They accomplished what a much larger force have often failed to accomplish under more favorable circumstances. inclosed I forward a copy of a report made to me by Sergeant Branch.
C. J. DICKERSON,
Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Tenth Regiment Michigan Infantry.
Colonel R. F. SMITH,
Commanding Second Brigade, Second Division.
Numbers 3. Reports of Sergt. Thomas Branch, Company I, Tenth Michigan Infantry.
MILL CREEK, NASHVILLE AND CHATTANOOGA RAILROAD,
January 27, 1863.
COLONEL: In accordance with your order, which I received this day, I will rocked to write a statement of facts relating tot he skirmish which took place near here on the 25th instant.
The engine, with a number of cars, started in the direction of La Vergne. There were from 25 to 30 men ont he cars, acting as a train guard. In a short time after the train moved, I heard firing up the track Supposing it to be an attack on the train, I ordered my men to fall in. In three minutes we were moving on a double-quick up the track.
We soon came upon a rebel mounted picket, who ordered us to halt. We replied by sending a number of shots after him. He ran, and we saw no more of him.
I now ordered 12 men to move forward as skirmishers until they came opposite the train,t he rally and move toward the road. The balance of my men moved up toward the track on the right of the skirmishers. When we came within a few yards of the train we could distinctly hear the rebels at work burning the train. Some one hallowed, "Tom, hurry up; the devils are burning the train!" We were now opposite the train, and I gave the command, "Rally on the right file." We soon got into line and over up within range, when we gave them a volley. They jumped from the cars and ran for the their horse, which were tied to a fence about 60 rods from the train. We gave one yell and charged on them, or I should say after them, for they had got quite the start of us. We drove them into the woods, until we saw at least two companies of cavalry in line waiting for the car-burners, who were about 40 in number. They retreated over a hill and we left them.
We now devoted our attention to putting out the fires which they had kindled on the train with rails. Some of the fires had got pretty well to going, and one car was partly burned up. After putting out the fires, we ran the train into our camp.
We captured two horse, with equipments, and several guns. How many we killed I know not. The paroled prisoners who were captured on the train say they know we killed 2 and wounded a number. These are the facts, as near as I can state them.
Sergeant Company I, Tenth Michigan Infantry,
Commanding Guard to Construction Train on Nash Chat. R. R.
Lieutenant Colonel C. J. DICKERSON,
Commanding Tenth Michigan Infantry.