regiment, and rode back to place the remaining three companies in position. I then endeavored to telegraph to Franklin, but found the wires had been cut both in front and rear. I then ordered two couriers to Nashville, to take the news of my attack, and ask for re-enforcements. Only one succeeded in getting out. Whether he got through the enemy's lines I never knew.
At this time a flag of truce was sent by the enemy, announcing that General Forrest had surrounded us with his entire command, demanding our unconditional surrender, and threatened to cut us to pieces if we attempted resistance. Word was sent back to General Forrest to come and take us. Previous to this I had given orders to have the wagons loaded and moved toward Nashville, as I feared, from the superior force of the enemy thus far developed, I might be compelled to fall back in that direction. The last wagon had not left the camp when those in front were stopped by the enemy. In the mean time the advance companies had opened fire upon the enemy. I had barely time to post thee other companies before I discovered we were completely surrounded by the enemy in overwhelming force. I disposed of my men so as to keep them at bay as long as possible; but they advanced rapidly, pressing me closely, and soon brought a battery of two pieces of artillery close up to my lines. I had no artillery to keep them at bay; my position was without defense, natural or artificial, available for the protection of my men. I had no hope of aid from any quarter. The force that surrounded me was evidently five to ten times my number. I was satisfied that in fifteen or twenty minutes we must be overwhelmed, after great sacrifice of life, without, in consequence of our inferiority in numbers and equipments, inflicting adequate injury on the enemy. I therefore deemed it best for the interest of the service, and but justice to my men, to surrender, which I accordingly did.
The contest, from the opening of our fire up to the time the enemy had succeeded in surrounding me and was about bringing his artillery to bear, was from twenty-five to thirty minutes in duration. After my capture, I learned that the enemy had not attacked the force at the railroad bridge before coming upon me, but had rode by it. They surrounded and took this force after my surrender. I then found the enemy's force to be three or four brigades of mounted infantry, numbering from 5,000 to 8,000 men, under the command of Brigadier-General Forrest, General Armstrong, Colonel Starnes, and including an independent Arkansas regiment [Tennessee Cavalry Battalion], under the command of Major [E. J.] Sanders, all of which officers were on the field with their commands. Also at that time I learned that the enemy had sent a force to Nashville and Franklin to drive in our pickets.l A body of our cavalry came up and made an ineffectual dash at the enemy some two hours after we were captured.
Four of my command were wounded, and left upon the ground with two of our regimental surgeons. The loss of the enemy, so far as I learned, was 3 killed, including a lieutenant, and 5 wounded. The enemy, while in action, with the exception of a sufficient number acting as cavalry, were dismounted, and fought on foot. They had made a forced march during the night and came in through the country to the west of our camps and about a mile beyond our pickets. I was informed by General Forrest that he had captured a courier sent to me by General Baird that morning, with orders to fall back immediately with my command to Nashville, Tenn., but I did not see the courier among the captured. My command, after being taken, was marched to Tullahoma, Tenn., and there sent by rail to Richmond. The men were paroled there