mand of Lieutenant Leonardson; 24 men of Company K, under command of Lieutenant McIntyre; 23 of Company B, commanded by Captain Adamson (all of the above of the THIRD Michigan Cavalry), and 14 men of the SECOND Tennessee, commanded by Sergeant Mize.
We reached Johnson's house, 8 miles from Clifton, about sundown, without any adventure worth noting, having scouted the country thoroughly for some miles on either side of the road. At midnight our pickets sent in two Confederate soldiers, who had just crossed from Clifton, from whom we gained some valuable information in relation to the force at Clifton.
At daylight we started for the river, leaving a small party at Johnson's. We struck the enemy's pickets on the river bank, 2 miles from the point opposite Clifton. We then dashed down, hoping to capture the ferry. The pickets had evidently signaled their confederates on the opposite shore, as they greeted us with a volley. We got our horses under cover immediately, and, dismounting the men, led part of [Companies] A and K to the bank and returned their fire. The firing was continued on both sides for a short time, resulting in no damage to men, but wounding two of Company B's horses, which, we supposed, had been placed entirely out of danger. Captain Newell left his company to watch the enemy and cover our retreat. We then returned to Johnson's, where we found a conscript who had come in to surrender himself. From the information given by him, Captain Newell went with his company to Turnbull's Creek, leaving orders with me to proceed with the remainder of the command to Decaturville, and secure quarters for the men, &c.
The captain's scout resulted in the discovery of an old flat-boat, some 40 feet long and 10 wide. He immediately conceived the idea of crossing the river and making an attack on Clifton, and left Sergeant [Henry C.] Vowles and 6 men, with orders to make a pair of oars, bail out the boat, and take her down the river, under cover of the night, to point 4 miles above Clifton, and there await our coming. He then joined me at Decaturville, where we decided, from the information collected, upon a plan of attack to be carried into effect that night. Information of the discovery of the boat having reached the citizens, through the indiscretion of some of Company K's men, we feared they might guess at our intention and prepare the rebels for our coming, so we announced our departure for Lexington, and started off on that road (leaving at 2 p. M.).
Getting out some 4 miles, we struck into the woods, under the guidance of Mr. Dow White; remained concealed in the woods until night, when we started for our boat, some 10 miles off; found everything all right. The river was very high and full of drift-wood, which the strong current drove along at fearful speed. It was now 12 m. We could not take all the men at once, and we knew, in the state of the river, that we could not take all the men at once, and we knew, in the state of the river, that we could not make a SECOND trip; in time to carry out our plans. So we told off 60 men-22 from A, 10 from L, 14 from K, and 14 from B- under command of their respective officers, as before noted (Lieutenants Bingham and Drew accompanying their companies). We left the reminder of the men, under command of a sergeant, to take charge of our horses. We got our living freight aboard our crazy craft, the boat's gun wale being just 6 inches above water-mark, made the men lie flat in the bottom, crossed over, and drifted down about 2 miles; then landed, after considerable difficulty and danger, and wended our way through the woods for town. After marching some 2 miles through the brush along the river bank, we encountered a serious obstacle to our farther progress, in the shape of an extensive bayou, which we could not cross in any direction. Nothing