Roswell, Ga., July 13, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the part taken by my command in the action on Noonday Creek on June 20:
The general commanding directed that I should move camp at 3 p. m. across Noonday Creek, following the First Brigade, under command of Colonel Minty. Before the ambulance train of that brigade had crossed the creek the advance became engaged with the enemy over a mile in our front. The firing increased, and, as the bridge across the creek was a very indifferent one, and the banks and bottoms for some distance on each side were very miry and almost impassable for horses, I obtained permission from the general to cross my brigade dismounted, and at once crossed over with three regiments, viz: One hundred and twenty-third Illinois Mounted Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel J. Biggs commanding; Ninety-eighth Illinois Mounted Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel E. Kitchell commanding; Seventeenth Indiana Mounted Infantry, Captain Pinkerton commanding, was nearly all on picket duty, and the remainder of the regiment was left to guard our horses. The firing in front becoming more rapid, I formed my line as soon as possible on a ridge in the rear of where Colonel Minty was then engaged, thinking that the best ground, should we be pressed by the enemy in force. Colonel Minty soon sent back word that the enemy were flanking him on the sent to prevent it, while at the same time Major Vail, with the Seventeenth Indiana, was sent to support the right of his line. He (Minty) was at that time some three-quarters of a mile in advance of my line, and before the regiments I had sent forward reached him, his command was falling back, a largely superior force of the enemy following close behind, cheering and yelling, and the rain was pouring down in torrents. Lieutenant-Colonel Biggs, One hundred and twenty-third Illinois Volunteers, had been left where my line as first formed on the ridge, and as Colonel Minty’s line was broken, and but little prospect of his forming another on that side of the creek, I ordered back the two regiments sent out on his flanks, and was forming them in line on the left of the One hundred and twenty-third Illinois, when the whole rebel force attacked my lines and soon began pouring through a gap between the Seventeenth Indiana and One hundred and twenty-third Illinois Volunteers, which I had not yet had time to close. Colonel Biggs moved his regiment promptly to meet the emergency, and aided by Lieutenant-Colonel Kitchell and Major Vail, who changed their lines under the fire of the enemy, we soon had a good line formed and one continual sheet of fire of the enemy, we soon had a good line formed and one continual sheet of fire pouring from the muzzles of our Spencers. The enemy advanced in a good line, and made one or two desperate charges to break our lines, at one time coming so close that Colonel Biggs captured some prisoners inside of his lines, but finding that yelling availed them nothing, that their shooting could not drive us from our position, and hearing the shuts of the Seventy-second Indiana, which had been ordered forward, while at the same time the Board of Trade Battery opened upon them from the opposite bank of the creek, they turned and fled in confusion, in spite of all the efforts of their officers to bring them on the field again. It was now dark, and the general sent me orders to recross the creek with the command. The rain had by this raised the water so much that the adjoining bottoms were flooded, and the men were compelled to wade for some distance through mud and water to their knees.
The enemy’s force, as since ascertained, consisted of two divisions, under Kelly and Martin, and the independent brigades of Williams and Dibrell.
Our casualties, including those of the skirmish on the 19th instant, are as follows: One hundred and twenty-third Illinois Volunteers, 2 enlisted men wounded, 1 missing; Ninety-eighth Illinois Volunteers, 2 enlisted men wounded; Seventy-second Indiana Volunteers, 2 commissioned officers, 2 enlisted men killed, 1 commissioned officer and 7 enlisted men wounded and 2 enlisted men missing. Total, killed, 2 enlisted men; wounded, 3 commissioned officers and 17 enlisted men; missing, 3 enlisted men.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Captain R. P. KENNEDY,
Asst. Adjt. General, Second Div. Cav., Dept. of the Cumberland.