fine effect, and also had the sharpshooters to keep up a fire at the port-holes. The infantry was put to destroying the railroad, except a part of Tyler's brigade (Shy's regiment), which was held as an assaulting party in case the block-house could not be taken otherwise. The block-house was constructed to timber and earth; the timber was compact and four feet thick, with the same thickness of earth thrown up for five or six feet on the outside, and covered with the same depth of timber and earth. It had forty port-holes so arranged, both on the outer and inner sides, as to afford opportunity of firing in almost any direction. A ditch was dug around the outside filled with water. The assault was to be made at night, and all preparations made for it; but the artillery had fired with such accuracy and fatality late in the evening that upon demand after dark it unconditionally surrendered. The garrison consisted of a captain, and lieutenant, and 50 men; 12 or 15 of whom had been killed and wounded. The block-house was burnt next morning, and the destruction of the railroad, which had been prosecuted during the entire night, was continued. I moved Caswell's battalion of sharpshooters to Tunnel Hill early in the morning, together with a regiment of cavalry (which had that night reported to me for temporary duty), with the view of watching the enemy at that point until the DIVISION arrived. They found it had been evacuated during the night, leaving many stores, both quartermaster's and commissary, most of which were secured to the troops of my command. Those which could not be transported were burned. The railroad was destroyed to rejoin and bring up the rear of the army, taking the Villanow and thence the La Fayette road. On arriving at the latter place my command moved in conjunction with Cheatham's corps, to which it belonged, to Gadsden, Ala., and thence across Sand Mountain to Decatur, Ala., where on the morning of the 27th of October I was ordered on the Courtland road, and in the evening of the same day directed by General Cheatham to press my skirmishers as near as practicable to the fort. I pushed up a detachment from each brigade, under Major Caswell, during the night, and drove the enemy's outposts and skirmishers into the forts, and built skirmish pits on the same plateau with and within 200 or 300 yards of the fort. My skirmishers were connected on the left by those of Cleburne's DIVISION. The enemy came out early next morning, turning the extreme left of Cleburne's skirmish line, and passed to the rear of the left of mine, capturing 25 of my men. As soon as ascertained General Jackson, with Colonel Mitchell's regiment (being on the right), retook and held, with much promptness and gallantry, the pits, with a loss, however, of 8 or 10 men. In obedience to orders I moved my command with the corps that evening on the Courtland road; thence to Tuscumbia, where we remained for two weeks, and crossed the Tennessee River on November 13.
Major Cobb having been sent to the hospital on account of d, by virtue of rank, took command of the battalion of artillery. *
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. B. BATE,
Major JAMES D. PORTER,
*For continuation of report, relating to the Nashville campaign, see Vol. XLV, Part I.