and Major Stoner's command not participating in the fight), 700 infantry, with a battery of artillery (in all about 1,300 strong), defeated and captured three well-disciplined and well-formed regiments of infantry, with a regiment of cavalry, and took two rifled cannon-the whole encamped on their own ground and in a very strong position-taking about 1,800 prisoners, 1,800 stand of arms, a quantity of ammunition, clothing, quartermaster's stores, and 16 wagons.
The battle was now won. The result exceeded my own expectation, but still I felt that my position was a most perilous one, being within 4 miles in a direct line, and only 8 by the main Gallatin road, of an enemy's force of at least 8,000 men, consisting of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, who would naturally march to the aid of their comrades on hearing the report of our guns. I, therefore, with the assistance of my staff, got together all the empty wagons left by the enemy, loaded them with arms, ammunition, and stores,and directed them immediately to Hart's Ferry. There was no time to be lost. The pickets placed by my assistant adjutant-general on the Castalian Springs road sent to report the advance of a strong body of Federals, estimated at 5,000 men. I sent Colonel Cluke's regiment to make a show of resistance, ordering Colonel Gano's regiment, which had arrived, in support. In the mean time I pressed the passage of the ford to the utmost. This show of force caused a delay in the advance of the enemy, who had no idea of the number of my men, and probably greatly overrated my strength, and gave me time to pass the ford with infantry, artillery, and baggage-wagons, the horses of my cavalry being sent back from the other side of the Cumberland River to carry over the infantry regiments.
It was time to retreat. The enemy attacked our rear, but was kept at bay the two regiments before specified, aided by four guns I had previously ordered to be placed in position on the south side of the Cumberland, looking forward to what was now taking place. The banks of the river on both sides are precipitous, and the stream breast-deep, but our retreat was effected in excellent order. We lost not a man, except 3, badly wounded, that I was reluctantly forced to leave behind. Cavalry, infantry, guard, guns, and baggage-train safely crossed, with the exception of four wagons, which had been sent by another route, and which are still safely hidden in the woods, according to accounts received to-day.
In justice to my brave command, I would respectfully bring to the notice of the general commanding the names of those officers who contributed, by their undaunted bravery and soldier-like conduct, to the brilliant success which crowned the efforts tot he Confederate arms: To Colonel Hunt, of the Ninth Kentucky, commanding the infantry, I am deeply indebted for his valuable assistance; his conduct and that of his brave regiment was perfect; their steadiness under fire remarkable. The Second Kentucky also behaved most gallantly and suffered severely; 62 men killed and wounded, 3 regimental officers left dead on the field, sufficiently testified to their share in the fight and the resistance they had to encounter. Colonel Cluke's regiment paid also a high price for its devotion. It went into the field 230 strong; had 6 officers, with 21 non-commissioned officers and privates, killed and wounded, besides 6 missing. Colonel Duke, commanding the cavalry, was, as he always has been, "the right man in the right place." Wise in counsel, gallant in the field, his services have ever been invaluable to me. I was informed by my adjutant-general that Colonel Bennett, in the execution of the special service confided to him, and in which he so entirely succeeded, gave proof of great personal gallantry and contempt