War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0846 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

Search Civil War Official Records

them; they could shoot men down faster than, they could enter the river. Fortunately the rebel pickets at Dillon's Ford ran without making any resistance further than firing one shot. Colonel Klein crossed the river, but made only 14 prisoners. Between 40 and 50 escaped by scattering through the country, and thus frustrated my design of surprising camp. I therefore recrossed at the lower ford, bringing Colonel Klein's force back with me, and returned to camp at 11.30 this a. m.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBT. H. G. MINTY,

Colonel, Commanding.

Captain R. P. KENNEDY,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Cavalry Division.

AUGUST 9, 1863.-Skirmish at Sparta, Tenn.

REPORTS.

Numbers 1.- Colonel Robert H. G. Minty, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, commanding brigade.

Numbers 2.- Colonel George G. Dibrell, Eighth [Thirteenth] Tennessee Cavalry (Confederate).

Numbers 1. Report of Colonel Robert H. G. Minty, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, commanding brigade.

HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE SECOND, CAVALRY DIVISION,

McMinnville, Tenn., August 11, 1863.

SIR: On the 8th instant, having received information that General Dibrell, with between 800 and 900 men, was camped 2 miles south of Sparta, I marched at 3 p. m. with 774 men, hoping to surprise him. I took two day's rations and one day's forage; no wagons or ambulances.

At 11.30 p. m. I arrived at Spencer, and remained long enough for the men to make coffee and feed horses. I crossed Caney Fork at the month of Cane Creek, and at break of day struck the rebel pickets about 4 miles south of Sparta, and followed them at a gallop, but arrived at the town without seeing anything of their camp. In town I learned that they had changed camp the evening before, and were then between 3 and 4 miles north of Sparta, on the east bank of the Calfkiller. I pushed forward rapidly, but the pickets, whose horses were fresh, had given notice of our approach, and the rebels were ready to receive us. The Fourth Michigan Cavalry formed the advance guard, and, pushing in at the gallop, dislodged and drove the enemy before the column got up.

General Dibrell fell back across the creek, and took up a strong position on a hill covering a narrow rickety bridge which was the only means of crossing the creek at this point. Finding a bad, rough ford about a quarter of a mile lower down, I directed Captain McIntyre to cross with the Fourth Regulars, and attack sharply the enemy's right flank. I also directed Major Seibert to support the Regulars with the Seventh Pennsylvania. I then moved to the front with the Fourth Michigan and a battalion of the Third Indiana, but the rebels, although outnumbering us and holding a strong position, difficult of access, would not wait for the attack but scattered in every direction. The Fourth