War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0028 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

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Middleton by the cavalry of the enemy upon yesterday, the 31st ultimo:The enemy attacked and drove in the pickets in front, following immediately after the few who reached camp. They (the enemy) approached within about 100 yards and came to a halt. Colonel [De Witt C.] Douglass gave the order for the officers to cause their men to mount and form the companies. The horses were all unsaddled, except those of Captain [Nathan] Carter's company, which company was mounted and formed, as it was in the act of being mustered. Instead of the men forming, they mounted their horses and scattered in the wildest confusion, being pursued by the enemy 4 miles.

In the mean time some of the officers attempted to rally the men for a stand, but without avail. From the best information that I have been able to obtain, the attacking party consisted of about 120 cavalry. Colonel Douglass and number of his men were captured, and several wagons that were out foraging were burned. A small party of the Eighth Confederate and Fifty-first Alabama Regiments was collected upon the wood [road], turned upon the enemy, and pursued them through Middleton, the enemy retreating rapidly.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

L. W. BATTLE,

Captain Company B, Fifty-first Alabama Regiment.

Colonel W. B. WADE,

Commanding Brigade.

Numbers 4. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel John S. Prather, Eighth Confederate Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY BRIDGE,

February 3, 1863.

General B. F. CHEATHAM,

Commanding Polk's Corps:

Inclosed I send you report of Major [John S.] Prather's skirmish with the enemy on the 31st ultimo, as furnished me by Captain [L. W.] Battle, the officer appointed by me to investigate that matter.

WM. B. WADE,

Commanding First Cavalry Brigade.

ROVER, TENN., February 2, 1863.

CAPTAIN: Abut 2 p. m. on the 31st ultimo the enemy's cavalry in overwhelming numbers made a dash upon my pickets on the Rover and Versailles road. So sudden and rapid was the enemy's attack and pursuit, that I was not apprised of his approach until almost upon me. The officer commanding the picket (Lieutenant [J. T.] Stales) nobly and bravely discharged his whole duty. My men were promptly mounted and moved forward to support the pickets and save the camp. Couriers were also promptly dispatched to withdraw the other pickets. The enemy dashed boldly forward under the best fire I could give them, and pressed me back to Unionville, where they withdrew at sunset and took up camp at Eagleville.

Although everything was done in my power, I regret to have to report the loss of quite a number, among whom were 7 commissioned officers.