of the Fourth U. S. Cavalry in the late engagement with the enemy at Middleton, Tenn., on the morning of may 22, 1863:
The regiment, consisting of 320 enlisted men and 14 officers, formed on the Salem pike, and was assigned the advance of the brigade. On taking up the line of march. I detailed one squadron, consisting of 75 enlisted men and 3 officers, commanded by Lieutenant O'Connell, as advance guard. Following the escorts of the general commanding, General Turchin, and Colonel Minty, we marched on several by-roads until we came out on the Middleton and Versailles road. A little before day we waited some time for the rear of the column to close. I was here instructed by General Stanley in person to follow close upon the heels of those in front, and rush upon the enemy before they had time to form. As we proceeded on, delays were made in front, when I received orders from General Turchin to send a squadron in advance. Captain [J. B.] McIntyre took the two leading companies and moved forward as directed. As I was proceeding on with the remainder of the regiment, I received orders from General Turchin to move at a fast trop; I proceeded at a fast gallop. After proceeding about half a mile, Colonel Minty ordered details of companies to different places until I was left without a command. I then joined the largest portion of the command I could find, which was Captain McIntyre's squadron, when some musket shots indicated the position of the enemy. I took the straightest line I could for the shots, over fences and through rough and rocky fields, and arrived where we should have been a half an hour sooner at least, viz, the camp of the enemy, and where we would have been had it not been for the previous delays in our front until all trace of the advance had disappeared. Thus, when sent forward, we had no guides nor any indications of the whereabouts of the enemy until distant shots gave us a clew.
After coming to the camp we charged directly through, deployed as forages, and chased the enemy about 1 1/4 miles, when I had the rally sounded, and we returned to the camp of the enemy and destroyed it. Sergeant [Edward] Owens, of Company K, Fourth U. S. Cavalry, and 4 men of this regiment and 2 of the Third Indiana Cavalry, captured a piece of artillery in advance of and to the right of the position which I rallied. They did not hear the rally, and kept advancing after capturing the artillery, and as they were moving to the rear with it a company of rebel cavalry recaptured the pieces with all the men but two.
I cannot speak in too high terms of Lieutenant O'Connell and his squadron. He with his small command charged and took the two camps of the enemy, completely surprising them, and not even giving the enemy time to pick up their arms; many of the enemy disappeared in a Georgia uniform, if not Georgians. As he acted independently of the regiment, I send a copy of his report with this. The prisoners taken by the regiment were turned over to the provost-marshal; no account as to number was taken. The horses were left in camp on our first passing through, and we expected to have taken them on our return, but found they were in possession of another regiment. A list of casualties of the regiment is sent with this report.*
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Regiment,
Captain ROBERT BURNS,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, First Brigade, Second Cavalry Division.