vance guard, my escort, and one piece of Henshaw's battery, a section of which, under Captain Henshaw, I had ordered to join my force. I advance slowly and cautiously along a road leading toward the river, inclosed on each side by a fence, upon each side of which were inclosed fields for about 400 yards, when my little found itself enveloped on terre sides-front and both flanks-by three regiments, dismounted and led by Colonel Basil [W.] Duke,just discernible through the fog, at a distance of from 50 to 100 yards. This force, as I afterward learned, had been disposed for the capture of the Home Guards, entrenched on the bank of the river. To use Colonel Duke's own expression after his capture, "He could not have been more surprised at the presence of my force had dropped from the clouds." As soon as discovered, the enemy opened a heavy fire, advancing so rapidly that before the piece of artillery could be brought into battery it was captured, as were also Captain R. C. Kise, my assistant-general, Captain Grafton, volunteer aide-de-camp, and between 20 and 30 of my men. Two privates were killed. Major McCook (since dead), paymaster and volunteer aide-de-camp, Lieutenant F. G. Price, aide-de-camp, and 10 men were wounded.
Searching in vain for opening through which to charge and temporarily boat the enemy, I was compelled to fall back upon eh main body, which I rapidly brought up into position, and opened a rapid and beautifully accurate artillery fire from the pieces of the Fifth Indiana upon a battery of two pieces, which the enemy had opened upon me, as well as upon his deployed dismounted force in line. Obstructing fences prevented a charge by my cavalry. In less than half an hour the enemy's line were broken and in retreat. The advance of my artillery, and a charge of cavalry, made by Lieutenant O'Meil, Fifth Indiana Cavalry, with only 50 me, converted his retreat into a rout, ad drove him upon General Hobson's forces, which had engaged him upon the other road. His prisoners, the piece of artillery lost by me, all of his artillery (five pieces), his camp equipage, and transportation and plunder all kinds, were abandoned and captured. We also captured large numbers of prisoners, including Colonels Basil [W.] Duke, Dick [R. C.] Morgan, and Allen [Ward?], and the most of General Morgan's staff.
I have not discriminated between the prisoners captured by the regiments under my own immediate command and those General Hobson, the position of the latter being more favorable for the purpose, while the position and share of the former in the attack entitle it to a corresponding one in its general results, which are the defeat, dispersion, and almost entire captured of the enemy's forces, a portion of these under my own immediate command participating in the subsequent pursuit down to the latest date.
After the attack upon my advance had been made, the gunboats came up and opened a fire upon the retreating enemy.
Through the persevering and patient endurance of the officers and men of my command, who had been almost constantly in the saddle for a period of more than thirty days, results have been acquired which challenge those of any known cavalry achievements; few, if any, during the present war, have been characterized by such an entire discomfiture of a homogenous enemy.
All did well, from the bugler to the colonel; none could have done better. My obligations are also due to the members of my staff, both regular and volunteer, among the latter, Major McCook, paymaster (since dead from would received in action); Captains Edgar, Grafton.
42 R R-VOL XXIII, PT I