War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0420 KY.,S. W. VA.,TENN.,N. & C. GA.,MISS.,ALA., & W. FLA.

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and Demopolis. From Judge Mudd, of Elyton, I learned that he had left Tuscaloosa on the 28th; that Lyon's brigade was expected there; that there were no troops there except cadets and militia, and none between that point and Elyton. Encamped on the night of the 30th eight miles south of Elyton, finding the roads wretched. March 31, moved at daylight, sending a detachment to the right through Jonesborough to destroy the stores there, and three companies of the Eighth Iowa, in charge of Captain Sutherland, my assistant adjutant-general, to the left six miles to destroy Saunders' Iron-Works, which they accomplished, rejoining the column five miles south of Burkville and ten from Trion. It was now 4 p. m., then I learned from this detachment and from a prisoner that Forrest's whole command was passing Trion, marching from Tuscaloosa to Montevallo via Centraville. I moved rapidly on and at sundown reached Trion, striking the rear of Forrest's column. Here I learned that Lyon's brigade, under Crossland, had passed the evening previous; that Forrest had passed at daybreak that morning, and Jackson's division, with part of Chalmers', numbering in the aggregate 5,000 men, had passed during the day, moving rapidly and expecting to march during the night. Here a state of case arose not contemplated by my orders, and in view of the great importance of disposing of Forrest's command, which would leave not only Tuscaloosa but every vital point open to us, I determined to follow him during the night, hoping to be near enough to co-operate with the corps in an attack on the following day. My advance guard was ordered in pursuit while the horses were fed, intending, as I did, to follow forthwith. The information obtained was dispatched by three trusty scouts to the brevet major-general commanding the corps, and also a verbal message of my intention to follow Forrest, which I did not deem prudent to incorporate into my written dispatch. While feeding, the officer in command of my advance reported the enemy holding against him the Centreville road, two miles from my camp. Repeated attempts to circumvent them proved failures until after midnight, when it became very evident that the enemy were in strong force reconnoitering and moving to envelop my position preparatory to an attack in my rear and front. I determined, therefore, to avoid an engagement with a force of unknown strength by moving directly west by a road leading from my camp to the Mud Creek road, which runs from Jonesborough to Tuscaloosa, parallel to and ten miles west of the road I had traveled. Two companies of the Sixth Kentucky Cavalry were left behind under Captain Penn to determine and report the strength and movements of the enemy. All of which I relied upon, knowing by the time I struck the Mud Creek road I could then determine upon the course to be pursued. Scouts were sent to meet the Fourth Kentucky and bring it to that road. The rear of my column had just left camp at dawn when the enemy in force attacked, driving in the pickets, which had not been relieved. Captain Parrish, with one of the companies left with Captain Penn, charged the enemy's column in a lane, and being deceived by a party of rebels, whom in the early dawn he mistook for our troops, he went too far, was surrounded, and after a gallant attempt to extricate his command was wounded and captured with the most of his men, a number of whom were killed and wounded. The enemy pressed vigorously on, driving the pickets, with Captain Penn's detachment through our camp and after the column. Major Fidler, commanding Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, was in rear, and promptly threw a battalion