War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0600 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

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to the rear), I ordered the command back to the encampment, a few hundred yards east of south of the southern entrance of Liberty Gap. But a few moments elapsed before the enemy advanced and engaged us in the latter position.

There being no natural advantages at this point, and in addition receiving an order from General Liddell to fall back slowly, I at once commenced falling back, and continued until I reached the brigade. At this place the detached companies joined the regiment, including the 50 men which had been on picket, having been hotly engaged, and did fine work. The men were again supplied with ammunition, of which many were nearly exhausted.

The regiment was next ordered to move 200 yards forward to support Swett's battery, then engaging the enemy. My skirmishers again encountered the skirmishers of the enemy, and fought them for half hour or more, when an order was received to fall back to Bellbuckle, which place we reached after night, much exhausted and thoroughly wet, it having rained nearly all day.

Casualties of this day's engagement, 4 killed and 7 wounded.

On the morning of the 25th, the regiment was ordered forward, and posted as reserve to the Second and Sixth Arkansas Regiments. Soon after, an order was received to move to the support of the Fifth Arkansas Regiment, then posted on a hill west of the road leading from Bellbruckle to Liberty Gap, and northwest of Suggs' house. Colonel Featherston advanced line of skirmishers to a high, rough hill immediately in front of the one occupied by his detachment. Soon after, I received an order to support Colonel Featherston's skirmishers with a new line of skirmishers, which order was executed. M y skirmishers met the enemy, and notwithstanding the exposure of a heavy enfilading fire, drove his skirmishers back time and again, but, meeting his line of battle, was as often forced to fall back. As a general engagement was not desirable, the skirmishers were withdrawn to the reserve, and there remained until after night; then moved back to Bellbuckle and bivouacked.

Casualties in this day's engagement, 3 killed and 13 wounded. In the two days' engagement the casualties of my command were 27 killed and wounded; 7 killed on field, 6 died afterward, 14 wounded.

Too much cannot be said in praise of the gallantry of the command. The heroes of Shiloh, Belmont, Richmond, Perryville, and Murfreesborough (though unknown to the world) gather fresh laurels.

On 26th, the regiment remained in line of battle with the brigade, and on 27th fell back to Wartrace, &c.

At the commencement of the skirmishers a line of vedettes was stationed 1 1\2 miles in front of Liberty Gap. On the east of the road leading from the gap to Murfreesborough, the First [Third] Kentucky Cavalry was posted; west of same road and prolongation of this line was Brigadier-General Martin's cavalry. I had been led to believe that this cavalry was vigilant and would give timely notice of the approach of an enemy. The enemy surprised this invincible cavalry, and (to use their language) rode over them; consequently the enemy was within 600 yards of Liberty Gap before Colonel Featherston or myself knew of the advance.

Respectfully submitted.


Colonel, Commanding Thirteenth and Fifteenth Arkansas Regiment.

Captain G. A. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.