War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0666 Chapter XIII. KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA.

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that direction I finally found he was not in Middle Tennessee. On crossing at this place I learned that General Roddey had just crossed the river near Bellefonte. I immediately sent couriers to him, placing him on his guard, and informing him of my position.

The enemy which followed us to this point consisted of two divisions of cavalry and a large force of mounted infantry, including Wilder's brigade. A considerable force of foot infantry followed us to Farmington. On account of a mistake of General Davidson's, I was obliged, when near Farmington, to make a fight with this large force of infantry and mounted troops, in order to save General Wharton's command and the wagons and caissons. The troops engaged were a part of General Martin's and one regiment of General Wharton's. The fight was most severe, the lines being engaged at a distance of about 30 yards. We charged and repulsed them at first, but finally I found they were preparing an overwhelming force to attack, and, having attained the main object for which we fought, I ordered General Martin to withdraw. Most of the troops fought most nobly; others acted shamefully. Our loss was confined to the killed and wounded. I cannot learn, at this time, that we lost any prisoners, except the wounded and some men who remained to take care of the wounded. While crossing the mountains our artillery carriages became much shattered, and finally two of them broke down. We repaired them several times, but finally the harness became broken, and finding it impossible to drag them on, these two pieces were abandoned. One was an old iron gun, which has been condemned as useless at every inspection during the last year; the other was a brass howitzer.

On the evening of the 7th, while travelling slowly over a good road, one of the limbers of General Wharton blew up, tearing up everyone of the vicinity. This piece was also left. If the enemy found these pieces they will probably claim to have captured them, which claim will be false. I think my entire loss on the trio in killed will not exceed 60, my wounded will not exceed 200, and prisoners will not exceed 200. This will include more than half of the wounded. But very few prisoners were taken in action. Those taken were mostly stragglers and scouts. They, of course, took nearly all our wounded, as they were necessarily left at houses on the road. Many men were allowed by their officers to throw away their arms to enable them to bring out private plunder.

What we want is officers, and Colonel John T. Morgan and Major W. Y. C. Humes will make good officers. I would like, also, Colonel Grigsby for Kentucky troops. If we can have one good brigadier-general for every five or six regiments, who will obey orders, and make his officers and men do so also, we can then get along. Such men as General Anderson, General Walthall, or General Manigault, are what the cavalry needs, and Colonel Morgan and Major Humes are the nearest to that stamp that we now have. Colonel Russell is also a man of the right stamp, and the service would be benefitted by his promotion.

I would respectfully suggest that any of these officers would answer: Colonel John T. Morgan, Major W. Y. C. Humes, Colonel A. A. Russel, Colonel J. Warren Grigsby, and Colonel C. C. Crews.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOS. WHEELER,

Major-General.