Report of Major Richard Root, Eighth Iowa Cavalry, of operations July 27-31 (McCook's raid).
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTH IOWA CAVALRY,
In the Field, August 5, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor of reporting the part taken by the Eighth Iowa Cavalry in the late raid.
The command started from camp July 27, crossing the Chattahoochee River to the west side, moving southwest below Campbellton, recrossing the river on the morning of the 28th, thence moving eastwardly, striking the Atlanta and West Point Railroad at Palmetto. Here the regiment received orders to move south along the railroad and destroy it, which was done effectually for one mile and a half. Then the command moved east, striking the Atlanta and Macon Railroad at Lovejoy's Station on the morning of the 29th. On the way the command captured and burned, as near as I could judge, about 200 wagons, a train of 60, loaded with officers' baggage. The mules belonging to the train were sabered, as it was impossible to bring them along, also a large number of prisoners, mostly officers, were taken and turned over to the provost-guard. At Lovejoy's Station a detachment of the Eighth Iowa burned part of a train loaded with government stores, consisting of tobacco, lard, and arms. The tobacco was estimated by the citizens to be worth &120,000. The depot, water-tank, and road was destroyed for two miles by my command. Receiving orders at 10 o'clock to move, the command started on the return; when a short distance from the railroad the column was attacked by Ross' Texan brigade, and the First Brigade cut off; Colonel Croxton ordered the Eighth Iowa to charge through and open communication. The regiment charged with revolvers, and a desperate hand-to-hand fight ensued. Twice the regiment charged and was repulsed. Here Colonel Dorr was wounded, and Lieutenant Horton, acting adjutant, killed; also a number of non-commissioned officers and privates wounded and captured. At this time General McCook came up with the Second Brigade, who charged and drove the enemy, when the command joined him and proceeded on toward the river at a rapid rate, marching all night.
At daylight, the morning of the 30th, the rebels attacked the Fourth Kentucky, which was acting as near guard, and captured two companies. The command moved on; succeeded in reaching Newnan, where we found a large cavalry force in our front and flanks; also two brigades of infantry, numbering 2,500 men, so reported by prisoners taken by my command. Here the command was ordered to strip for fight. The Eighth Iowa was ordered out as skirmishers, and, if possible, to find the enemy's lines. Pushing forward, I found the enemy had nearly encircled us, their lines running around in a horseshoe shape, and the only place left open was to the south. At this time the fighting had become general all along the lines, the enemy charging and was repulsed several times to my knowledge. At this time I received orders to mount my command and charge down a road leading to the river. Advancing cautiously until in sight of the enemy the charge was sounded. The command found themselves confronted with Ross' Texan brigade; charging through their lines, driving them back, clear through and past where their