War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0111 Chapter LXIV. OPERATIONS IN NORTHERN ALABAMA.

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with 500 men and four days' rations, for the purpose of learning the movements of the enemy and the resources of the country. I order, if possible, to surprise the enemy at Pond Spring (a rebel camp within three miles of Courtland), I determined to move out the same evening in the direction of Moulton, and did so about 9 p. m. with 450 men, much of my effective force being at the time absent on duty. Unfortunately during the darkness of the night, and on account of aprallel roads leading to Moulton, I lost my principal guide with twenty-five men, and I was obliged to continue my march during the night under such disadvantages that I did not reach the vicinity of Pond Srping until about 7 o'clock the next morning. In the meantime about midnight my column was fired on by five men in aheavy skirt of woods on the Moulton road, who immediately proceeded across the country to the camps of Colonel Patterson, a t Pond Spring, and Major Stuart, at Fox Creek, and notified them of our movements. They were consequently prepared for our approach, and Colonel Patterson's command was in the act of moving off in the direction of Courtland when we appeared in the fields in sight of their camp. We immediately charged upon the rear of their retiring column, but as our horses were exhausted by a night's march of twenty-four miles, we only succeeded in wounding one man, as far as known, and capturing some prisoners, amongst them a staff officer of Colonel Patterson, and the colonel only escpaed himself by the speed of his horse. We pursued them within a mile of Courtland, when I called a halt to permit my column to close up and rest the horses, expecting that possibly the enemy might determine to fight at Courtland, as he had there two pieces of artillery. On moving up, however, two hours afterward I found the place evacuated and the enemy retiring toward Tuscumbia. After a pursuit of four miles I returned and went into camp at Courland. Stuart's battalion in the meantime went toward Moulton, but the pickets of the enemy surrounded our own at the distance of about a mile from our vedettes on each road, Stuart's scouts and pickers being on the south and east, Curtis, who has a company lying near Lamb's Ferry, being on the north, and Patterson's on the west. These scouts and pickets were for the purpose of watching our movements.

the next day I sent major Cunningham, of the Third Tennessee Cavalry, with 100 men, toward Tuscumbia, who came up with a party of about twenty-five men shortly after leaving our pickets, drove them about six miles, capturing a lieutenant, and returned with some stock collected on his way to camp. Other parties were sent out for foraging purposes who saw small squads of the enemy but did not succeed in capturing any prisoners. We remained unidsturbed at Courtland on the night of the 19th instant, although the enemy was fequently reported advancing in force, and on the 11th instant parties were again sent out that succeeded in overtaking some small trains of stock and negroes that had been collected for the purpose of being taken to Mississippi, with a few prisoners. On the same day I left Courtland with the command and captured property, and marched to the vicinity of Hillsborough, the picket sof Sutart's command being within three-quarters of a mile of my onw, about 150 men of that command having returned from Moulton to the vicinity of Pond Spring the preceding day.

On the 12th I sent the train and prisoners to Decatur with an escort, and started with the remainder of my command in the direction of Moulton; but on going some three miles, and learning from a captured soldier and some escaped negroes just from that place, and other sources, that nothing could be accomplished by going there, and as my horses were much exhausted, having to feed principally on corn too