While returning on Monday [20th], I take special pleasure in referring to Captain Davidson, Company E, who, while in command of the rear guard, and being attacked by a cavalry force much larger than his, promptly resisted the attack, and, when struck at with a saber by the officer, commanding the rebels, shot him through the breast with his revolver. Lieutenant Barber, of the same company, while aiding his captain, was shot through the side of the head, but not wounded severely.
The loss of horses and equipments is large, but cannot be reported to you in detail at present. Our loss of officers and men in killed, wounded, prisoners, and missing is as follows: - *
We reached camp Saturday, 2 a. m., the 25th, with men and horses tired and worn down with fatigue, having been in the saddle twelve days and a large portion of the nights. I cannot close this report without expressing the high appreciation I have of the conduct of yourself and all the officers and men in the entire command. So far as I know, all did their duty nobly and well, and manifested a desire to co-operate with and assist each other at all times and under all circumstances, and with an ardent wish to fully accomplish the object of our expedition.
J. J. HOFFMAN,
Major, Comdg. Second [West] Virginia Volunteer Cavalry.
Lieutenant Colonel F. E. FRANKLIN,
Comndg. Third Brigade, Third Division, Eighth Corps.
Numbers 4. Reports of Major General Samuel Jones, C. S. Army, commanding Department of Western Virginia.
DUBLIN, July 19, 1863.
SIR: The enemy (one regiment cavalry and parts of two regiments infantry), about 1, 000 strong, rode into Wytheville a little before sunset yesterday; almost at the same instant two newly organized companies and the employees at this place (in all about 130 men and two field pieces), whom I had dispatched under Major T. M. Bowyer by the passenger train; and a sharp skirmish immediately commenced in the street, and continued about three-quarters of an hour, when Major Bowyer retired with a part of his men and brought them off on the train.
Our loss: Captain [John M.] Oliver and 2 citizens killed and Lieutenant [Henry] Bozang badly wounded. The enemy lost Colonel Toland, commanding brigade, 1 other colonel, 1 major, and 7 privates killed; 1 lieutenant-colonel and about 25 more wounded and in our hands. The lieutenant-colonel (Powell) reported mortally wounded. I am informed they lost every one of their field officers. They commenced leaving Wytheville about 10 o`clock last night, and we had left this morning, retreating toward Tazewell Court-House. It is just now reported they are coming down Walker`s Creek to this place. If they retreat by the way they came, they will probably be intercepted and cut up. They paroled on their retreat 75 or 80 of our men, whom I suppose they found it inconvenient to carry off. Of course the parole under such circumstances is worthless under their own order.
* List of losses not found.
60 R R - VOL XXVII, PT II