On the 28th, about 3 a. m., the enemy drove in a portion of my pickets from Moulton road to river on our right, and established themselves in gopher holes within 100 yards of our works. I endeavored early in morning to re-establish my line, but found the enemy too well protected to move them. By direction of the general commanding, Captain William C. Moore, with about FIFTY of Eighteenth Michigan Infantry and a few from district headquarters, clerks and orderlies, moved down the river under cover of the bank and formed as skirmishers. He moved on the double-quick, driving the rebels out of their holes and capturing 115 prisoners. In this they were ably assisted by the Sixty-eighth Indiana Infantry, a detachment of which regiment was on picket, and many of the prisoners were taken by them. The artillery in the forts rendered great assistance. I refer you to Captain Moore's report for particulars. * About noon, by direction of the general commanding, I ordered Colored Morgan, Fourteenth U. S. Colored Infantry, now numbering about 500 men, to charge a battery on the river-bank, planted by the enemy during the night previous. I respectfully refer you to his report, marked B, for the result. + To assist Colonel Morgan in his charge I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Wade with his command into line of rifle-pits on our left flank, and posed one piece of Battery F, First Ohio Light Artillery, in the redout and small earth-work on that line, with direction to employ the enemy while Colonel Morgan was moving on the battery. Our garrison at this time numbered only about 2,500 men. These bold moves had a beneficial effect upon the enemy. Re-enforcements arrived rapidly and were assigned positions in the works, special reports of which are made by commanding officers, and are submitted herewith as part of this report, giving us a total of about 5,000 men. The morning of the 29th brought with it indications of the enemy's leaving, and reconnaissance by Colonel Morgan, details of which are given in his report, developed the fact that only a strong rear guard remained. About 4 p. m. the enemy was details of which are given in his report, developed the fact that only a strong rear guard remained. About 4 p. m . the enemy was driven out of his last line of pits, and I reoccupied the old picket-line and my own headquarters, which I had been obliged to vacate. Detachments of Fourth, Eighteenth, and Twenty-ninth Michigan Infantry, One hundred and second, and One hundred and seventy- fourth Ohio Infantry, under Colonel J. W. Hall, Fourth Michigan, in all 950, were sent out at dark on Courtland road. A very strong picket of the enemy was met about two miles out, and the command returned to camp late at night.
The morning of the 30th found us in peace and quietness, the sun shining brightly, and a sense of relief was entertained by all. I pushed out a reconnaissance on Courtland road, under Colonel Morgan, consisting of his own regiment and Sixty-eighth Indiana Infantry, with eighty of Second Tennessee Cavalry, under Major McBath. The rear guard of enemy was met within two miles of town and driven a mile or two. The expedition returned to camp at 4 p. m. When I consider that we were confronted by the whole of General Hood's army it seems miraculous almost that we could escape capture. Our works, although strong in some parts, are very weak in others, and if had been subjected to a heavy fire of artillery it would have been subjected to a heavy fire of artillery it would have been almost impossible to remain, and with new, untried troops forming the principal strength of our garrison, an assault by such an army would have made me very anxious. Our garrison never exceeded 5,000 men, with nineteen pieces of artillery, two of which came during the night of the 28th from Huntsville. I must say, however, that I never saw troops in better spirits, and their determination was strong not to give up the works.
*See p. 709.
+See p. 714.