NOVEMBER 1, 1864. - Skirmishes at Union Station, Tenn.
Report of Colonel John W. Noble, THIRD Iowa Cavalry, commanding brigade.
HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, SECOND DIV., CAVALRY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., November 3, 1864.
SIR: In compliance with your instructions I have the honor in regard to the affairs of the 1st instant, in which the Tenth Missouri Cavalry met with a considerable loss, that on that day the patrol, required by special instructions, was detailed from said regiment and consisted of forty men and two commissioned officers. The officers were Lieutenant Norman and Lieutenant Miles Reilly. Having crossed Wolf River the patrol drove three scouts of the enemy to Union Depot and beyond, arriving at the depot between 9 and 10 o'clock. At this point Lieutenant Norman, being unable to learn anything of the enemy in force, took fifteen men and proceeded to patrol toward somerville, leaving twenty-five men at Union Depot under Lieutenant Reilly, who was particularly cautioned to be on the alert, and not allow himself to surprised. After Lieutenant Norman had been gone some time (it was about 11. 30 o'clock) a band or company of rebels suddenly appeared on Lieutenant Reilly's right flank as he was in line, and charging upon him with shots and yells put him to flight. There were not over FIFTY or sixty rebels, according to the best information I can get, and there was no cause for Lieutenant Reilly leaving his post. His men have heretofore proved themselves brave soldiers, and they were well armed and in line. their officer fled and carried his men with him. The rebels pursued and captured the most of this party. At once investing themselves in the clothing of the men captured, the enemy turned in pursuit of Lieutenant Norman and his party. The lieutenant returning was warned of the fact that Lieutenant Reilly had left Union Station, and the rebels were there. He left the main road with the intention of crossing at an upper ford of Wolf River, but had gone but a little way when the rebels came in sight, but being in our uniform, our part retained its fire. The enemy charged, and although some shots were given in return, it was not until Lieutenant Norman had reached the adjoining woods that he was able to make any resistance. At this point he dismounted his men and did the best he could to hold his ground, but the enemy now numbering between 80 and 100, the lieutenant retreated and succeeded in getting off some of his men, but very few of his horses, &c. The alarm reached me at camp about 1 o'clock, and taking with me seventy-five men of the Tenth Missouri, I went at once to the scene of the skirmish, ordering seventy-five more to follow from the Fourth Iowa. I picked up a number of stragglers and some horses, but could find nothing of the enemy, who had fled with his prisoners several hours before, moving toward La Grange. After crossing over the country to the La Grange road, as night was setting in and I deemed further pursuit hopeless, I returned.
I inclose a statement of the losses in detail.
Lieutenant Norman did all he could, but there is no question but that had Lieutenant Reilly held his ground he could have soon overcome the small force assailing him. Lieutenant Reilly is a prisoner.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN W. NOBLE,
Colonel J. KARGE,
Commanding Cavalry Corps.