Second Michigan Cavalry, to move forward rapidly on their rear; two companies of the Second Michigan I sent to the right, by Brentwood, to join us in pursuit, the Ninth Pennsylvania and Fourth Kentucky following closely in the rear of Colonel Watkins and a little to thee left. The enemy were overtaken about 3 1/2 miles from Breentwood, when a running fire was begun and kept up, the rebels falling back for 2 1/2 miles. We recaptured all the wagons and mules, about four hundred stand of arms, a large number of knapsacks, and two loads of ammunition, with one hundred stand of arms dropped by the fleeing rebels. Six miles from Brentwood, where several roads come together and cross the Little Harpeth, Colonel Starnes succeeded in bringing the larger portion of his command to a stand, but in ten or fifteen minutes they were driven back, which gave us command of the cross-roads and a strong position.
At this point a general engagement followed, lasting about one and a half hours. They were again driven back from the woods, ravines, and brush. The men were exhilarated with hope and success, and pushed forward in gallant style, when Wharton, with 1,500 cavalry and mounted infantry, appeared close upon the right, and General Forrest, with a large command, on the left. These re-enforcements gave Colonel Starnes new courage, and his men rallied in my front. They made, from the front and left, three charges upon the Second Michigan and Sixth Kentucky and two companies of the Ninth Pennsylvania, but were handsomely repulsed with great loss each time. After a hot engagements for near an hour, and finding they could not break my front or drive me back, they attempted to surround me, when it was thought advisable to fall back. This began in good order and slow, the Second Michigan, part of the Sixth and Fourth Kentucky, and Ninth Pennsylvania on foot. The rebels pushed forward with great for and tremendous shouting, but still my men fell back slowly from tree to tree and rock to rock. For 2 miles at least did they follow, but their flank movements were checked and their charges repulsed at every point, and they eventually withdrew.
I feel back to Brentwood and halted, where I rested my men and horses, and after receiving orders, late in the evening, returned to camp. The teams of the recaptured wagons had been so tightly pressed in the chase that three of them failed to pull, when I ordered the wagons to be burned, also the contents, with about twenty cases of ammunition and three hundred guns. The others were safely brought off, with two of our own ambulances, recaptured, and two belonging to the rebels.
Our loss was as follows:
Command Killed Wounded Missing
2nd Michigan 1 8 2
6th Kentucky 2 6 1
9th Pennsylvania ........ 2 1
4th Kentucky 1 3 .......
Total 4 19 4
The loss of the enemy was not less, in the judgment of my officers and myself, than from 400 to 500 killed, wounded, and prisoners. Forty-six prisoners were brought in, and from the number of men seen lying on the field, and number of empty saddles observed, and the busy