War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0671 Chapter LI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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DECATUR, November 6, 1864.

Major-General THOMAS:

Your dispatch of 3 p. m. to-day received. The reconnaissance in the direction of Courtland has returned. It went within eight miles of that place; met 800 of the enemy's cavalry, all Texas troops, at Fox Creek; drove them a mile, bringing back no additional information. Major Swallow, from Brown's Ferry, reports a few rebel cavalry seen on opposite side of river; no attempt to cross from the island to-day. I have some scouts out back of Courtland, near Russellville, but they will have difficulty in coming in -the enemy are so vigilant. I may not hear from them for several days. No large force up the river. Have issued orders to carry out your instructions; have been very particular. Hope that you will order that my requisitions for full rations of pork be filled. We cannot keep fresh beef here if we should be isolated.


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Decatur, Ala., November 6, 1864.


Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, District of Northern Alabama:

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedient to orders from the general commanding, I moved at 4 o'clock this a. m., with 1,375 infantry, 150 cavalry, and one section Battery A, First Tennessee Light Artillery, in the direction of Courtland, Ala. My command consisted of detachment of Eighteenth Michigan and One hundred and second Ohio, under Colonel William Given, One hundred and second Ohio; Sixty-eighth Indiana and Fourteenth U. S. Colored, under Lieutenant Colonel H. J. Espy, Sixty-eighth Indiana; and One hundred and eighty-first Ohio Infantry, under Colonel J. O'Dowd. The cavalry was from Second Tennessee, under Lieutenant Colonel W. F. Prosser. The cavalry struck the enemy's pickets about seven miles out, and drove them for two miles, when the enemy was met in considerable force. I immediately threw forward the Eighteenth Michigan and One hundred and second Ohio, with a heavy skirmish line thrown out, who drove the enemy into the woods skirting Fox Creek, and continued to drive them until they passed beyond Fox Creek, where the enemy made a determined stand. The woods were quite dense, and it was difficult to move in any way but as skirmishers. I strengthened the line, and the enemy were gallantly driven back by the line of skirmishers, composed of detachments from Eighteenth Michigan and One hundred and second Ohio, under Captain William C. Moore, Eighteenth Michigan. These two regiments were formed in line in supporting distance, but were not engaged. The strength of the enemy was estimated from 800 to 1,200, and was undoubtedly the whole of General Ross' command, of Jackson's DIVISION cavalry, consisting of the THIRD, Sixth, and Ninth Texas Cavalry, and the Texas Legion. The enemy fired one solid shot or an unexploded shell from what I supposed to be a 12-pounder mountain howitzer. Having proceeded as far as, and a little beyond even, my orders, I formed my column and retired slowly. The enemy followed us pretty closely with about forty to FIFTY men, firing quite rapidly for awhile, but they were soon pretty effectually silenced by the skirmishers of the Sixty-eighth Indiana, whom I had directed Lieutenant-Colonel Espy to put out. The cavalry under Lieutenant- Colonel Prosser assisted in covering the rear on our return. No one on our side was hurt,