to this DIVISION, which had been left at Paris, and had moved directly from that place and take position a short distance above Johnsonville.
On the 4th instant, General Buford having come up with his DIVISION and Morton's battery, the latter was ordered to the position occupied by Colonel Rucker, and my DIVISION was formed as follows: Colonel Mabry, with his brigade and Thrall's battery, on the right immediately above and opposite to Johnsonville; Colonel Rucker, with Morton's battery and the Seventh Alabama Cavalry, immediately below and opposite to that place; Lieutenant-Colonel Kelley, with the Twenty-sixth Tennessee Battalion and two guns of Rice's battery, opposite to Reynoldsburg, and Lieutenant-Colonel Logwood, of the Fifteenth Tennessee Cavalry, with his regiment and a section of Hudson's battery, at Clark's house, still farther down the river and about two miles below Johnsonville.
The enemy had at Johnsonville three gun-boats and a number of transports and barges - variously estimated at from eight to ten of the former and from twelve to fifteen of the latter, some of them laden - together with an immense quantity of Government stores, a part of which was contained in a large warehouse, and the remainder piled upon the bank, covering about an acre of ground. The town was defended by a strong earth-work, well garrisoned and supplied with artillery, and they possessed an additional advantage in the fact that the bank of the river on that side is much higher than that on which we were.
At 2 p. m. the bombardment began, and in a short time one of the gun-boats was set on fire. One after another the others followed, and before night-fall all of the gun-boats, transports, and barges, the warehouse, and the greater part of the stores on the shore, were set on fire and consumed. The enemy kept up a heavy fire from their gun-boats and land batteries until the former were disabled, but without inflicting any serious injury upon us or forcing any part of our troops to abandon their positions. During the engagement five gun-boats came up the river, evidently with the intention of re-enforcing the town, but they retired after a sharp cannonading with the artillery under Colonel Logwood's command.
Our loss in this engagement was very small, but as the official reports have not been received it cannot now be stated with accuracy.
All the officers and men under my command deserve honorable mention for the very creditable manner in which they have borne themselves during the entire expedition, and I do not desire to detract in the slightest degree from the honor due to the others in calling especial attention to the gallant conduct of the Seventh Alabama Cavalry in this their first engagement, and to the very effective service rendered by Thrall's battery in setting fire to the enemy's boats and stores.
My thanks are due to the officers of my staff and to Captain Lawler, Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, and Lieutenant D. F. Holland, aide-de-camp to Major General D. H. Maury, who were temporarily on staff duty with me, for their efficient services.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. R. CHALMERS,
Major J. P. STRANGE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Forrest's Cavalry.