Pace’s Ferry, Ga., August 27, 1864.
I have the honor to report that my regiment left camp on Peach Tree road, at 12 p. m. on the 17th instant, as rear guard of the brigade. Arrived at Sandtown at 8 a. m. on the 18th instant. Left Sandtown at sundown, as rear guard to the expedition, until, daybreak on the 19th, the order of march was changed. At 8 a. m. my command was fired into from and ambush. My Third Battalion, commanded by Major Andress, was cut off. With two battalions (First and Second) I proceeded down the road about 300 yards, dismounted, and formed a line, and deployed Company E as skirmishers. My Third Battalion rejoined regiment in about one hour, by making a circuit through the woods; barricaded the road, and remained until the entire command had passed. Received an order from Colonel Minty to rejoin the brigade at a cross-roads (name unknown). The brigade moved with the Second Battalion of my regiment, commanded by Captain B. S. Dartt, in the advance. With the remainder of the command I picketed the cross-roads until the entire command had passed. Two miles west of Jonesborough my Second Battalion was halted, with instructions to rejoin the brigade upon my arrival at Jonesborough, which I did about dusk. Here we rested for three hours; received an order from Colonel Minty to picket along the east side of the Atlanta and Macon Railroad. The pickets and vedettes were scarcely established before I received an order to draw the pickets in and rejoin the brigade at the rallying post of the brigade. After a half hour’s halt, the brigade moved out on the Lovejoy’s road, my regiment in the center. Four miles from Jonesborough we halted about two hours. My regiment moved in the advance. One mile and a quarter from the railroad we met the enemy, turned to the left, advanced some 300 yards, and found the enemy enforce; dismounted and deployed the First and Third Battalions to the right to cover the front of the brigade. We held our position until Long’s (Second) brigade was formed in our rear. The enemy pressed us with a heavy force of infantry, pouring volleys of musketry as they advanced. We succeeded in checking them twice. They advanced with renewed vigor, compelling us to retire in some disorder, owing to the loss of 3 officers and several sergeants commanding the companies. They were soon rallied, and I attempted to form the regiment on the right of the Second Brigade, which was only partially successful, owing to a part of my right being cut off by an [unexpected] move of the enemy. The center and left remained intact, until ordered to our horses, leaving the line of skirmishers out. After mounting, I drew in the skirmishers of my regiment and replenished our ammunition. Was ordered to form on the right of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, in a corn-field, which was complied with. Upon the completion “forward,” my regiment moved with alacrity, driving the enemy over gullies, fences, swamps, and through dense thickets, for two miles. As the rally was sounded by Colonel Minty, who led the charge, I halted, and found my regiment in very good order, considering the nature of the ground we charged over.
Colonel Minty ordered me to move to the left, in the direction of the main road; found nothing but a few stragglers of the enemy. At the main road I met the Second Brigade endeavoring to form. Halted and formed a line; received an order to rejoin the brigade; then moved about a mile; received another order to protect the rear; dismounted and deployed a company as skirmishers, and remained in line, until ordered to move as rear guard until we passed the first barricade. I was relieved. Camped about five miles south of Cotton River. Entered our lines on the left wing on the 22nd instant.
My loss is as follows: Captains, 2; lieutenant, 1. Enlisted men- killed, 5; wounded and missing, 10; wounded, 11; missing, 15. Total, 44. Horses lost, 112.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Regiment.
Captain R. BURNS,
A. A. A. G., First Brigadier, Second Cavalry Division.