War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0024 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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following disposition of my forces: Colonel John Mason Brown, with the Forty-fifth Kentucky and Eleventh Michigan Cavalry, took the advance, and was to charge and attack one camp; Colonel Ratliff, of the Twelfth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, with Thirty-seventh and Thirty-ninth Kentucky Mounted Infantry, and one battalion Twelfth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, was to take the center and attack the other camp, and Colonel Hanson, of Thirty-seventh Kentucky, with the Fortieth Kentucky, two battalions Twelfth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and the two 12-pounder howitzers was to constitute the reserve. Owing to some misapprehension of orders one of the howitzers was run up to the front, completely blocking up the road, cutting off a portion of the Eleventh Michigan from Colonel Brown's brigade, and preventing them and the entire center brigade from reaching their assigned positions in time to join effectively in the charge. At this point and time, the horses being all killed by their sharpshooters, the howitzers was taken by the enemy. I called for volunteers to retake the gun, and Captain Hicks, Twelfth Ohio Volunteers Cavalry, sprang forward with his company, and, gallantly charging, recaptured the piece. The attack was a through surprise, and but for the unfortunate contretemps alluded to the rout would have been complete. As it was, after a spirited contest of over two

hours, the enemy gave way in every direction. In a short time, the enemy discovering, I suppose, the smallness of my force (I had only 1,600 men), attacked me with great vigor, and maintained a resolute assault for about two hours and a half, being finally repulsed, with considerable loss. From prisoners taken during the engagement I learned that General Morgan had gone, previous to my attack, with a considerable part of his cavalry command toward Lexington, and I was apprehensive he would collect and re-enforce his defeated troops and attack me again before my command had gotten any rest. I therefore determined to remain at Mount Sterling until Friday morning, giving the men the rest rendered necessary by the arduous march and subsequent fighting. Early Friday morning I marched for Lexington, taking with me all the prisoners captured at Mount Sterling, except the wounded, arriving at Lexington, thirty-three miles distant, about 2 o'clock the same afternoon. When I started on the expedition I had left my assistant adjutant-general, Captain J. Bates Dickson, in charge, who, upon Morgan's approach to the city, put Colonel Wickliffe Cooper, Fourth Kentucky Cavalry, at home on leave, in command of the place and the troops in the vicinity. Under the direction of these two officers all the Government property, save a few horses, was moved under the guns of Fort Clay, and Colonel Cooper, after gallantly skirmishing with Morgan's advance, with a few men at his command, withdrew to the fort, from which he presented so spirited and formidable a front that Morgan did not venture to attack him. All the damage done by Morgan at Lexington consisted of the loss of the horses before mentioned, except that he inflicted in robbing the bank and citizens of money, watches, and goods of various description. Early in the afternoon of Friday Colonel Israel Garrard, commanding First Brigade, General Stoneman's cavalry command, reported to me at Lexington, in obedience to an order from Captain J. Bates Dickson, assistant adjutant-general, and the rest of that day was consumed in procuring as many fresh horses as possible and in issuing fresh supplies of rations and ammunition. The enemy left Lexington in the direction of Georgetown, and, having intelligence of his going from that place Paris, it was my opinion he intended to attack and destroy the extensive and important railroad bridge at