The enemy, however, did not wait to receive the charge of the force I had sent forward, but, after firing a few random shots, took to fight and left the road clear. I then made the best of my way through to Green River, which I succeeded in crossing with considerable difficulty, owing to the steep and muddy banks, and reached Hammondsville with my command at midnight. I had ordered Colonel Breckinridge, as he passed the cross-road leading to Woodsonville, to send two companies of Colonel Duke's command, with similar instructions, in the direction of Munfordville. My object was to induce the enemy to believe that I intended to attack the fortifications at Green River, and, by so threatening him, to divert his attention from the combined attack which I intended to make the succeeding day on the stockades at Bacon Creek and Nolin.
The next morning (December 26) I sent Duke's and [R. M.] Gano's [Seventh Kentucky Cavalry] regiments and section of Palmer's battery, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel [John B.] Hutcheson [Second Kentucky Cavalry], to attack the stockade at Bacon Creek, while I moved on with the main body of the forces to Upton. A heavy rain had fallen during the night, and it was still raining hard, so that it was with the utmost difficulty that the artillery and trains made any progress whatever. It was, therefore, nearly 11 o'clock before I heard Colonel Hutcheson's cannon open. On arriving at Upton, I cut the telegraph wire, and my operator was soon in communication with Louisville, Cincinnati, and other points. No important messages were received, however, except one informing me of the arrival of a train loaded with ammunition, small-arms, and two pieces of rifled cannon, which I immediately took measures to intercept, but unfortunately missed.
It being now nearly 3 p.m, I sent forward to Nolin, under charge of Colonel Duke, the remainder of the forces, with the exception of Johnson's regiment and the other section of Palmer's battery. With these troops-as I was fearful, from the duration of the firing at Bacon Creek, that the stockade had been re-enforced from Munfordville-I moved down to Bacon Creek to assist Colonel Hutcheson. On my arrival there, I immediately sent in a flag of truce, and demanded an unconditional surrender of the place, which, after considerable hesitation on the part of the commanding officer, Captain James, was finally acceded to. Ninety-three prisoners, belonging to the Ninety-first Illinois Volunteers, were captured, including four commissioned officers. The stockade and trestle were immediately fired and destroyed, and I moved on with the command to Nolin. In this affair 3 of the enemy were slightly wounded by our shells, and some 3 or 4 men on our side were slightly wounded in attempting to fire the trestle before the stockade had surrendered. The force at the trestle near Nolin, amounting to 3 officers and 73 privates of the Ninety-first Illinois Volunteers, surrendered to Colonel Duke without opposition. The stockade and bridge at that point were also fired and destroyed. While waiting at Upton, I had caused large fires to be built all along the track for some 3 or 4 miles, in order to warp and destroy the rails, which was most effectually accomplished.
Early the following morning (December 27), having learned the previous evening that some seven or eight companies of United States troops were stationed at Elizabethtown, I moved with my command in that direction. On arriving within sight of the town, the following