War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0528 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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I was also verbally directed by Colonel Morgan to march toward Courtland some ten or twelve miles to develop the enemy if possible, bring him to an engagement when the cavalry should come up. That General Blair, then being in Decatur with the Seventeenth Army Corps, very much desired to have Roddey's command either captured or destroyed, and that the object of sending out a small body of infantry was to engaged the enemy in front, while the cavalry should attack him in flank or rear. I was also instructed that I should be joined by Colonel Long's cavalry brigade at about that distance from Decatur, and to follow him in his advance toward Courtland as far as should be necessary to assist him in case of need. I was also instructed to accompany Colonel Long to Moulton from Courtland, if the enemy should be found in sufficient force to render that necessary for the protection of his command. The hour of my departure from Decatur was changed to 8 a.m., that fixed for the cavalry was at 11 a.m. I marched precisely at 8 o'clock upon the Courtland road, and about three miles from town drove in the enemy's pickets. I found that I had only Colonel Pickett's regiment in my front. They fall back before my skirmishers, making stands, however, at every point where the ground or the woods furnished them a cover. About eight miles from Decatur they were re-enforced by all of General Roddey's forces in that vicinity, under his personal command. Their resistance was sufficient to compel me to keep a strong skirmish line continually displayed, but did not delay my advance. At the point where the Moulton and Lamb's Ferry road crosses the Courtland road, they ambushed a considerable force, but were gallantly routed by a charge by Captain Rea, of the First Ohio Cavalry,and about 150 men of his command who had just joined me. I marched forward skirmishing constantly to a point about fourteen miles from Decatur, when I halted and waited until about 4 p.m., when the cavalry brigade of Colonel Long joined me. He deployed a portion of one regiment dismounted as skirmishers, leaving two regiments following in my rear, and the column moved on. As we emerged from the woods upon a large plantation about one mile from General Roddey's camp at Pond Springs, and five miles from Courtlant, I found the enemy drawn up in line of battle about 1,500 strong, with a battery of four guns in position commanding the road. As the head of my column came out of the woods, the enemy commenced shelling it. I immediately placed my battery in position with the dismounted cavalry,and my infantry supporting in two lines. The enemy's battery was silenced after a few rounds from my artillery, and their whole force fled in a panic. Before the two regiments of cavalry came up the enemy had disappeared down the road in the direction of Courtland. We pursued them as rapidly as possible, passing through General Roddey's late camp at Pond Springs, from which he had removed everything. We followed them through Courtland, camping about 8 o'clock in the evening upon a creek just west of that village, having marched twenty miles since morning, with a strong skirmish line constantly engaged with the enemy for seventeen miles. Colonel Long not deeming my further presence with him on his march to Moulton necessary,and having but one day's rations in haversacks, I determined to return,and accordingly at 5.30 o'clock on the 28th of May I marched toward Decatur, arriving unmolested by the enemy at that place on the evening of that day.