iments, though they have long been promised me. The service that I am required to perform here is too much for my force, and it will soon be unfit for service. Other cavalry commanders are drilling daily, and I assure you that every day for the past ten days I have engaged the enemy. My force in camp has to be moved forward every day to sustain the pickets, and never return until dark, so, whether on picket or off, they have no rest.
I ordered Colonel Smith to leave a portion of his command at Franklin, and to move last night on a scout on the Hillsborough pike. The result of the expedition is not yet known.
I take great pride in this brigade, and do not intend that it shall be used up without advising you of it. I intend to write to General Wheeler, and ask him to come over and see for himself the amount of labor I have to perform. The enemy were followed beyond our lines, and our pickets are at their usual, a day for us to fight and not to rest. I have nothing new as to the several movements of the enemy.
Most respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
JNumbers A. WHARTON,
Lieutenant-General LEONIDAS POLK,
DECEMBER 25, 1862.-Skirmish at Prim's blacksmith shop, Edmondson pike, Tenn.
Report of Brigadier General Thomas J. Wood, U. S. Army.*
[HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, LEFT WING,]
December 25, 1862.
The brigade (Colonel Harker's) which went out this morning for forage is coming in. Colonel Harker reports having filled his wagons with corn, but had to fight for it. He was attacked in front and on the flanks, and lost 1 man killed outright and 2 wounded; one seriously, the other slightly. The casualties all occurred in the Fifty-first Indiana Volunteers. Colonel Harker estimates the enemy, at 600, and says he was attacked by mounted men and men on foot, but does not know whether the latter were infantry or dismounted troopers. If we should move to-morrow, I beg to be distinctly informed what amount of baggage it is expected we will take. If all is not taken, which, I presume, will hardly be done, what arrangements will be made with the remainder? Will it be ordered to follow, or sent to Nashville? Please be explicit, as it will save much embarrassment. Further, is it expected any forage will be taken? I understand the forage is exhausted on the Murfreesborough road to La Vergne; and if it were there to forage for, scattering our troops so, where the enemy are, would be hazardous. On the other hand, to haul the bulky forage provided from the country will make an immense train. I beg you will furnish the necessary information at your earliest convenience.
TH. J. WOOD,
*See also Wharton's report, p. 164.