the Etowah River. At night I moved with 100 men to near Cartersville to ascertain the strength, location, and movements of the enemy. May 24, my command rested all day on the north bank of the river. at midnight, pursuant to instructions from commanding general, I started on a reconnaissance with a portion of my command to strike the enemy's rear near Cassville and ascertain the dispositions of the enemy. I sent the First Georgia regiment, under command of Colonel Davitte, accompanied by Major Messick, to attack the enemy at Cass Station, in order to attack their attention. I moved on to Cassville with my command and discovered a wagon train Cass Station. Just at this moment the following dispatch was handed me:
SMITH'S HOUSE, May 24, 1864-7 a. m.
GENERAL: We are forced to retire. We drove in the enemy's advance two miles and a half, capturing 2 horses and 1 prisoner, causing the enemy to beat the long roll. It is Kentucky cavalry which we are fighting. They have been driven back on a heavy reserve. The prisoner states that there are 3,000 cavalry and 15,000 infantry in Cass Station. We will return on your rear, coming up the Tennessee road. We are still skirmishing, and will continued to do so as long as they pursue. The cavalry is commanded by Stoneman.
O. M. MESSICK,
Major Eleventh Texas.
P. S.-There is a large supply train at Cass Station. a citizen reports a large force of infantry and cavalry as having moved down on yesterday to Cartersville.
Not knowing the force guarding the train, and as the statements of citizens rather corroborated the information of Major Messick, I felt that it wound not do risk my entire command. I attacked with Kelly's division, using one regiment to guard its right flank on the Kingston road. General Humes' division was formed in line of battle in rear of the town to be prepared to re-enforce General Kelly if needed or to cover his retreat if compelled to retire. The attack by charging was a complete success, driving the enemy from his wagons and capturing about 80 wagons, which were daftly brought out, and burning the remainder of their train. While bringing the wagons from Cass Station to Cassville the enemy pressed heavily upon Allen's brigade, which was now very wear on account of the heavy details required to bring out led mules, horses, and prisoners. I placed the Eighth Texas and Second Tennessee Regiments in position to re-enforce him while we were baring a number of wagons which could not be brought off. The enemy in their fright burned a considerable train below Cass Station, and also similarly destroyed a quantity of commissary stores recently brought to that point for transportation. Observing the rapid advance of a large force of the enemy's cavalry, I ordered the Eighth Texas and second Tennessee to meet them at a fast trot when they (the enemy) reached a certain designated point, and as soon as the enemy wavered to charge. This order was magnificently obeyed; the enemy came up in fine style and charged with great ferocity. They were met, however, as directed and driven back in utter confusion. we continued our charge, killing and wounding large numbers of the enemy, and capturing over 100 prisoners. I had previously detached a regiment to cut the railroad, and having, from prisoners, citizens, and personal observations, learned all regarding the enemy, I withdrew quietly toward the river, crossing with my prisoners, wagons, mules horses, &c.