confusion, leaving two pieces of artillery, two caissons, and about 40 prisoners, representing seven different regiments, a large number of wounded and about 30 dead on the field. Among the former was Captain [William H.] Forrest, a brother of General Forrest. Our loss was about 30 killed and wounded, among the latter Lieutenant-Colonel Sheets, Fifty-first Indiana (mortally), a brave and gallant officer, and one that we were illy prepared to lose, and Lieutenant Pavey, Eightieth Illinois (on my staff), severely.
It was now about 11 o'clock, fighting having continued since about 6 o'clock in the morning. I had learned, in the mean time, that the enemy were in heavy force, fully three times our number, with twelve pieces of artillery, under General Forrest in person; consequently I was fearful that they were making an effort to get around us and attack in the rear of our position; hence I decided to resume the march. Everything was soon in readiness, and we moved out, leaving a strong guard (dismounted) in the read, to check any immediate advance the enemy might make previous to the column getting in motion. We were not too soon in our movements, for the column had hardly passed a crossroad, some 6 miles from our first battle-ground, when the enemy were discovered advancing on our left. Sharp skirmishing commenced at Crooked Creek, which is about 10 miles south of Day's Gap, and finally the enemy pressed our rear so hard that I was compelled to prepare for battle. I selected a strong position, about 1 mile south of the crossing of the creek, on a ridge called Hog Mountain. The whole force soon became engaged (about one hour before dark). The enemy strove first to carry our right; then charged the left; but with the help of the two pieces of artillery captured in the morning and the two mountain howitzers, all of which were handled with good effect by Major Vananda, of the Third Ohio, we were able to repulse them.
Fighting continued until about 10 p. m., when the enemy were driven from our front, leaving a large number of killed and wounded on the field. I determined at once to resume our march, and as soon as possible we moved out. The ammunition which we had captured with the two guns was exhausted, and being very short of horses, I ordered the guns spiked and the carriages destroyed. I had ordered the Seventy-third Indiana (Colonel Hathaway) to act as rear guard, and I remained in the rear in person, for the purpose of being at hand in case the enemy should attempt to press us as we were moving out. We had but fairly got under way when I received information of the enemy's advance.
The moon shone very brightly, and the country was an open woodland, with an occasional spot of thick undergrowth. In one of these thickets I placed the Seventy-third Indiana, lying down, and not more than 20 paces from the road, which was in plain view. The enemy approached. The head of his column passed without discovering our position. At this moment the whole regiment opened a most destructive fire, causing a complete stampede of the enemy. I will here remark that the country from Day's Gap to Blountsville (about 40 miles) is mostly uninhabited; consequently there is nothing in the country for man or beast. I had hopes that by pushing ahead we could reach a place where we could feed before the enemy would come up with us, and, by holding him back where there was no feed, compel him to lay over a day at least to recuperate. I had learned that they had been on a forced march from Town Creek, Ala., a day and two nights previous to their attacking us. We were not again disturbed until we had marched
19 R R - VOL XXIII, PT I