came within range of my reserve pickets, who fired upon him, wounding his horse, but he managed to escape. The enemy then retreated. I immediately formed the brigade, and moving it forward to a place which I had selected to occupy in case of attack, formed them in line of battle, and rode forward to reconnoiter. Meeting Colonel Russell with a portion of his command, he went forward with them, and I followed with my brigade to a point 1 mile beyond Unionville. As our cavalry advance passed through the town, it was fired upon the rear guard of the enemy, who were leaving it; but although I pressed forward at a double-quick for some distance, I was unable to come within sight of them. I sent forward our cavalry, with orders to attempt to force them to halt by firing upon them, but failing in this, and night having come on, I halted, and remained in position until Colonel Russell reported that he had re-established his former line of pickets, when I returned to camp.
The enemy burned the academy at Unionville, which was occupied by Colonel Russell as his headquarters, and the tents and camp equipage of his command, and carried off with them a number of his wagons and a small quantity of provisions.
I regret to say that in the dash made by the enemy to our lines, 5 men who were on duty with my outer pickets allowed themselves to be captured. As the enemy were mingled with our cavalry, numbers of whom had already passed, the pickets probably mistook them for our own men, and incautiously allowed themselves to be surrounded and captured. The others who were on duty at the time at that post escaped. The reserve pickets had already been drawn up in line in readiness for action, but, owing to the nature of the ground, were unable to see what was going on at the advance post.
I may be transcending the line of my duty, but as it is a matter of considerable interest to the forces picketing on this road, I would respectfully call your attention to the fact that a large portion (almost half) of Colonel Russell's command are without arms, and that in case of an attack they are only an incumbrance and calculated to demoralize the others.
I am, major, &c., your obedient servant,
W. F. TUCKER,
Major D. E. HUGER,
P. S.-While I write, cannonading is heard in the direction of Franklin; supposed to be there.
MARCH 4-14, 1863.-Expedition from Murfeesborough toward Columbia, Tenn., including skirmishes (4th) at Rover and Unionville, (5th) at Chapel Hill, (9th) at Thompson's Station, and (10th-11th) at Rutherford Creek.
Numbers 1.-Major General William S. Rosecrans, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Cumberland.
Numbers 2.-Brigadier General James B. Steedman, U. S. Army, commanding Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.
Numbers 3.-Brigadier General Philip H. Sheridan, U. S. Army, commanding Third Division, Twentieth Army Corps.