HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND CAVALRY DIV., DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Roswell Factory, Ga., July 7, 1864.
I beg to hand you the following extracts from a letter published at Atlanta, in the afternoon edition of the Memphis Appeal of the 25th June, asa supplementary report of the fight at Latimar's Mill on the 20th June:
On the 20th instant two divisions, Kelly's and Martin's, and one brigade, Williams', of our cavalry, went round to the left flank and rear of Sherman's army, it was said to capture a brigade of Yankee cavalry stationed at McAfee's Bridge. We succeeded in getting to the right place, where the enemy, Minty's briade, was vigorously attacked by Williams' and a portion of Anderson's brigades. After a brief, but sharp, conflict the enemy was driven from the field, Harrison's brigade having come up and attacked them on the flank. The Yankees fought desperately and fell back slowly, with what loss we could not ascertain, as they carried off their wounded and most of their dead. To one whom was an eye-witness, but don't pretend to be an adept in the art of war, it seems very strange that the whole Yankee force was not surrounded and captured. Dibrell's brigade was drawn up a few hundred yards from, and in full view of, the battle-field, with Martin's whole division immediately in the rear. This is one of the best fighting brigades the Yankees have, part of it being regulars, and to have captured or routed it would have added a bright feather to the plume of the successful hero accomplishing the feat.
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After he (Minty) had been driven from his first position, Martin's whole division was ordered up, and we, understand, lost several men of Allen's brigade. Brigadier-General Allen had his horse shot. The Eighth Confederate and Fifth Georgia, of Anderson's brigade, lost several killed and wounded. Williams' Kentucky brigade lost several good soldiers.
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According to the above there was the following rebel force on the field, viz: Kelly's and Martin's divisions, consisting of the brigades of Anderson, six regiments, Harrison, five regiments, Allen, five regiments, and Iverson, five regiments, and the independent brigades of Dibrell and Williams, composed of five regiments each. There was actually engaged, before I was driven from my first position, the brigades of Harrison and Williams and part of Anderson's, say, in all, twelve regiments, with an average of 300 men, giving a total of 3,600 men. The Fifth Georgia alone numbers over 800 effective men.
The entire force I had engaged was as under: Seventh Pennsylvania, 170 men; Fourth Michigan, 283 men; total 453 men, which includes the horse-holders. These few men held their ground against the repeated assaults of the enemy for over two hours, gallantly repulsed every assault, and when I ordered them to retire, they fell back slowly and in good order.
I beg to call the attention of the general commanding to the heavy loss, 12 per cent., sustained by this little force. The small proportion of these who are reported missing shows how steadily and stubbornly they fought.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
ROBT. H. G. MINTY,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Cavalry Division.