War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0511 Chapter LI. FORREST'S RAID INTO ALABAMA AND TENNESSEE.

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of this kind, at 9. 30 a. m. I pushed out skirmishers in every direction, and, with the assistance of the artillery, drove them from the field. Major McBath, with the Second Tennessee, immediately commenced the pursuit, and ascertained that the whole force retreated down the Florence road.

Our loss in this action was only 2 slightly wounded; that of the enemy, with the exception above mentioned, unknown.

The conduct of the troops was all that could be desired. Both officers and men seemed animated by a determination never to surrender. To Major McBath, commanding Second Tennessee; Captain Eaton, commanding Seventy-THIRD Indiana; Captain Gaffney, commanding Tenth Indiana, and Lieutenant Tobin, commanding artillery, I am indebted for the prompt and efficient disposition of their commands in all movements during the siege.

I consider the bomb-proof by which we were protected the main feature of this defense, and estimate the saving in casualties by it to be at least 10 per cent. The moral effect upon the men was great, and the two hours' cannonading to which they were subjected only confirmed their belief that they could hold the place against almost any force that might attack. The fact that a garrison of 600 men were compelled to surrender this same fort only a short time since leads me to call attention to the necessity of having fortified places provided with a good bomb-proof, large enough to contain the garrison. This can be constructed simply by digging a ditch through the center of the fort, the roof, consisting of timber covered with earth, to be on a level with the surface of the ground. This plan might be carried out in the construction of stockades.


Lieutenant-Colonel Seventy-THIRD Indiana, Commanding.


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure No. 1. HEADQUARTERS IN THE FIELD, Near Athens, Ala., October 2, 1864.


Athens, Ala.:

SIR: Having invested your place with a sufficient force to reduce it in a short time, for the sake of humanity I demand the surrender of the fort, garrison, &c. Certain conditions will attend the surrender, with which conditions the bearer of this note will acquaint you.

I am, sir, with much respect,


Brigadier-General, Provisional Army, C. S. Commanding.

[Inclosure No. 2. HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Athens, Ala., October 2, 1864.

Brigadier General A. BUFORD,

Provisional Army, C. S.,

Commanding Confederate Forces in front of Athens, Ala.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date, demanding the surrender of the fort and garrison under my command. In answer I would say that having a sufficient force to defend the place I decline to surrender.


Lieutenant-Colonel Seventy-THIRD Indiana, Commanding.