We had complete possession of the town from 5 a. m. until 10 o'clock, when I ordered the forces to be drawn off. When the assaulting forces had been thus withdrawn and were returning to their horses, having arrived within 300 yards and in full view of them, a body of enemy's cavalry approached through the woods north and west of the town, suddenly fired several volleys into the horses, producing a stampede among the horses, which became unmanageable and broke in a boyd to the east and south. this produced a panic among the troops, particularly of Armistead's command, who made a rush to recover their horse, causing much excitement and confusion, and disorderly retreat for several miles, when the main body of the troops were halted and reformed. Some horses were killed by this fire of the enemy, and it is possible that a few were captured.
We captured and brought off a number of horses, arms, and equipments. The number of each will be reported as early as practicable. They are now in the hands of those who captured them.
In the combat with the enemy we had expended nearly all of our ammunition. We had in the five days consumed five of the seven days' rations with which the march was commenced. We were ninety-eight miles from any depot of supplies, and had but two days' rations left. The necessity of my situation left me no alternative but to return to this place, where the entire command has arrived.
We captured 101 prisoners, with which we commenced the march back, but we were forced to march two nights through narrow roads closely lines and almost covered with bushes and chaparral growth, during which time the mounted guard permitted 31 prisoners to make their escape. This escape was not known until I reached Gadsden. We arrived here with 70 prisoners.
From the above narrative of facts it will be apparent that if we had had artillery, even one piece, we would have captured the entire garrison and all its equipments and supplies, and could them have proceeded in execution of the orders of the major-general to the ulterior objects of the expedition with every prospect of complete success. Before leaving I made known my extreme reluctance to move without this arm of the service. Its want was never more seriously felt. I am aware that the major-general, for want of horses, could not supply me, and these remarks are not made in complaint, but as explanation of my failure to accomplish all that was expected and in justice to the command.
Majors Redwood and Lewis and several other officers were killed while gallantly performing their duty. Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch was wounded and fell into the hands of the enemy at the time of the stampede of the horses. Captain Harrison was so severely wounded that the could not be removed, and was also captured. I am not aware of a single individual, except those wounded, as stated above, who were captured. We brought off most of the wounded-all that our limited means of transportation allowed. We have no means of knowing the extent of the enemy's loss, but it could not have been otherwise than serious.
I take pleasure in reporting the conduct of the entire command to have been highly creditable until the stampede and panic. Under the influence of this panic several officers and a number of privates behaved badly, having fled from the command clear back and spread most exaggerated and false reports of the character of the