about 12 o'clock last night with 50 men, a part of Captain [J. T.] Martin's company, of my battalion, and proceeded in the direction of Stewart's Ferry, on Stone's River, 12 miles distant, for the purpose of capturing some of the enemy's pickets. By traveling obscure roads and recrossing Stone's River about 1 1/2 miles above Stewart's Ferry, we came in between the enemy's main force at McWhirtersville [Donelson] and Stewart's Ferry. When within a quarter of a mile of the pickets, I dismounted 20 men, and sent them 300 yards ahead, and ordered them to proceed noiselessly to the place first ordering them to surrender, and, if they refused, to fire. A part of the mounted men under Captain Martin, and the balance under Lieutenants [T.] Banks and [A. S.] Chapman, were so disposed on either side of the road as to catch any who might attempt to make their way to the main force. Sergeant [J. M.] Critz, who commanded the squad of dismounted men, when within 15 steps of the reserve, ordered them to surrender. They refused, and one of them fired. Immediately my 20 men fired; 1 lieutenant and 2 privates were left dead upon the spot. I think the whole reserve (9 men) were either killed or wounded; but the cedar undergrowth was so very thick that we did not see them, nor could not, without carefully searching, which we did not have time to do. Three horses were killed, and we captured 6, with bridles, saddles, &c., 2 excellent Belgian guns, 1 pistol, several Indiarubber coats, &c. The two vedettes, who were some distance from the reserve, made their escape through the bushes, and we did not have time to pursue them. Being within 1 miles or less of a large force, I thought it but prudent to move away at once, and with as much rapidity as practicable. At sunrise this morning I got back to my camp without the loss of a man, horse, or anything else.
I must be permitted to commend the coolness and gallantry of Captain Martin, Lieutenants Banks and Chapman, and Sergeant Critz. I cannot mention the names of privates, but they all did their duty, and nobly.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. W. HOLMAN,
Captain D. G. REED,
DECEMBER 4-5, 1862.-Capture of transports, and skirmishers near Prestonburg, Ky.
LIST OF REPORTS.*
No. 1.-Colonel Jonathan Cranor, Fortieth Ohio Infantry.
No. 2.-Colonel John N. Clarkson, Virginia State Line Cavalry.
No. 1. Report of Colonel Jonatham Cranor, Fortieth Ohio Infantry.
HDQRS. DIST. E. KY., Louisa, December 8, 1862.
MAJOR:I have the honor to submit to you the following report:
On the morning of the 3rd [4th] instant, an engagement took place between about 200 of the Thirty-ninth Kentucky, who were guarding some push-boats which were loaded with commissary and quartermaster stores for the Thirty-ninth, and were en route for Piketon, and about
*See also Floyd to Letcher, Series I, Vol. XXI, p.1065.