War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0998 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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Numbers 732.

Report of Colonel Charles G. Armistead, Twelfth Mississippi Cavalry, commanding brigade, of operations June 24.


June 30, 1864.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the brigade under my command and while acting under my immediate orders during the movements and attack upon La Fayette, Ga.:

After taking the left-hand road at the church, eight miles from La Fayette, I moved as rapidly as the nature of the ground and the condition of the roads and bridges would permit to a point one mile and a quarter from the town and half a mile from enemy's pickets. Reaching there at 3.30 a. m. June 24, I called to my assistance a citizen who knew the position of the enemy's pickets and sent him as a guide to Lieutenant McLemore, Ninth [Eighth] Alabama, with a small detachment, to capture, if possible, the pickets. I immediately proceeded to form into column the squadrons of the brigade, armed with sabers and short guns, to charge the town, taking two from Armistead's and Ball's regiments each, and ordered five from Lewis' battalion. The latter, however, failed to come up in time, being far in the rear on account of the falling in of a bridge. During this time I ordered the remainder of Armistead's and Ball's regiments dismounted and formed, to move rapidly into town at the double-quick.

About this time (4 a. m.), firing opened upon the pickets by Lieutenant McLemore. Finding from the firing of the guns the distance to the much greater than anticipated, I determined to move forward at once the four squadrons and occupy the Chattanooga road, thereby preventing the escape of the enemy. This was the work of a few moments. Leaving the dismounted men in command of Colonel C. P. Ball, Ninth [Eighth] Alabama, with instructions to form his line in such a manner as to occupy the space between the Dug Gap and Chattanooga roads, in the vicinity of the town, when he should reach that point, Dug Gap road being the one along which we entered town, I proceeded with the four squadrons, leaving instructions for Major Lewis to follow with his mounted command, and passing the retiring pickets of the enemy at the branch, about a quarter of a mile from the court-house, I took a left-hand street, which intersected the Chattanooga road, this being the main street of the town laden to the court-house. Having proceeded a short distance I observed the enemy in small force to my left moving out of large buildings as if preparing to make an attack upon us. I immediately formed a line and charged this body of the enemy, killing and capturing some, the others retiring to a building and refusing to surrender until surrounded. It was at this point the gallant and lamented Major Redwood fell, as I am informed. Having dispersed this body of the enemy, I proceeded to move in the direction of the Chattanooga road. here I met with resistance from a body of the enemy's cavalry dismounted and formed in the road near the point I intersected it, and on my right. A sharp skirmish ensued, causing them to fall back a short distance in the direction of the court-house. A portion of the mounted forces crossed the Chattanooga