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174 Series I Volume XXIII-I Serial 34 - Tullahoma Campaign Part I

Page 174 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

For Colonel Scott's operations, I refer you to the accompanying report. Touching this curious document, I have only to say that I cannot but admire the ingenuity with which Colonel Scott has attempted to account for disobedience of orders and dilatoriness of action, which, it is my sincere belief, lost us the fight.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant.,


Brigadier-General, Provisional Army Confederate States.

Captain J. G. MARTIN,

Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. of East Tennessee, Knoxville.

Numbers 5. Report of Colonel J. S. Scott, First Louisiana Cavalry.

APRIL 4, 1863.

SIR: In accordance with orders, on March 30, while you were engaged with the enemy on the Crab Orchard road, I moved from your left with my own and Colonel [James E.] Carter's regiment, to attack the enemy in flank and rear. After advancing about 1,000 yards, and reaching the head of a ravine that opened on the Craab Orchard road immediately in rear of the enemy's batteries, I came in contact with a regiment moving in column, dismounted, bearing guns with fixed bayonets. I ordered my men to front into line for a charge, but soon discovered that I had but 30 men with me. On inquiry as to what had become of my command, I was informed by Captain [G. A.] Scott, who had pushed up from the rear, that it had been cut off by Lieutenant [J. F.] Ransom, one of your aides, ordered to countermarch, and resume the position which I had left. The enemy, whom I met at the head of the ravine, fled without firing aa gun, and with my 30 men I marched back in the direction of where my command had been ordered by your aide. Before reaching them, however, I learned that you had ordered them back to me, and renewed the order to charge the enemy's rear. After my command had returned, I found that my movements were discovered by the enemy, and he had made such preparation as rendered it impossible to attack him as near his front as first intended. After moving a few hundred yards farther to the rear, I divided my command into three parts, placing six companies of the First Louisiana Cavalry under Lieutenant-Colonel [James O.] Nixon, and four under Captain [Samuel] Matthews, with orders to charge down at right angles to the Crab Orchard road, while Colonel Carter, by making a detour to the left, would strike the same road several hundred yards farther to the rear, and charge up it. Owing to the unevenness of the ground, the two detachments of the First Louisiana were unable to reach the road, mounted, and finding the enemy in force on their front, a part of the regiment was dismounted, which engaged him briskly, while Colonel Carter gallantly drove through a regiment of infantry and dispersed a detachment of cavalry. But finding the enemy in front of Colonel Nixon too strong, he filed to the right and formed in rear of the First Louisiana, who at that time were engaging the enemy with spirit and determination. Lieutenant-Colonel Nixon fought them until his ammunition was exhausted, when he retired to the rear of Colonel Carter, who have them a heavy volley as the cavalry

Page 174 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.