War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0700 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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the energy and industry of our troops, their manifest willingness to meet the enemy at any threatened point, and their gallantry whenever opportunity was offered for active operations.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major P. H. POLK,

Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Tennessee.

Numbers 56. Report of Colonel Charles C. Doolittle, Eighteenth Michigan Infantry, commanding post of Decatur, Ala.


Decatur, Ala., November 3, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit, for the consideration of the general commanding, the following report of the part taken by my command in the defense of Decatur, beginning on the 26th day and ending on the 30th day of October:

For some days previous to the 26th I had been watching the movements of Hood's army as well as those of Forrest and Roddey, and scouted the surrounding country as thoroughly as possible with the amount of cavalry at my disposal. On the morning of the 26th I sent out two parties of FIFTY each on the Somerville and Courtland roads. The one on the Somerville road met a pretty strong force of the enemy about three miles out, and were obliged to retire. From the fact that this regiment, Tenth Indiana Cavalry, had only been mounted and equipped as cavalry the day before, I was somewhat of the opinion that the officer in charge had overestimated the force of the enemy, which he named at 300 to 400, and not expecting the advance of Hood's army for a day or two at least, I was of the opinion that it might be a scouting party of Roddey's command. At 1. 30 p. m. my vedettes reported the enemy advancing on the place. I immediately directed the different commands to be in readiness for action, and rode out to the advance post on Somerville road to learn the extent of the movement. Seeing the enemy's columns forming into line, with skirmishers out, I hastened to camp of Second Tennessee Cavalry and directed Lieutenant Colonel W. F. Prosser to move out and hold the enemy in check till I could re- enforce him. I returned to headquarters and hurried forward a section of Battery A, First Tennessee Light Artillery, Captain A. F. Beach commanding, and the Tenth Indiana Cavalry, about 300 strong, under Major Thomas G. Williamson. They were moving at a walk, and hearing firing I rode to the head of the column and directed Major Williamson to trot and report to Lieutenant-Colonel Prosser. I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Prosser to look well to the river-bank and to extend the right so as meet the enemy at all points. The artillery had in the mean time got into position in the small redoubt commanding the Somerville road and vicinity, as directed, and soon opened fire on enemy's line of battle. I had placed the picket reserve of the Eighteenth Michigan Infantry, which was stationed in this redoubt, as a support to this section; it was small, but all I could give it just then. I had ordered Captain Bullock, provost-marshal, to get all not on duty of bridge guard and provost guard and