First Middle Tennessee, with two of Colonel Wilder's mountain howitzers, to move in on the Smithville road. About half a mile farther on, my advance came on the rebel pickets, who immediately formed and opened fire on us. Riding to the front, I pushed forward the flankers, and directed the advance guard to charge home, sending Captain Jennings, with the remainder of his regiment (Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry), to their support. The rebels were driven into and through the town. Their entire force was about 700 men - 600 cavalry and the provost guard, which consisted of 115 men of the Second Kentucky and Forty-first Alabama Infantry Regiments. These last had left town, by the Chattanooga road, with the wagon train, about an hour before our arrival, but, by pressing closely, a part of the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry succeeded in capturing 3 wagons and 8 or 9 of the men.
The cavalry scattered in every direction, part of them retreating at a gallop on every road, about 50 taking the railroad train, which started as we entered the town. I sent the Third Brigade and the Fourth Michigan after the train, with directions to destroy it and also the new bridge over Hickory Creek. The Fourth Regulars I sent to the support of the Seventh Pennsylvania, on the Sparta and Chattanooga roads.
In the charge made by the advanced guard - Lieutenant Thompson and 25 men of the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry - Corporal [Edward H.] Schutt mortally wounded, Lieutenant-Colonel [R. M.] Martin, of Johnson's Kentucky Cavalry, having laid his skull open by a saber cut. The famous Major Dick McCann was also wounded and taken prisoner, but effected his escape the same night from a guard of the Fourth Regulars. I encamped for the night on the hill west of McMinnville, and was early next morning rejoined by the Second and Third Brigades and the Fourth Michigan.
April 22, encamped near Snow Hill about dark, and pushed forward a patrol, which discovered strong pickets of the enemy at the mouth of Dry Creek.
April 23, marched at daylight for Liberty. The rebel pickets had been withdrawn during the night. The citizens stated that the enemy had promised to give us battle at Liberty. At Liberty they promised to fight at the junction of the Auburn and Alexandria pikes, and at the junction they said they would meet us at Alexandria, but at that place I found only 4 men, and those I captured. Wheeler and Wharton, with [Thomas] Harrison's, [C. C.] Crews', and Duke's brigades, retreated toward Lancaster at daybreak.
I encamped 3 miles west of Alexandria until the morning of the 25th, when I marched for Murfreesborough, via Cainsville and Las Casas. I encamped near Cainsville the night of the 25th, and arrived at Murfreesborough at 3 p. m. on the 26th. I sent or brought in 130 prisoners, all of whom, except 7, were captured by the cavalry. We destroyed the trestle-work on the railroad below Morrison; burned the railroad buildings, one locomotive, and two cars at Morrison; burned the new bridge across Hickory Creek, and destroyed a large quantity of bacon and other commissary stores at that place, and recaptured 15 men of the Second East and First Middle Tennessee Cavalry, who had been taken prisoners at Carthage on the 18th instant. I also captured 30 horses, 12 mules, and 3 wagons. In McMinnville Colonel Wilder destroyed a large amount of property.
I had no casualties whatever during the expedition. Inclosed I hand you reports of the officers commanding the Fourth U. S. Cavalry and