War of the Rebellion: Serial 073 Page 0798 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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Numbers 394.

Report of Major William H. Fidler, Sixth Kentucky Cavalry.


Calhoun, Ga., September 5, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the following as a complete account of the operations of the Sixth Kentucky Cavalry from May 3, 1864, to September 1, 1864:

On 3rd of May, while encamped near Chattanooga, I received an order from Colonel L. D. Watkins, commanding brigade, to proceed without delay to Wauhatchie Station, to which point the other regiments of the brigade had been ordered. Upon arrival I occupied by order a deserted infantry camp, and immediately commenced the building of stables, and to use every other exertion that would tend to recruit the horses recently drawn from corrals near Chattanooga. While in this locality the duties of the regiment were very light, having but little scouting to do and, receiving a tolerably good supply of forage, the horses recruited as rapidly as could be expected.

On 10th of June, in compliance with orders, Captain Cook with 100 men accompanied Colonel Watkins to Broomtown Valley, and from thence to La Fayette, Ga., returning on the 16th. On 18th the effective mounted force of the regiment, 250 men, myself in command, marched to La Fayette with portions of the Fourth and Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, all under command of Colonel Watkins. The country surrounding La Fayette being so infested with scattering bands of rebels, our mounted duties began at once to be heavier. Forage reached us from Chattanooga in limited quantities, and the opportunities for grazing were lessened in consequence of the necessary in crease of labor. By reason of this the convalescent horses upon which the regiment was mounted failed to recruit as rapidly as was anticipated, many of them being diseased when drawn, and many permanently disabled, failing to receive the required rest, died in camp or were left exhausted on marches. On 21st of June Captain J. H. Coffman, Company B, with sixty men,was ordered to scout in the direction of Gaylesville; he returned on 23d, having captured a mail. On the morning of 24th, about 3 o'clock, the enemy having attacked several picket posts leading westward from the town, by order of the commanding officer of the brigade my command was mounted and, under his personal guidance, charged out on the Chattanooga road to meet the enemy, the locality in which the most firing was heard. After a brisk hand-to-hand encounter we were forced to retire toward the public square, taking with us several prisoners. I was then ordered to dismount my force, and with part, about 100, to occupy the jail, a corner brick building, and an adjacent house, the rest the court-house. Throughout the engagement, which lasted about six hours, my men and officers, without exception, behaved handsomely, and that we inflicted severe loss on the enemy their killed and wounded in our locality will attest.

On 8th of July Major W. F. Stafford, with the entire regimental train and all the men left at Wauhatchie Station, arrived at La Fayette. On 27th, five companies A, E, F, [G], and M, under Captain P. G. Lanham, Company F, were ordered to Gordon's Mills. From there Companies G and M, Captain Brentlinger, Company M, commanding, were sent to Nickajack Gap. These companies remained