Colonel Wolford, who zealously assisted me in every way possible and quickly brought up his forces to assist me. I formed my men in good position here, and when the enemy again appeared I commenced an attack upon him with my battery. Law's battery of mountain howitzers, belonging to Colonel Wolford's brigade, also opened upon him, as did the Eighth Michigan Cavalry, armed with Spencer rifles. After an engagement of an hour at this place the enemy retired, leaving me in possession of the field.
After consultation with Colonel Wolford, it was thought best to fall back beyond the conjunction of several roads coming into the main road in my rear. Accordingly Colonel Wolford and myself fell back during the night to Philadelphia, where we again formed for defense, and awaited the approach of the enemy. We remained in this position during the day, September 26, and on the morning of the 27th, Colonel Adams of the First Kentucky, having moved out with his regiment in the direction of Sweet Water, was attacked by the enemy some 4 miles from Philadelphia and compelled to fall back to Philadelphia, closely followed by a large force of the enemy.
While in this position I received information that a large force of the enemy were moving up toward Loudon on my left flank. After checking advance of the enemy in front with my artillery, we fell back to Loudon, where I placed my men in a suitable position for defense by occupying two commanding hills. Here I placed myself under the command of Brigadier General Julius White, commanding Second Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, then occupying the post at Loudon. I remained in position here until the 28th, when I was placed under command of Colonel Wolford, who was my senior, and marched from Loudon to Philadelphia as the enemy had not appeared beyond that point, except a small force who had skirmished with and followed our rear. Here we remained all night, hearing heavy firing in the direction of Cotton Port, but learning nothing definite of the 29th marched below Sweet Water 4 miles and encamped.
On the 30th, marched to Athens and encamped. During the attack at Calhoun on the 25th ultimo, and in all the skirmishes until I was joined by Colonel Wolford, my whole force did not consist of more than 1,200 men, while the force of the enemy was at least 8,000 strong. The loss in wounded and missing of my brigade was heavy, most of them having been captured while scouting.
The officers and men under my command deserve an honorable mention in this report. It would be invidious in this report to mention names or to make distinctions where all did their duties so well. None flinched or forgot their duties to their country, although confronted by a force at least six times their number.
Inclosed I send you a list* of the wounded and missing.
R. K. BYRD,
Colonel, Commanding First Brigade.
Lieutenant Colonel G. B. DRAKE,
Asst. Adjt. General, Twenty-third Army Corps.