War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0336 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

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Numbers 3. Report of Colonel Robert H. G. Minty, commanding First Brigade, Second Cavalry Division.


Camp near Murfreesborough, Tenn., May 23, 1863.

SIR: In accordance with General Orders, Numbers 7, from division headquarters, I formed my brigade on Salem pike at 8.30 p. m. on the 21st instant, and reported to the general commanding, who directed me to take the advance. The Fourth U. S. Cavalry formed the advance of my brigade, Lieutenant O'Connell, of that regiment, with Companies D and I, forming the advance guard.

After a long and tedious march, the column being on the move the entire night, we approached Middleton at daylight, when the general commanding ordered me to move forward and follow Major-General Stanley. Having passed General Turchin's escort, no one appeared to know road General Stanley had taken, but a guide pointed out the road leading to the enemy's camp. A few shots were exchanged with the pickets, whom we followed up as rapidly as possible.

When directly east of middleton, I found that the only force with me was a portion of the Fourth U. S. Cavalry, and at once sent back to request the general commanding to send forward the regiment of my brigade. The Fourth Michigan came up immediately, and, passing the right flank of the Fourth Regulars, followed the circuitous road leading (as I afterward discovered) to the enemy's camp, and skirmishing soon commenced. i directed Captain Otis, through Lieutenant [W. M.] Wilson, of Major-General Stanley's staff - who, having missed the general for a short time, very kindly attached himself to me - to move his regiment across the fields to the point where the Fourth Michigan was engaged. A few minutes later Colonel Long came up with his brigade, and I suggested to him the propriety of his forming on the ground he then occupied and acting as a reserve. As he was forming, the Third Indiana Cavalry and Thirty-ninth Indiana Infantry passed up the road taken by the Fourth Michigan, and Colonel Long, apparently not wishing to be the only one behind, followed them, and thus the entire force, except the Seventh Pennsylvania (and where it was I did not know), was scattered as forages and skirmishers. By collecting the men whose horses were so tired that they could not keep up with their regiments, I had a small force, which I kept with me as a reserve.

Major-General Stanley and the general commanding the division now came up, with the Seventh Pennsylvania, and I sent the stragglers to their regiments. The prisoners having been collected and the camps destroyed, Major-General Stanley ordered me to take the advance and return to Murfreesborough by the Murfreesborough and Middleton road.

When about 5 miles from Middleton, General Stanley ordered me to place a regiment in ambush, to check the rebels, who were following and harassing the rear guard. I placed the Fourth Michigan in ambush, with an open field in front of them, and here they effectually stopped the advance of the enemy.

Inclosed herewith i hand you reports of the regimental commanders; also return of casualties in the brigade.

I have investigated the claim made by Lieutenant O'Connell, of the Fourth U. S. Cavalry, for the possession of the standard of the First Alabama Cavalry, and find that it was not picked up by the stragglers,