War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0724 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

Search Civil War Official Records

[CHAP. XLII.

A messenger was sent to the front, who speedily returned with the information that our cavalry had driven off the enemy (which was represented to be a few mounted men),and that the infantry guard was in position. Colonel Sedgewick, with the Second Kentucky, was ordered to reconnoitred the right-hand road for the distance of a mile, and there await further orders. Two companies were ordered up the Graysville road for half a mile, with similar instructions. After these dispositions, the Thirty-first Indiana and Ninetieth Ohio were placed in line of battle on the right of the main road, under cover of the woods, and the men kept to their arms. The battery was placed in position in rear of the line, with orders not to unhitch. It was intended that the Third Brigade (Colonel Grose commanding)should encamp on the left of the road, in prolongation of my line, and this brigade was following down to its position. Skirmishers had been detailed, and were being posted in front of my line. During the few moments occupied in making these dispositions the skirmish firing again commenced well to the front, but at such intervals in reports as not to call for any special attention or indicate any sharp work; straggling shots merely were being exchanged. Attracted, however, by this I waited a few moments for the battery to get into position and then started to the front. Captain Norton met me a few yards from the cross-roads. He was returning with the cavalry. He reported substantially, that he estimated the enemy's force at about 200, but that it was too strong for his party to skirmish with successfully. Something was said expressing an apprehension that the enemy had artillery. Captain Standart, coming up at this moment, was requested to go to the front with me. We had been started but a few moments when Lieutenant Wright was met returning. He stated the enemy were maneuvering in the front, with a force which he supposed to be 150 to 200, and which he thought might be easily repulsed with a section of artillery. Lieutenant Wright was ordered to return rapidly to the front, and generally look after things there, and to say to Major Hadlock that I had perfect confidence in his holding the road against any column of cavalry until re-enforcements could be brought up if needed. Captain Standart was directed to have a section of his battery ready to move at a moment's notice. He replied that such was the case already. Lieutenant Wright galloped away, and we followed more leisurely. After going a short distance Adjutant Atkinson, First Kentucky, rode rapidly back, and meeting us, said the enemy were about charging the line, and asked for re-enforcements.

Simultaneously with this request a volley of musketry was heard and some yelling, and a cloud of dust was seen about the place occupied by the battalion and drifting down the road. WE soon saw our people running back and a few of the enemy's cavalry dashing down the road toward us. Captain Standart was ordered to put his guns in shape to take the road. Orders were immediately sent to the two regiments standing in line to advance. Before reaching the flank of the line, however, two of the enemy's cavalry passed me, coming at full speed, one of them turning into the woods on the right; the other dashed up close to the battery, fired a shot, wheeled his horse, and turned to the Graysville road. Lieutenant Hill, of the battery, returned the shot from a pistol almost instantly but apparently without effect. The Thirty-first Indiana and Ninetieth Ohio advanced rapidly in line, and were within musket range of the