upon me. As soon my troops were dismounted and formed in line of battle, I pushed forward cavalry to feel them and firing on the engagement. A brisk fight ensued between the advance. On both sides the troops fought mounted and dismounted, and with artillery. The enemy's force engaged returned in the direction of Seaburn's Bridge. Lieutenant-Colonel [M. L.] Young's battalion pursued and engaged them near and at this point, which they reached about 10 a. m.
During this time I learned that a large body of cavalry, variously estimated from 600 to 1,200, had moved to my left on the Madison road, which was down the L'Anguille, and had not participated in the fight, having moved out one [hour] before it, and was perhaps some 5 miles distant. I presumed the artillery firing would be heard by them, and they would make an attempt to return. I therefore ordered Carter's brigade to move to my left and thwart this movement by taking up a position on the Madison road, some 3 miles distant. I now had the enemy separated; one force moving dow the L'Anguille on the Madison road-no outlet except to swim the L'Anguille or Saint Francis, or by a by-road to slip up the L'Anguille to Seaburn's Bridge-the other had retreated to the bridge, or rather to within half a mile of the bridge, where he was engaged by Young which his brave little battalion and two pieces of Greene's artillery. I immediately ordered Carter, with 700 men and two pieces of Pratt's battery, to pursue the force moving down the L'Anguille on Madison road. The rest of his brigade, with greene's, I order to move down to Taylor's creek. About the time the troops had reached Taylor's Creek, I received a dispatch from Colonel Young, who had been fighting the enemy, both using their men mounted and dismounted, and also their artillery, reporting that the enemy were in strong force, and were advancing upon him. i now presumed I had to fight the heaviest column, composed of infantry, artillery, and cavalry.
as yet i had heard not a word from Dobbin. Again, as Dobbin had made no attack in rear, had not answered my attack in front, and had not communicated with me, I feared that he had nit received Carter's orders, or had been prevented by superior force from executing the orders given. At the same time I presumed, as the enemy made every demonstration of battle at the bridge, they deemed the force strong enough to give battle. I was impressed with this belief by a dispatch from Colonel Young, saying that the force which Carter was ordered to purpose had come in by a path up the L'Anguille. Upon this information from Young, I dispatched to carter that the force he was pursuing had reached Seaburn's Bridge, and to return immediately. Carter obeyed the order, and had returned about 1 mile, when he was positively informed that my information was incorrect; that the force he was pursuing was 5 miles, below him, burning and pillaging. He immediately (and very properly) turned, and again continued his pursuit.
After putting all the forces I had (about 500 men) in position to fight the enemy, should the forces I had (about 500 men) in position to fight the enemy, should they come against me, I went in person to the advance, where Young was, and satisfied myself that the force which Carter was pursuing had not come in; dispatched Carter to that effect, ordering him to continue the pursuit, and after a careful reconnaissance, was convinced that the enemy's position was such that 500 men could not dislodge them without great loss, if at all; and even that they would have the bridge to retreat on. To have thrown my command upon the enemy, they holding an admirable position in a miry swamp of dense undergrowth and heavy timber, approached for three-quarters of a mile only by a causeway, which the enemy had torn up in places,