Davis' command was placed in the front, led by that most gallant officer.
The forced I then had ready for action did not certainly exceed 150 men, composed of Companies G, B, L, and M, under Major Davis, numbering less than 75 men, and parts A, F, H, and I, not 75 more. This force was moved forward at a walk until within a mile of the public square of the town, when, covered by the smoke of two guns discharged for the purpose, the charge was commenced. Never did men move more gallantly and daringly into the face of the most imminent danger than did this little force. The street up which it moved was perfectly straight, gradually ascending to the court-house, where the enemy had four guns planted so as to command it completely, and these support by a brigade of cavalry. To look upon these preparations, it seemed that utter destruction was inevitable to all those who dared advance, and yet, with sabers drawn, and with shouts of defiance, the men reached onward, never faltering for an instant, and, to all appearance, utterly destitute of any apprehension of danger. The enemy's artillery fired but 3 rounds as we approached, on of which was of grape and canister, which fell short; the others of shell and solid shot, which did no execution except the killing of 1 man and 2 horses. As we neared the square, their cavalry fled precipitately, after firing a few scattering shots, and their artillery following, the pursuit commenced. Near the railroad depot, in the town, their first piece of artillery was overtaken and captured, with but little resistance. A little farther on the second piece was not removed back to town, as were the others, because a wheel-horse had been killed by one of my men to prevent its escape. It was left at the bridge, while the advance continued on in pursuit of the enemy, following them more than 2 miles on the south side of the river. Major Davis, with his few remaining men, had crossed the river more than ten minutes before any assistance came up to that point.
The only stand made by the enemy was at the depot, and in an open space to the left of it. Up to this, my men had only used the saber, but here I ordered them to use their fire-arms, and many of them did so with good effect.
I cannot tell the number of prisoners taken by my command in this charge, as they were immediately delivered up to the forces in the town, and no record was kept of them.
I have nothing of importance to report, after this most gallant charge, until the arrival of the cavalry at Elk River, on the evening of the 2nd instant. Here we were the first regiment to cross to the support of General Turchin, and, although no fighting was done, yet every man was ready and wiling to meet the enemy, without counting numbers or considering chances.
The only casualties I have to report were at Shelbyville, where I lost 2 officers and 3 enlisted men killed and 1 officer and 10 enlisted men wounded. Lieutenant Roads and Lieutenant [Sergt. Francis W.] Reed were the officers who fell in the charge, and they yielded up their lives as gallantly as ever soldiers fell in a good cause.
It affords me pleasure to bear testimony to the gallantry of all my officers and men, and particularly to that displayed by Major Davis, Lieutenant Thompson and White, and Adjutant Steahlin, who were in the front of the contest; and to Sergeants [William O.] Peck, [John] Keenan, [John H.] Somers, [James A.] Wilson, [David J.] Quaid, [Henry H.] Snyder, [Edward H.] Shutt, and [John] Ennis; Corporals [George