my right, ran in and intercepted a portion of the Fourth and Sixht Kentucky Cavalry, and after considerable slaughter on both sides the enemy captured a large number of prisoners. I sent Captain Farris and Lieutenant Kelly, of my staff, forward to form the men on the top of the mountain to resist the enemy, if possible. On reaching there myself I found some men of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Kentucky Cavalry.
I then proceeded to rally and form the men (dismounted) as they came pu, behind a ledge of rocks, and repulsed the enemy.
I then ordered Colonel Cooper to go in search of Lieutenant-Colonel Hoblitzell, and order his command back; also to bring up a company of infantry that I learned was on the mountain.
In the meantime I learned that the enemy were not disposed to follow me too closely.
I ordered Major Welling, Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, to take command of the force at the entrance and hold it until ordered to return. I then started for the Chattanooga road. I found on the mountain a small train of wagons, belonging to General Thomas' corps. I told the captain in charge that I would place two regiments in front and one in the rear of his train, and make for Chattanooga.
I then ordered Colonel Cooper to bring his regiment forward, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hoblitzell to remain in the rear of the train. I felt a great deal of uneasiness on the march, as I had every reason to believe that the enemy would attempt to cut off my command by the Nickajack Gap. About 10 p.m. of the 21st instant, the head of the column reached Chattanooga.
Too much credit cannot be given to the officers of the Fourth and Sixth Kentucky Cavalry; also to the officers of my staff, Lieutenant H. B. Kelly, acting assistant adjutant-general; Captain Fleming Farris, acting assistant inspector-general; Lieutenant James R. Meagher, and A. K. Collins, aides-de-camp, and Lieutenant J. V. Conrad, acting assistant quartermaster; Lieutenant J. G. McAdams,acting commissary of subsistence, and Sergt. Major Harcourt F. Berkeley, Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, for their services during the day.
The total number missing* are 5 commissioned officers and 200 enlisted men. Lieutenant H. B. Kelly and Serg. Major H. F. Barkeley are both missing. The Fourth Kentucky Cavalry lost 4 commissioned officers, Capts. Adam Rodgers, Company B, and John W. Lewis, Company I; Lieutenant Max Cohen, Company E, and Rudolph Curtis, Company G (slightly wounded in the arm), and 80 men missing.
The Sixth Kentucky Cavalry lost 1 commissioned officer, Lieutenant Mead, Company F, and 120 men missing. Stragglers are occasionally coming in, and it is supposed that there [are] quite a number still on the mountain concealed in the rocks.
Total number missing, 6 commissioned officers and 211 enlisted men.
There were 36 wagons (brigade and regimental) lost, besides 17 wagons belonging to Captain Dudley, assistant quartermaster.
I have the honor to be,major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
LOUIS D. WATKINS,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Major W. H. SINCLAIR,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry Command.
*See revised statement,p.178.