and Fourth [Ohio] Cavalry Regiments, 950 strong in all. I crossed over on the Franklin pike, south of General Thomas' headquarters, as I afterward learned. I passed the immense trains and troops on the Franklin pike, beyond Brentwood. I halted my command, as I had not seen General Thomas yet. I supposed he was on the move with the troops in front. I kept inquiring along the column, and was told that he was in the advance. I proceeded myself on the Wilson Creek pike some 2 miles, almost to the head of the column, but then learning from General Rousseau that General Thomas was in the rear, I immediately started back some 6 miles; there ascertaining that General Thomas had cut across the country on to the Nolensville pike, I thought further pursuit would be useless. I started back to join my command and to carry out the remainder of my instructions. I proceeded to Franklin; encountered the enemy's pickets 2 1/2 miles out; drove them in. Skirmishing continued until within half a mile of Franklin, when a sharp skirmish ensued, we driving the rebels. They then made another halt in town. I dismounted some six companies to act as skirmishers on foot; came round on both flanks with mounted skirmishers, and their reserves finally charged through the river into town, where some considerable firing ensued; drove the rebels out; drove them some 2 miles beyond town; the lateness of the day prevented further pursuit, for by this time it began to be dark. The enemy was taken by surprise; could not get their forces together before we were upon them; therefore made in rather an easy task to drive them, as they were in several directions, formed several lines, but as we advanced and fired they invariably fled. We took 10 prisoners, one of them a lieutenant of General Bragg's escort, who was there on business with 16 men. We captured a private of the same escort. We captured that number of horses, several mules, some shot-guns and carbines, broke up their camps, and burned several tents for them. From the best information received, I made out the force to have been about 900, consisting of Colonel Smith's regiment and an independent battalion. I shall send the prisoners to Nashville this morning.
I learned that quite a force of infantry and artillery were 9 miles out of Franklin, on the road leading to Murfreesborough. I arrived in camp here at nearly 9 o'clock last evening; reported to General Rousseau, in the absence of General Thomas. We learned that the enemy had quite a force at Triune, some 10 miles south of this. General Rousseau and myself came to the conclusion to use my brigade to-day in reconnoitering the front and right, until further orders could be received from you. I shall therefore send some 500 men toward Petersburg and Triune to reconnoiter; shall likewise send a smaller force over toward Franklin, to ascertain whether the enemy has come back again or not. My force will be back in camp toward evening; will remain here and picket Wilson's Creek pike, as instructed, until your further orders are received.
I forgot to mention that we killed 3 of the enemy; could not ascertain the number of wounded; must have wounded some in proportion to the killed. My command behaved nobly, both officers and men.
The Third [Ohio] Cavalry had the advance, and did the principal part of the fighting; there was no flinch to them; they moved steadly onward, and finally made the charge through town.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Cavalry Brigade.