Some of our wounded officers expressed to me the opinion (which I think is sustained by subsequent developments) that the rebels had on the south side a reserve force, which had not crossed, but were near enough in an emergency to have assisted those who made the attack upon Moore. This was the opinion of Major Hill, of the Second Indiana Cavalry. These facts, in connection with the time which would necessarily be occupied in crossing, induced me, upon consultation with my brother officers, to abandon all further pursuit.
I found that the enemy had succeeded before our arrival in running across the river all the wagons and mules of Colonel Moore's brigade and the Second Indiana Cavalry, except 11 wagons and 13 mules, which were recaptured. A large number of the tents had been burned and a large number of the guns of our men had been taken off by the rebels.
Deeming it my duty to save as much of the public property of Colonel Moore's brigade as I could, I sent back to Castalian Springs, and ordered up 25 wagons from Colonel Miller's and my brigades, with which to carry off the recaptured property. The wagons arrived about dark, and were immediately loaded, when Colonel Miller and I returned with them to our camp, at Castalian Springs.
The Tenth Kentucky Regiment, of my brigade, having arms which were, in many respects, very defective, and in some respects entirely useless to them, they were allowed to take out of the lot of recaptured guns 309, as well as 36,000 rounds of cartridges to suit them. That regiment turned over its old guns to the ordnance officer of the division, and will account to him for the guns retained, as above stated. This step was absolutely necessary, because there was no supply of ammunition on hand in the ammunition train of the division to suit the caliber of their guns (.71 1/2), and because my brigade at the time was ordered to Hartsville, at which point there were reasons to apprehend that we would be attacked by the rebels. The exchange will add, in my judgment, one-third to the efficiency of that regiment in battle. If this step is not approved, the regiment will return to the proper officer, if ordered, all the guns thus received, and take such others as will be given them. The balance of the ordnance stores recaptured have been turned over to the ordnance officer of the division.
As to the killed and wounded, I found upon the field 55 dead Union soldiers, a large majority of whom were identified by papers upon their persons as belonging to the One hundred and fourth Illinois. These were buried by details from Colonel Miller's and my commands. Among those killed was Captain Gholson, acting assistant adjutant-general (as I learn) of Colonel Moore's brigade. He was the only Union officer killed and left on the field.
We found on the field 15 dead rebels, who were also buried, among whom were 3 officers. One of them was identified as Lieutenant Rogers, of Bullitt County, Kentucky, and another, Lieutenant Thomas, of Hardin County, Kentucky.
The total wounded on our side amounted to nearly 100, a majority of whom belonged to the One hundred and fourth Illinois. I have already inclosed to you a list of their names. They are all at Hartsville, except such as have been moved away. Those there now, with a few exceptions, as I learned from the surgeon in charge, could not be moved. I left them as comfortably provided for as could be expected under the circumstances.
Quite a lot of provisions was saved, all of which I left for the use of the wounded, except 1,236 pounds of bacon, 470 pounds of rice, and a
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