War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0602 Chapter XXXV. KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

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Twenty-third Tennessee Regiment, Colonel R. H. Keeble; Seventeenth Tennessee Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel W. W. Floyd; Jefferson Artillery (a battery of four pieces), commanded by Captain P. Darden (Napoleon guns.)

At about 1 p. m. on Wednesday, June 24, a dark and rainy day, two boys, muddied with hard riding, appeared at my headquarters at Fairfield, and reported the enemy advancing from Hoover's Gap. 'within a few minutes a wounded cavalryman and the adjutant of the First [Third] Kentucky Cavalry Regiment confirmed this report. I immediately ordered my brigade under arms, and soon after received an order from Major-General Stewart to hold my command in readiness to move at a moments' warning.

By the time that my brigade was formed, a part of [J. R.] Butler's First [Third] Kentucky Regiment of Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel [J. W.] Griffith, which has in part occupied Hoover's Gap, appeared at the intersection of the road down Noah's Fork with the Fairfield and Manchester road, about 600 yards from my headquarters, and stated to me the that enemy in force had moved rapidly upon the cavalry in the gap, and that Colonel Butler, of the First [Third] Kentucky, with a portion of that regiment, has moved before them down the Manchester pike, while Lieutenant-Colonel Griffith's detachment moved in front of a Federal force, which followed them down the Noah's Fork road. I immediately moved my brigade through the heavy rain to the junction of these roads, replenished the ammunition off Lieutenant-Colonel Griffith's detachment; and, by instruction from Major-General Stewart, sent it back with my aide-de-camp (Captain W. T. Blakemore) on the Noah's Fork road to find the position of the enemy. This detachment went to a point 1 1\2 miles from the Manchester pike and some 3 miles south of Beech Grove. Here the detachment was divided, one-half proceeding direct to Beech Gorve by a country road; the other half was instructed to go to the same point by way of Noah's Fork road and the Manchester pike. The two parties met at Beech Grove without seeing anything of the enemy. The McGride Creek road and the road toward Manchester were then picketed, and the balance of Lieutenant-Colonel Griffith's detachment moved forward to the hill on the right of the pike and in front of Hoover's Gap. This position was taken soon after the Federal cavalry (which has passed down the Manchester pike) had returned and the Federal infantry had fallen back over Garrison's Fork, under the attack of Brigadier-General Bate's brigade, which had advanced from its encampment between Fairfield and the gap and engaged the enemy. On proceeding down the McBride Creek road to join my headquarters, Captain Blakemore captured a Federal cavalryman and turned him over with his horse and equipments to a guard of Lieutenant-Colonel Griffith's command.

About 4 p. m. my brigade moved through the rain and mud from Fairfield, under orders from Major-General Stewart. The Forty-fourth Tennessee Regiment was placed in position on the Puncheon Camp road, beyond Mr. Neill's plantation and near Mr. Wood's house, and the Twenty-fifth, Twenty-third, and Seventeenth Tennessee Regiments, with Darden's battery, proceeded to a point on Garrison's fork near Jacobs' Store, to support Brigadier-General Bate's command, where it arrived about 6 p. m. One section of Darden's battery was immediately placed in position on a wooded eminence on the south side of the Manchester pike and on the right off Bate's brigade. It fired a few rounds at one of the enemy's batteries, when it became too dark to aim with accuracy, and the firing ceased. The other section of this battery was place on the same eminence during the night.