HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, July 3, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report, for the information of the major-general commanding, that after an unusually fatiguing march my command reached a point where the road to Ruff's Mill leaves the Sandtown road, as indicated on the map, which point was held by the division of the Fifteenth Army Corps, commanded by General M. L. Smith. After a short rest, in obedience to instructions, I moved on the Sandtown road toward the Widow Mitchell's. General M. L. Smith sent a brigade of his command, under command of General Giles A. Smith, to clear the enemy's cavalry from my front. This brigade moved forward to the branch of the Nickajack when its after advance was checked by a strong line of the enemy's dismounted cavalry in a very strong position. After a sharp skirmish of about an hour I relieved General Smith by a brigade of the Fourth Division (General Gresham's), who advanced upon the enemy, and drove him about mile and a half with great rapidity. Night coming prevented farther pursuit, and I withdrew the men from beyond the Widow Mitchell's to the branch of the Nickajack which we had crossed, it being the only place where the command could get a sufficient supply of water. I send herewith a topographical sketch* showing my present position. General Stoneman's cavalry connected promptly with my right, and fought with great spirit. My thanks are due Generals Morgan L. Smith and Giles A. Smith, the one for ordering the brigade to relieve my tired command of this severe duty,and the other for carrying out with alacrity the letter and spirit of his instructions.
In conclusion I cannot praise too highly the spirit and courage with which the officers and men of this command moved upon the enemy after marching nearly all night and day - attacked him in his chosen position, and drove him without a single check until dark.
The enemy's force was a portion of the cavalry division commanded by General Jackson, and was nearly, if not quite, the equal of the force which engaged it.
The casualties on our side will not exceed 10, almost all of whom are very slightly wounded. I have no means of knowing the loss of the enemy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANK P. BLAIR, JR.,
Lieutenant Colonel W. T. CLARK,
Asst. Adjt. General, Dept.and Army of the Tennessee.
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, July 4, 1864 - 8.30 p.m.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to instructions from the major-general commanding, two regiments of the Third Division, under command of Brigadier-General Force, moved at 9 a.m. to the left from the Sandtown road, between two branches of the Nickajack,as indicated on the map. After a slight resistance, General Force the Nickajack, but had to retire before a superior force of the enemy. After ascertaining that he
*To appear in the Atlas.