they had hot work to accomplish is shown by their heavy loss in killed and wounded.
In the mean time Captain Cobb with his battery was not idle. He was doing good execution, and the enemy responded with effect, one of their shells striking and blowing up a caisson. As the ground was cleared of the enemy opposite our left, he (Captain Cobb) was ordered to take a new position with his battery in that direction, and at the same time the Ninth Kentucky Regiment was ordered forward to engage the enemy's left. My whole command was now engaged. The crest of the hill was reached, and here commenced a desperate struggle, as the contestants were only from 30 or 50 paces apart, where they fought for the space of ten minutes, when the order to charge was given, and most nobly was the command responded to. The enemy broke and were driven to the river cliff, where they were completely surrounded by my force in front and the dismounted cavalry on their flank and rear, and where they surrendered at discretion. It was a continued success from the commencement of the engagement. In about an hour and a quarter from the time the first gun was fired they surrendered, and more prisoners were brought off than we had men in the action. Large quantities of commissary and quartermaster's stores were also secured, a section of artillery, and a large number of small-arms, with the usual supply of ammunition. General Morgan had made most skillful dispositions, which, with the good fighting qualities of the troops engaged, secured success.
I cannot speak in too high terms of praise of the troops, and I scarcely know which most to admire, their patient endurance on the march or courage in battle. They marched 50 miles in the cold winter weather, the ground covered with snow; crossed and recrossed the Cumberland River; fought a largely superior force strongly posted within 6 miles of their supports, and brought off the prisoners, all within the space of thirty hours. Captain Cobb with his officers and men had a most laborious time in getting their pieces and horses across the river, and it was only by the best-directed executions they succeeded at all.
Where officers and men all behaved so well, it is impossible for me to single out individual cases as peculiarly worthy of commendation. I cannot, however, refrain from mentioning Lieutenant Joseph Benedict [Company B, Ninth Kentucky Infantry], who acted as my aide on the occasion. He was the right man in the right place.
I inclose herewith copies of the reports of Major Hewitt, Captains Morehead and Cobb, and would bring to your attention the fact that the former commends Color-Sergt. John Oldham for his gallant bearing.
The following is a summary of the loss sustained by my command:
Command. Killed. Wounded. Missing.
2nd Kentucky Regiment 8 54 3
9th Kentucky Regiment 7 10 1
Cobb's battery 3 7 ---
Total 18 71 4
Included in the above are: Of the Second Kentucky Regiment-Charles H. Thomas, first lieutenant, and John W. Rogers, second lieutenant, Company C, killed; T. M. Horne, first lieutenant, Company A, mortally wounded; Second Lieutenant A. J. Pryor, Company D, and Lieutenant