into line to re-enforce the detachments, and when they came up relieved them, the enemy following several miles, making several ineffectual attempts to break up this battalion, the whole command losing in this affair 2 officers and 30 men. At this time, as I afterward learned, Forrest's entire train, with his field artillery, was at Tuscaloosa, and in apprehension of my approach was ordered to Northport. In view of this Jackson, instead of following directly, took a road striking the Mud Creek road four miles nearer Tuscaloosa, and moving rapidly succeeded in throwing his force there between me and that place upon the only road east of the Black Warrior. He had two brigades, numbering as I then supposed and have since learned, 2,600 men. I could hardly hope to run over this force and take Tuscaloosa with 1,500 men (400 of them the Fourth Kentucky, I had not yet heard from), supported, as he was, by 400 militia and 350 cadets, who filled the trenches around the city. I determined, therefore, to effect by stratagem what I could not hope to accomplish directly. I therefore turned north, marching ten miles on the Elyton road, halted and fed, while the Fourth Kentucky, from which I heard at this point, joined me. From this point we moved directly west to Johnson's Ferry, forty miles above Tuscaloosa, which point we reached at sundown, having traveled during the day over forty miles. I ordered the Eighth Iowa to begin crossing at once, and at sundown on the next day (April 2) the whole command was west of the Black Warrior, the men with their equipments crossing in a single flat-boat and the horses swimming, losing only two or three.
April 3, moved at daylight toward Tuscaloosa, the advance guard capturing all the scouts and citizens, thus preventing any knowledge of our approach. At 9 o'clock at night reached the suburbs of Northport, massed the brigade in a cedar grove, and with 150 picked men of the Second Michigan moved up near the bridge. I intended to put his picked force in ambush as near the bridge as I could get it, quietly await daybreak, then seize the bridge by a dash, and thrown the whole brigade over mounted, and envelop the city before the cadets and militia could be assembled. As I approached the bridge, however, I could distinctly hear the rebels removing the flooring the the bridge, and apprehending they had received notice of our approach, and knowing the difficulty of success should they have time to assemble their troops, I gave the order, and Colonel Johnston dashed ahead on the guards, who fired and retreated into the bridge, in the center of which the reserve was stationed behind cotton bales, in front of which twenty feet of bridge had been torn up. The detachment of the Second Michigan, led by Colonel Johnston in person, rushed into the bridge, halted for nothing until they had killed and captured the whole of the guard and had possession of the bridge. They were moved ahead to cover the approaches to the bridge, and fifty men sent double-quick to seize the two pieces of artillery, the location of which I had learned, and which were soon in our possession. In the meantime the floor of the bridge was railed, so that footmen could pass, and the balance of the Second Michigan, the Sixth Kentucky, and Eighth Iowa Thrown across dismounted, and put in position to cover the bridge against an attack from the militia and cadets which were assembling. They made several unsuccessful attempts to dislodge us, but failed, and morning found us in peaceful possession of the premises, with 60 prisoners and 3 pieces of artillery. April 4, destroyed the foundry, factory, two niterworks, the military university, a quantity of stores, and supplied the command with all the rations we could carry. Spent the day resting