Bradfordsville road, and, after a sharp skirmish, put them to flight in the direction of Muldraugh's Hill. Having received information from the general commanding the corps, about 6 p. m., that a force had been ordered to re-enforce me, which would arrive in time, with directions "to select some defensible position and hold out if attacked until re-enforcements came, and not to let the enemy take me," and besides feeling it to be my duty not to surrender without a struggle, I determined to detain order that due notice might be given of his whereabouts, and that he might be captured before he got far from the place of the engagement. My command stood to arms, every officer and man this post during the night, momentarily expecting the fight to commence. Nothing, however, occurred but skirmishing with the scouts until about 6.30 a. m., when the enemy took position in full view, about 1 1\2 miles from town, their line about 2 miles in length, extending from the Bradfordsville road across the Columbia pike and the railroad to the Saint Mary's road. About 280 of my force were thrown out as skirmishers in a semicircle, covering the front of the enemy, and about 50 more, under Captain Wolcott, placed in the Bradfordsville road and to the left, with directions to hold that part of the town until overcome and driven back by the enemy; then to occupy two buildings on Main street prepared for defense, which best commanded that portion of Lebanon. At 7 o'clock the enemy opened the engagement by shelling the camp with three pieces of artillery; at the same time sending Lieutenant-Colonel [R. A.] Alston, with a flag of truce, to demand an immediate and unconditional surrender of the garrison. I complained of the firing during the pendency of the truce, for which he apologized. Shortly afterward the firing ceased. I refused to surrender. Whereupon he requested me to notify the women and children to leave immediately, as the town the citizens had reasonable time to make their escape, the enemy advanced and commenced shelling the town with four pieces of artillery, at the same time extending now commenced in earnest. My skirmishers fought desperately for two hours in the open field, protected by fences and wagons and other temporary obstructions. Being overpowered, they fell back, firmly contesting every inch of ground, to the depot building, it being the most eligible point of defense. At this time I had the ordnance and commissary stores destroyed. Captain Wolcott, with Lieutenants Hale, Guess, and Young, of the Twentieth Kentucky, and Lieutenant Bratton, of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry, and the men under his command, held Main street and that portion of the town, skirmishing with the enemy upon the open streets and in the suburbs, until a short time before the surrender, when they were overpowered and compelled to take refuge in the houses.
The firing was kept up very rapidly on both sides, the enemy during most of the time using four pieces of artillery, two of which were constantly playing upon the depot, the other two upon other buildings in the town. Twenty-six solid shot and shell penetrated the depot building, setting the roof on fire in two places.
The calmness and business-like composure of my men, added to their superior skill in the use of the Enfield and Springfield rifles at long range, saved the building in which we had taken refuge, by keeping the enemy's artillery at least 1,000 yards off. Many of the enemy were killed at a distance of 400 and a few as far as 900 yards.
While things were in this condition, my force occupying at least two-