War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0680 Chapter XLIV. KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA.

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The detail from my regiment consisted of 64 enlisted men, under command of First Lieutenant Horace C. Scovill, Company K, of this regiment. These men were distributed at seven different posts, leaving at the reserve near the Lyle house 18 men. From the best information I suppose one regiment of rebel infantry crossed Taylor's Ridge, about 5 miles from Ringgold, and formed a line reaching from the base of the ridge to the Alabama road, facing south, and between the pickets of the Third Kentucky Cavalry and those of my regiment. Another regiment crossed the ridge in line, facing west. Two companies of cavalry came up the valley from the south, and one company of cavalry from the direction of the Leet farm.

The attack was simultaneous on all the posts. After desperate resistance and finding themselves so greatly outnumbered, my men attempted to fall back toward camp, but soon found their retreat cut off by the regiment formed perpendicular to the ridge and the roads barricaded. It was impossible for the different posts to unite with the reserve, which has been reduced to 9 men in re-enforcing the outposts. Nothing was left for my men to do but tamely surrender or individually fight their way out; they chose to try the latter. Of the 64, 34 escaped death or capture and re-occupied the ground from which they had been driven, remaining there until relieved. Not a man came to camp except on orders, until the remnant of the guard came in.

Five were killed, 4 mortally wounded, 3 severely wounded, and 20 are missing. Lieutenant Scovill is wounded and a prisoner. Nothing definite has been learned as to the enemy's loss, but from all the information in my possession I am led to believe their loss in killed and wounded fully equal if not greater than our own. We captured 1 prisoner.

I have investigated the affair carefully, and am fully satisfied that there was no neglect or want of caution exhibited, and that all did their duty nobly and well. If there is any fault in the matter it is in the position itself, removing a small body of men so many miles from support and under the base of a ridge that can be crossed by foot soldiers at any point.

I beg respectfully to call especial attention to the barbarous treatment of the men captured by the enemy, as set forth in statements hereto annexed. If, because brave soldiers will not surrender without fighting, they are to be murdered, then assuredly the rules of warfare need to be modified.

I beg leave to call attention also to the soldierly conduct of Sergeant Strock, Company C, and Hine, Company E, who saved the most of their men and re-occupied the field.

The men speak in high terms of the conduct of Lieutenant Scovill.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. F. SHEETS,

Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Ninety-second Illinois Volunteers.

Lieutenant J. S. McREA,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

[First indorsement.]

RINGGOLD, GA., April 24, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded.

I beg to call especial attention to the brutal murder of our men while in the enemy's hands and disarmed. The evidence is con-