Scott with his command. On arriving upon the field, he suggested I should allow him to move around the enemy's right flank and to charge his rear. I told him to do so, but to act promptly, as everything depended upon his quickness. After he left, I held the position for more than an hour. His movements should have occupied ten minutes, and yet he never obeyed the orders given him. The enemy, forming his two infantry regiments in line of battle (his infantry was mounted, and of course dismounted for this formation), charged up the hill under cover of some undergrowth. My men stood until the enemy were within 30 yards, and teen gave way from right to left. After efforts of myself and of the gallant officers assisting me failed to rally the men at that point.
Our loss was small in killed and wounded, but rather heavy in prisoners, owing to my being obliged to detach parts of three companies of the Second Tennessee to occupy a thicket to the left, which a regiment of the enemy was trying to get possession of.
All officers who came under my notice behaved with great gallantry, most conspicuous of whom were Colonels [J. J.] Morrison and [H. M.] Ashby, Lieutenant-Colonel [A. R.] Harper, and Captain [W. M.] Footman. The last-mentioned brave man was commanding a detachment of the First Florida Cavalry, which came up just in time to make the most gallant efforts to resist the advance of the enemy, and which lost very heavily. Captain Footman had his horse killed under him. He has, during this expedition, rendered the most efficient service, being constantly in front when we were advancing, and in rear on the retreat.
Before reaching the town (1 mile distant), the command was put in order, and marched through the streets in perfect order at a walk, with the exception of a few stragglers. I placed the command in the next good position for defense, 2 1/2 miles from Somerset, where I awaited the advance of the enemy for three hours-until night. They advanced cautiously, threw a few shells, skirmished lightly, and then retired. At nightfall I withdrew my command, excepting a rear guard. As there was but one ferry-boat at Stigall's Ferry, I ordered Colonel Morrison with his regiment 3 miles below to Newell's Ferry.
By sunrise the next day the battery, Second Tennessee, and Sixteenth Battalion had all crossed, excepting some 20 horses. Colonel Morrison also lost about the same number of his horses in crossing. The enemy appeared about 8'clock, but in no great force.
The entire loss of my brigade in killed, wounded, and missing during the expedition will be slightly over 200 men, being greatest in the First Louisiana. The enemy is reported to have buried 80 of his men, but this is mere rumor. His loss, however, must have been heavy, as shown by his want of readiness in following us up. During the expedition we took and paroled 178 prisoners from the enemy.
As regards the object of the expedition (the beef-cattle), the agents found many less in the counties we entered than had been represented. This was because large numbers had recently been driven out by the agents of the United States Government. We started with about 750, and crossed over the river 537.
In the difficult matter of crossing the command, I wish especially to bring to your notice Lieutenant Tucker Randolph, acting on my staff. By his personal efforts during the whole night he rendered such service as commanded the admiration of all who saw him. During the actin of the morning, this officer and Lieutenants [J. F.] Ransom and [George] Yoe, and Volunteer Aides D. Henley Smith and D. C. Freeman, jr., were always in the thickest of the fight, bearing orders with promptness and coolness, and doing all they could to encourage the men.