitionists, 40 killed, 20 prisoners, and reported 60 wounded.
After this engagement I moved back to La Vergne.
Great credit is due Captain Freeman's battery, and Lieutenant [J. H.] Wiggins, commanding Roberts' battery, and their officers and men, for their coolness and discretion during this engagement. My officers and men acted well during the day, obeying with promptness each command.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
N. B. FORREST,
Lieutenant Colonel J. A. BUCKNER,
NOVEMBER 5, 1862.-Affair near Piketon, Ky.
Reports of Colonel John Dils, jr., Thirty-ninth Kentucky Infantry, with congratulatory letter from Major-General H. G. Wright.
HEADQUARTERS CAMP FINNELL, November 10, 1862.
SIR: I took possession of this post on the 5th instant. The Confederates were camped 8 miles below this place, at Coal Grove (force 500 or 600, cavalry and infantry), but got notice of my approach in the night, when I was within 4 miles of them. The panic, I learn, was great. My little force entered their camp not more than one hour after the train left, but we pursued them, and in their camp and flight we captured about 75 prisoners, 150 guns, 3 wagons, a lot of tents, horses, and mules.
I pursued within 20 miles of the Pound Gap, but my men were marched down, marching 30 miles the last day, eating nothing but a little beef at night. This post is 100 miles from Cattlesburg, on the Ohio River, and the nearest force (Federal) is Ashland, 100 miles from here. The nearest Confederate force is 50 miles, Logan Court-House, Va. That force is 1,500 or 2,000 under Floyd and Witcher. My force that is armed, about 400. I will do the best 1 can, but there ought to be more force in this valley.
Your obedient servant,
JOHN DILS, JR.,
Colonel Thirty-ninth Kentucky Regiment.
General HORATIO G. WRIGHT.