across the river, the ford being found waist deep and very rocky, but not impracticable, though the water was quite swift. They met with no opposition, the enemy being taken completely by surprise. His whole brigade, except the Twenty-fourth Kentucky Volunteers, was crossed within the half hour and gained the ridge after exchanging only a few shots with the enemy's pickets, which fled. Promptly at 4 o'clock twenty-five pontoons, loaded with the Twelfth Kentucky, pulled down the creek and into the river, the troops deployed, advancing at the same time upon the run, and quickly occupying the bank of the river, which was fringed with bushes, opened a warm fire, and drove off the rebel skirmishers from the opposite bank to the hill above. The enemy opened with his single piece of artillery, which was, however, silenced by the simultaneous fire of a battery on the ridge on our side and of the infantry line along the river, the latter keeping up so well-directed a fire of rifles upon the piece that the cannoneers, after firing two shots and running the piece forward from cover to fire again, were driven from the gun without discharging it. In a very few minutes Colonel Rousseau's command was across the river and formed on the opposite bank. A line of skirmishers was deployed and instantly pushed up the hill, which was found to be so steep and difficult that it was with great labor that the men were able to mount it at all. They pushed forward, however, with the greatest enthusiasm, and the enemy, disconcerted by the sudden apparition of so large a force, fled, after firing a few shots, leaving their piece of artillery in our hands. In the charge up the hill three soldiers of the Twelfth Kentucky distinguished themselves by outstripping the line, dashing with the greatest gallantry at the position of the enemy in advance of their comrades and capturing the gun. Their names are James S. Vaught, corporal, and Charles F. Miller and Reuben J. Carter, privates, all of Company A of that regiment. Cameron's brigade reached the ridge above Isham's Ford at nearly the same moment as Rousseau's regiment. They were ordered immediately to intrench and hold the position at all hazards, should the enemy return in force to interrupt the crossing. The boats were kept running, ferrying over the remainder of Byrd's brigade, while a bridge was being laid with others. The whole of Byrd's and part of Barter's brigade were thus ferried over, and shortly after dusk the first pontoon bridge was complete and the remainder of the division immediately crossed and went into position, the brigades from left to right being arranged as follows, viz: Cameron's, Byrd's, Barter's, Reilly's. Crittenden's dismounted cavalry was held in reserve to guard the bridge and trains. The position occupied was a very strong one maturely, the ridge curving to right and left so as to form a very perfect cover to the bridge-head, and the whole was during the night strong intrenched. The enemy made no effort to disturb us, no force approaching the position but reconnoitering parties of cavalry. The surprise was so complete that the enemy did us no damage in crossing, not a man being lost. A second pontoon bridge was laid during the night by Colonel Buell, and the crossing of the Chattahoochee was thus permanently secured.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. COX,
Major J. A. CAMPBELL,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Ohio.