further orders. While there, an officer rode up and informed me that the enemy's cavalry was attempting to cross the river some distance below, near a hospital, and that it was important that we should have a force there. There was no superior officer near, and I took the responsibility of at once moving to the point designated and forming in line. The enemy, seeing us approach, promptly fell back, but not until he had taken quite a number of prisoners, as I understand.
I then returned to the turnpike, and at dark bivouacked in the woods near by, where we spent the night.
On the morning of the 1st instant I placed my command in line, under your directions, and we immediately threw up a line of breastworks, behind which we bivouacked until the evening of the 3rd instant, without any movement of importance on our part, with the exception that on the 2nd instant, at about 9 p.m., I was ordered to take four companies from my command and a like number from the Third Brigade of this division, and to advance to our front until I reached the Franklin turnpike or found the enemy in force.
It was a very dark night, and I took my little command according to your orders, deployed the whole as skirmishers, and started. I first crossed an open field or fields nearly to the woods in our front, where I could distinctly hear the enemy chopping and moving either artillery or heavy wagons. When we got about 20 yards from the edge of the woods, I distinctly heard officers giving commands to their men, and, fearful that I was going into a trap, I ordered my men to fire, which was promptly obeyed, and my suspicions confirmed, as the enemy returned a withering volley in reply. Found at least ten times the number I had with me. Having ascertained that the enemy were in heavy force near our lines, thereby accomplishing the purpose for which I was sent out, I ordered my meant to retire, which they did in good order, losing but 4 wounded; none killed.
The officers and men under my command, during this terrible battle, behaved with great coolness and courage under the most trying circumstances.
I cannot help but bring to the notice of the commanding general the gallant conduct of Capt. T. E. Rose, of the Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania Regiment, who took command of his regiment after Lieutenant-Colonel Housum was wounded, and who, by his skill, perseverance, and energy, kept his regiment well together, and, by his example, urged on his men to attack the enemy when all around was disorder and confusion.
Major Collins, of the Twenty-ninth Indiana, took command of that regiment about 9 a.m. on the 31st, after Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn had, by some means, become separated from his command, and fought nobly.
Major Buckner, of the Seventy-ninth Illinois, took command of that regiment about 9 a.m. on the 31st, after Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn had, by some means, become separated from his command, and fought nobly.
Major Buckner, of the Seventy-ninth Illinois, took command of that regiment after the death of Colonel Read, and gallantly rallied his men, and showed himself worthy of a higher position than he now holds.
Major A. P. Dysart, commanding the Thirty-fourth Illinois, distinguished himself in his efforts to arrest the enemy's progress, and his regiment stood by him until it was utterly impossible for the same number of men, without support, to do so longer.
Lieutenant-Colonel Hurd, commanding, and Major Fitzsimmons [who was taken by the enemy], of the Thirtieth Indiana, showed that they were worthy of the positions they occupy. Both needlessly, almost, exposed themselves, and were untiring in their efforts to stop the progress of what seemed a victorious enemy.