War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0631 Chapter XXXV. SKIRMISH NEAR LEXINGTON, TENN.

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as close as 30 miles, and but for the gunboats we might be attacked any hour. Yet we are willing to do everything in our power, and expect to hold the place as long as possible.

Please let me hear from you at your earliest convenience.

I am, general, very respectfully, yours,


Major, Commanding Post.

Brigadier General A. ASBOTH, Commanding District of Columbus.

Numbers 4. Report of Colonel George E. Waring, jr., commanding First Brigade, Sixth Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.


Union City, Tenn., August 7, 1863.

CAPTAIN: At the time of the action near Lexington, Tenn., June 29, 1863, I was in command of the post of Columbus, and since that time to the present I have not been in command of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry. But learning from your communication of August 5 that no official report has been furnished, and believing from the fact that the regiment is in part here and part of Columbus, further delay would result unless some action was taken by myself, I submit the following:

Lieutenant-Colonel von Helmrich was intrusted, by order from headquarters of the district, with an expedition to West Tennessee, of about 97 officers and men of the Fifteenth Kentucky Cavalry.

On the morning of the 29th of June, 1863, he was made aware of the presence of the enemy in two detachments, one, numbering about 500, at or near Lexington, and the other, about 1,500, near his flank. He was then near Spring Creek, and finding it impossible to get aid or information from the hostile inhabitants, determined to retreat toward Clarksburg, and was so marching when, near Spring Creek, his advance guard was fired upon. The command was halted, and was formed to repel the charters over heavy ground by two companies of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, which developed the enemy in large force on foot behind an embankment formed by direst thrown from a drain, with cavalry in equally large numbers on the flank, the retreat was continued ward Clarksburg. At judiciously selected points in the road, the Fourth Missouri Cavalry was formed, to repel the pursuit and to protect the rear and those who were wounded. In one of these encounters, Lieutenant-Colonel von Helmrich dismounted to assist a wounded officer, and while so dismounted his horse broke away and he was taken prisoner, after which the retreat became less systematic, and the inhabitants of Clarksburg, who fired from their houses as the troops passed through that place, increased the confusion. The retreat was continued to Fort Heiman, when Lieutenant Grebe, the senior officer after the engagement, arrived with about 45 men, which number was increased somewhat by the arrival on the next and succeeding day of those who had become dismounted, but had made their way through the woods to Fort Heiman on foot or in passing country wagons.

I cannot close this report without adding that all the officers with whom I have spoken concerning the affair speak in the highest terms of Lieutenant-Colonel von Helmrich's well-formed plans in encountering the enemy, his coolness and bravery during the action, and his judi-