was fired into by a few scattering shots and once fired upon the advance guard. Eight C. S. Government wagons were captured and destroyed by rear guard. The advance guard struck the railroad at Newnan at 10 a. m. About one hour previous to our arrival, two large trains had arrived with rebel infantry from West Point. It being impossible to cut the way through in the direct road to Rotherwood or any of the direct ferries, the command was ordered to move to the left of the town in southwesterly course, in order, of possible, to strike the Chattahoochee River. The Second Brigade was ordered to move forward with the pack-animals, ambulances, and prisoners, while the other two brigades were placed in position of defense. The enemy's cavalry, being in overwhelming numbers, was now close upon the rear and both flanks. The Second Brigade had now advanced about five miles, when in a point of wood east of the Corinth road the advance guard, four companies of the Second Kentucky, was attacked by rebel infantry. They retreated promiscuously, and partly broke the already line by the Fourth Indiana, who immediately charged and beat the enemy back.
Heavy skirmishing was now kept up for about one hour and a half, until the "small band" (150 of the Fourth, two companies of the Second Indiana, and four companies of the Second Kentucky) was completely surrounded by two brigades of infantry. Lieutenant-Colonel Torrey received an order from General McCook to cut through and join the other brigades. This was immediately attempted, but it could not be accomplished without a severe loss of life. The enemy kept pressing up his lines so that the brigade was compelled to retreat and take position in an open field behind a rise of ground. The rebel infantry now charges the little line, caused it to break, and forced it to seek protection in the wood in rear and right flank. The fire became so fierce that myself and Lieutenant Daniel Moulton, acting assistant inspector-general, rallied about 180 men, cut our way through the enemy's lines, and again rallied across a small creek in the woods. In the mean time Lieutenant P. J. Williamson, acting assistant adjutant-general, had rallied some 100 men on the right and cut his way through at or very near the same place. I then made a hasty organization and took command of the detachment. We marched for about four hours, with the assistance of a negro guide, in a zigzag direction through thick woods, miry swamps, and over rough hills, until the rebels, who were in hot pursuit, lost our track. We finally struck a direct road leading to a point of the river forty-four miles above West Point, where we arrived at 9 p. m. There being no ferry-boat, we had to swim our horses across, and this could only be accomplished with the aid of boats or canoes. Three of the latter were found near the opposite shore. Having posted a strong guard or picket in the rear, I ordered the horses to be unsaddled, three men and as many saddles as were safe, were placed in each canoe. The three men were to guide four horses. In that manner the whole detachment was across by daylight next morning.
But for the persevering energy of the two above-named staff officers I could never have crossed the river safely with all the men and beasts, for every man seemed to be exhausted; yet that day, Sunday, July 31, we marched seventy-five miles, and arrived safely at Sweet Water bridge at 10 o'clock same p. m., and arrived at Marietta next day noon.
G. H. PURDY,
Major, Commanding Detachment First Cavalry Division.