the enemy made his appearance in force in front of this place. On the 26th instant our mounted pickets on the Somerville road were driven in about 12 m. by a large force of the enemy, afterward ascertained to be Walthall's DIVISION, of General Hood's army, numbering about 5,000 men, who was discovered advancing with a strong line of skirmishers, supported by a line of battle, with several pieces of artillery a short distance to the rear. Hearing in my camp the firing of the pickets I immediately ordered "boots and saddles" to be sounded, and a moment afterward Colonel Doolittle rode up to my quarters and directed me to move out to meet the enemy, who was rapidly approaching. I passed the line of infantry pickets with my men, about 150 in number, the remainder of the regiment being absent at the time patrolling the north side of the river, and on other detached duty, in time to form a line across the Somerville road facing the enemy, together with about an equal number of the Tenth Indiana Cavalry, under Major Williamson, who was ordered to report to me on the ground. Hastily moving forward under a severe fire from the enemy, by which one of my orderlies was killed, Captain McReynolds and several others of my regiment mortally wounded, with as strong a line of skirmishers as the limited force at my command would permit, I was able to check his farther progress, and although he repeatedly attempted to advance with loud cheering and heavy volleys of musketry, yet deeming it of great importance to cover the outer line of works in our rear, which at the time were unoccupied, as well as to protect two guns of Battery A, First Tennessee Artillery, which were being brought up to those works, I determined to hold my positossible or until re-enforcements could arrive. In order to cover the front of the enemy I was obliged to extend my lines for about a mile and a quarter in length, but the open and undulating nature of the ground allowed me to maneuver my command by concealing or exposing it, so as to give the enemy an exaggerated impression as to our strength, which, with the effective fire of the guns which had in the mean time been brought into position, enabled us to maintain our lines unbroken until the arrival of the Twenty-ninth Michigan Infantry and until night closed active operations. I regretted very much that the force at my disposal would not permit me to assume the offensive, which, under the circumstances, would not have been advisable considering the odds by which we were opposed. The coolness and excellent conduct of the officers and men of the Tenth Indiana, under Major Williamson, as well as of my own regiment has been actively engaged in picking, patrolling, and scouting on the north side of the Tennessee River from the mouth of Limestone Creek to Lamb's Ferry, with a detachment at the mouth of mention. The casualties as far as known are 1 officer and 2 men killed, and 6 wounded in the action the skirmish line with me under orders from General Granger. I have to regret the loss of Captain McReynolds, a young officer, whose constant industry and correct deportment gave promise of more than ordinary y usefulness.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. F. PROSSER,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Second Tennessee Cavalry.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Post Decatur, Ala.