Numbers 36. Report of Bvt. Brigadier General Andrew J. Alexander, U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade, of operations March 22-April 220.
HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, FOURTH DIV., CAVALRY CORPS,
MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Macon, Ga., April 25, 1865.
MAJOR: In obedience to orders from division headquarters I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of my command since leaving Chickasaw Landing on the 22nd of March, 1865:
The march from Chickasaw to Montevallo, Ala., which occupied eight days, was made through an inhospitable and mountainous region and passed without meeting any enemy. Upon moving out from Montevallo my advance was opposed by the advance of Roddey's division, whereupon skirmishing immediately commenced. I at once ordered the detachment (about three companies) of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, under Colonel Young, to charge, which they did in gallant style, driving the enemy a distance of some three miles at full speed, killing 1, wounding 2, and capturing some 15 men and about 30 stand of arms. The main body of the enemy were found in position behind a difficult creek about three miles from Montevallo. My brigade (which was much weakened by detachments being sent off to burn the iron-works) was immediately dismounted and deployed as skirmishers. After a slight skirmish the enemy retired. On the next morning my brigade, again having the advance, struck the enemy at Randolph. After a slight skirmish he retired on the main Selma road. Under instructions of the brevet major-general commanding, I moved on the Maplesville Station road, leaving the direct road for the Second Division. Upon approaching within about three miles of the junction of this road with the main road I heard sharp firing and cheers upon our right. I immediately ordered my command to trot, which gait I kept until I came upon the enemy in strong force of infantry and cavalry in position behind fences and rail barricades. Upon debouching from the woods my advance (two companies of the Seventh Ohio Cavalry) received a heavy and well-directed volley from the enemy's entire line, which killed 2 and wounded a number more. At the first glance I saw that my command was largely outnumbered, and therefore deployed the Fifth Iowa Cavalry and First Ohio Cavalry on the right, with the view of connecting with the Second Division, which I was expecting to hear every instant open in the woods on my right. I ordered two squadrons, to take and hold a house and outbuildings directly in front of my center, and which secured my position. The line was then advanced, and after a sharp fight of about an hour the enemy was completely routed, leaving two pieces of artillery in our possession. In this connection I wish to have it distinctly understood that no other troops except those belonging to my brigade were engaged, although some unofficial statements to the contrary have been made.
Upon entering Selma by direction of the brevet major-general commanding I sent the Seventh Ohio in pursuit of the enemy on the Montgomery road. Colonel Garrard, commanding the regiment, pursued him with the greatest pertinacity as far as Burnsville despite the darkness and almost impassable roads. So active and unremitting was the pursuit that the enemy was forced to abandon four pieces of artillery ten wagons, and a large number of small-arms. Colonel Garrard also captured 125 prisoners. This brigade did not meet the enemy again until