the scene of the disaster at about 9 o'clock. Found no person with the cars, which were still burning. As no means were at hand to extinguish the fire and save the property not already consumed, I made a reconnaissance on each side of the road for a considerable distance, discovering no traces of the enemy. I then took the command to the water-tank, distant about one mile from the cars; reached there about 10 o'clock. Here I found a detachment of about ninety men of the Seventh Illinois Infantry encamped. The entire command were asleep except the pickets. Upon inquiry I learned the following facts (from a non-commissioned officer, as I saw no commissioned officer): The train which was behind the one destroyed backed down to the tank as soon as they discovered what was being enacted ahead. Reported to the officer in command of Seventeenth Illinois detachment, who sent fifty men down on the train. At about 150 yards from the rear of the train (or that portion of it which had broken loose from the rest of the train, viz, twelve cars) they stopped and the men got off. The rebels had just commenced firing that portion of the train. The detachment fired upon them (about twenty-five in number), when they immediately left the railroad, took to the woods, fired a volley, raised a yell, and left. Thinking that they designed flanking them or attacking the water-tank the detachment immediately got aboard the cars and went back to the tank, where I found them when I arrived. As nothing further could be done at this late hour I left my four companies in charge of Captain S. E. Hicks, Company K, and went up to Dalton for a construction train to repair the road and remove the rubbish, &c., from the track. With this train I came back in the morning and immediately returned to camp. The disaster occurred about six miles of Tilton at about 6 or 6.30 p. m.
The above report embraces all the facts of consequence with which I am acquainted.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. M. ARCHER,
Lieutenant-Colonel Seventeenth Iowa Vet. Vol. Infty.
Colonel C. R. WEAVER,
Commanding Seventeenth Iowa Infantry.
HDQRS. SEVENTEENTH IOWA VET. VOL. INFANTRY,
Tilton, Ga., August 20, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations in this vicinity in which my regiment was engaged, on the 14th and 15th of the present month:
On the afternoon of the 14th citizens from the neighborhood of Dalton reported heavy firing in that direction, and that the garrison was engaged against a very large force of rebel cavalry. At about 8 p. m. I received a communication from Colonel Green B. Raum, commanding Second Brigade, Third Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, notifying me that a large force of the enemy was moving to the east of me, and directing me to withdraw Companies D and E (under command of Captain Thomas Ping, these miles north of me), and to order Captains Snodgrass and Craig to report with their companies (H and I) to Colonel Laiboldt at Dalton. I immediately dispatched orders to the two detachments, and at 11.30 p. m. Captain