fifth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Rheinlander; the Thirty-second Wisconsin Volunteers, 400 men, Lieutenant-Colonel De Groat commanding; 200 men of the Eighteenth Regiment Michigan Volunteers, Major Hulburd; battalion THIRD Tennessee Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Minnis commanding, and a section of First Ohio Battery,* Lieutenant Davis. I marched nine miles the same evening, and encamped on Fox Creek.
On the morning of the 26th I had trees felled, &c., and made preparations as though for a permanent camp, taking no pains to disguise my position from the enemy (in accordance with my instructions), and also sent out scouting parties of cavalry in all directions. A battalion of the enemy's cavalry were reported encamped on Maillard Creek, five miles distant, and Patterson's main force at Pond Springs. Portions of the cavalry of my command skirmished with the enemy during the day and captured 1 lieutenant and 4 privates from him. I left the bivouac on Fox Creek during the night of the 26th, moving by the direct road to Courtland, but sending the Thirty-second Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel De Groat, with orders to move by and parallel to the railroad and take position on the Courtland road, so as to cut off the retreat of the enemy. I arrived at Pond Springs at 4 o'clock, but discovered before I reached there that the enemy had fallen back, some hours previously, to Courtland, where I arrived about 9 a. m. My advance guard of infantry encountered the enemy's picket at the village, who fell back before them, firing from the streets and houses upon my men. I found the main force of the enemy drawn up in line in a strong position on Big Name Creek, one-half mile beyond the town, where he had the benefit of some old breast-works and were some 600 strong, composed, as I ascertained afterward, of a portion of Patterson's own regiment, Colonel Nixon's regiment, and Ferrell's [battery] and Stuart's battalion; a Colonel Carter was also expected to join him with 200 men. As I advanced to the outskirts of the town I was opened on by a sharp fire of musketry and two pieces of artillery. I at once deployed my forces, holding the Twenty-fifth Indiana in reserve and deploying the Eighteenth Michigan and Thirty-second Wisconsin as skirmishers, and opened on the earth-works with my 12-pounders. In ten minutes after these dispositions were discovered retreating toward the Tuscumbia road. Some time necessarily elapsed before the troops could cross the ford, which was somewhat difficult, so that the enemy got considerable start. I at once ordered the cavalry under Lieutenant- Colonel Minnis to pursue the enemy and capture all he could of them. Lieutenant-Colonel Minnis reported that he pursued the enemy four miles, but owing to the jaded condition of his horses in advance. The road was strewn with blankets, haversacks, canteens, &c., and a number of small-arms were found on the field and in the road taken by the flying enemy. Our loss 2 killed and 4 wounded, viz: + The enemy's loss could not be ascertained with exactness, but must have been considerable; 4 are known to have been killed, an citizens report that their ambulances went by full of wounded.
In conclusion, I will add that the conduct of the troops was excellent, and also that if the results of the expedition were not substantial it was owing to the small force of cavalry (but 200), inclusive of officers.
*Battery F, First Ohio Artillery.
+Nominal list omitted.