War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0011 SKIRMISH AT ELROD'S TAN-YARD, ALA.

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camped near the school-house, Mound Mary, Marshall County, Ala. On this march a well-known guerrilla and bushwhacker named Williams, and belonging to Butler's company, was captured, and all the houses on the road were thoroughly searched, but without any result worth mentioning. At daybreak 27th instant the march was resumed. I passed through Sand Mountain narrows and reached at 1 p. m. Timms' farm, De Kalb County, Ala.; from thence we crossed Black Oak Creek and waded through Town Creek, De Kalb, County, until at 7 p. m. we came in sight of the enemy. A part of Sparks' company was encamped near Elrod's farm and tan-yard, near Town Creek, De Kalb County Ala. I approached with the utmost circumspection and silence and had a fair view of them moving around their fires, quiet unconscious of our approach. I divided my command in ordered to surround and capture them all; but the darkness and the great quantity of timber strewn on the ground impeded the movement, so that one part of my command came to fire and charge before the junction of all the detachments was completed, giving the greater part of the outlaws a chance to effect their escape. In this charge First Lieutenant Leander Martin, Eighteenth Regiment U. S. Colored, was instantly killed. The loss of the enemy was 1 killed, 8 wounded, and 3 captured. They were completely routed, and left a number of arms and equipments on the field. They were commanded by a Lieutenant Smith, and their strength is supposed to have been from thirty-six to forty in all. I camped that night on the place of the action, and resumed the march back to the river early on the 28th. The enemy followed me in the rear and on the flanks without any demonstration until 5 p. m., when a party of about 100, under a Captain Butler attacked me in the rear, but were fairly repulsed with a loss of 5 men disabled. My men poured two well-directed volleys into them and they skedaddle as quick as they came. In this second engagement I had no loss to sustain. The forces I was engaged with are said to belong to a new regimental organization of guerrillas called, home guards, raised in De Kalb, Marshall, and Blount Counties, Ala., by a so-called Colonel Lowe, and are composed of the following full companies; Sparks' company, encamped near Duck Springs, De Kalb County, Ala.; Witherspoon's encamped three miles below Lebanon; Butler's company, encamped near Wakefield, Marshall, County, Ala. ; Newman's company, encamped near Portersville, De Kalb County, Ala.; Hamack's company, encamped near Valley Head, De Kalb County, Ala. They are assigned to General Clanton's brigade and composed chiefly of deserters and absentees from the rebel army mostly inhabitants of the aforesaid counties, who are enlisted in these organizations under promise of pardon of their offenses. The so-called Colonel Lowe, as well as the so-called captains, are said to have no authority from the rebel War Department. I inclose copy of the muster roll of Spark's company, found in possession of First Sergeant Williams, one of the prisoners, and a croquis of the place of the first engagement.

The command was composed of detachments of the Sixty-eighth Regiment New York Veteran Volunteers, Eighteenth Regiment U. S. Colored Infantry, and Ninth and First Ohio Volunteer Artillery, Veterans. The officers and men behaved themselves well and gallantly.

Most respectfully,

FELIX PR. SALM,

Colonel, Commanding Post.

Major S. B. MOE,

Asst. Adjt. General, Dist of the Etowah, Chattanooga, Tenn.