Today in History:

38 Series I Volume XXXI-I Serial 54 - Knoxville and Lookout Mountain Part I

Page 38 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.

and continued the march until the advance guards met and skirmishing began-about 1.30 p.m. The enemy were formed in thick woods across the road, with an open field in front, through which, swept as it was by two pieces of light artillery planted in the road, I had to advance to the attack. As rapidly as possible I formed my lines, had the men dismounted,and attacked the enemy, who were soon driven back by the Second Tennessee, under the able and gallant leadership of Lieutenant-Colonel Morton, and a portion of the Second Alabama. As soon as the horses could be brought up the fleeing enemy were hotly pursued and their retreat converted into a wild panic. The chase was kept up for some 10 miles through dense woods and over a mountainous country until dark. Their perfect knowledge and our ignorance of the country enabled most of them, however, to escape by separating into small squads and leaving the road.

It may be proper to remark that before the engagement began I had met Major Moreland, with his battalion, and ordered him to get in rear of the enemy on a road leading from their left flank to Bay Springs, of the existence of which he informed me,stating it was the only road by which they could escape, except directly back into Alabama. Had my instructions been strictly and energetically followed, few of the enemy would have escaped.

With a loss of 2 killed and 11 wounded, I have succeeded in effectually destroying the First Alabama Tory Regiment. Up to the time I left, the enemy's loss, as far as could be ascertained, was 20 killed, including 2 captains, the adjutant of the regiment, and 1 first lieutenant; 9 wounded, including 1 first lieutenant mortally, and 29 prisoners. The woods was so dense and the fight kept up for so great a distance that many killed and wounded were not found. I do not think the number would fall short of 100 in all.

I captured 2 pieces of artillery, 5 stand of colors, 60 elegant breech-loading carbines, with an ample supply of ammunition for present purposes, 25 Colt hostler pistols, 10 pack-saddles, 52 horses and mules, and 56 saddles. I have received no report from Major Moreland, but understand he has collected a large number of prisoners, horses, mules, &c. My force scarcely equaled that of the enemy.

I am indebted to the officers and men of the command for gallant conduct and cheerful endurance of hardship and hunger on this scout; but to Lieutenant-Colonel Morton and Major H. W. Bridges more than a passing tribute is due. The former led his gallant band with a cool skill and determination, admirable in the extreme, until knocked from his horse by a spent ball. The latter was, as usual, foremost in the fight, everywhere inspiring and encouraging the men and officers. With his own hand he killed 1 and wounded and captured several other Yankees. His horse was short under him and his coat pierced by a bullet, an evidence of the close character of the fight.

To the officers of my staff who were present-Captain Nugent, assistant adjutant-general; Captain Irwin, assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenant Tomlinson, aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant Richardson, picket officer-I am indebted for zealous and efficient discharge of duty in gallant style.


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. General S. D. LEE.

Page 38 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.