War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0383 Chapter LI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

could avoid it my men replied. The pickets of the Forty-first Illinois retiring to the rifle-pits near Ruff's Station, I advanced my force to the timber beyond the point of attack, halted, and sent out a small scouting party, which entered their lines. After finding the force to be Federal troops in the usual manner, and reporting my position and purpose to the commanding officer, Captain Kanan, commanding detachment Forty-first Illinois, at Ruff's Station, he came down to me and reported verbally as follows: A short time after 1 p. m. yesterday heard firing in direction of Vining's, or down the railroad. Had sent out a patrol at 1 o'clock down the road, and at once formed and advanced to learn the nature of the force. About half a mile or more from the station found rebel skirmishers, which fell back a short distance into the old rebel breast-works or pits. Here engaged them sharply and continued to extend his line of skirmishers WEST of the Railroad across the Marietta road until he struck their left flank, when they fell back and retired and left him in possession of the injured train, which was already much injured by fire. By vigorous efforts the engine and tender and four platform-cars were saved, the remainder being badly consumed before he could do anything to prevent it. He states that he buried two men, who were killed in the attack; name and regiment not known. About 11 o'clock a train came up with laborers to repair the injuries, and the telegraph line, which had been torn down, was temporarily united and posted. At 5 a. m. I, my detachment, took this train, returning south, and arrived here about 7 a. m.

I am, very respectfully, yours,

WM. A. DOWNEY,

Major FIFTY-eight Indiana Volunteers.

WASHINGTON, October 20, 1864 - 3. 20 p. m.

Major General S. G. BURBRIDGE, Lexington, Ky.:

General McArthur cannot be spared from his command. Consult with General Thomas, at Nashville, on some joint action to prevent any northern movement by Forrest.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

LEXINGTON, KY., October 20, 1864.

Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS:

Brigadier-General Meredith telegraphs from Paucah that he has reliable information that Forrest is about sending a large force into Western Kentucky. My force has recently been greatly diminished by the withdrawal of troops to other points. Major-General Halleck directs me to consult with you on some joint action to prevent any northern movement by Forrest. What do you suggest?

S. G. BURBRIDGE,

Major-General.

NASHVILLE, TENN., October 20, 1864.

Major General S. G. BURBRIDGE, Lexington, Ky.:

Do you think by assembling the force which you have ordered to report to me on the Cumberland River, between Fort Donelson and its