HDQRS. THIRD CAV. DIV., DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Near Flint River, August 31, 1864.
Lieutenant DAVID F. HOW,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Chief of Cavalry:
I have the honor to report that I forced a passage on the river half a mile below Jonesborough, drove in the enemy’s picket directly in his rear to a point within half a mile of the town, dismounted an entire brigade, sent the horses back across the river, and held the position. Repulsed two determined attacks of rebel infantry, and only retired when nearly enveloped, as I have since been informed, by the rebel General Cleburne’s entire division. The enemy forced me from the bank of the river, crossed on a bridge constructed by my people, attacked the Ninety-second Illinois in a position a few hundred yards from the river on the crest of the hill, was repulsed, and retired across the river. In the mean time Captain Qualman, Third Indiana Cavalry, with a strong force of picked men, dashed in on the railroad four miles below, effectually destroyed upward of fifty yards of track, burning the ties and bending the rails, and brought with him into camp about half a mile of telegraph wire. He lost 1 man killed. My people are now guarding all the roads leading from fords or bridges as far down as the point where the Jonesborough and Fayetteville road crossed the river. I will make every effort to learn the position, strength, and movements of the enemy, and keep you advised.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
NEAR JONESBOROUGH, GA., August 31, 1864.
Brigadier General J. KILPATRICK,
Commanding Cavalry Division:
Major-General Howard directs me to say that a large force of the enemy is in his front, quiet enveloping his position; that there are indications that the enemy is disposed to attack, and that consequently he cannot at present detach any portion of his command for the purpose of operating with you. He desires you to make a dash upon the road and destroy the telegraph wire if possible. Just as soon as it can be done the infantry will be pushed over into the road.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SAML. L. TAGGART,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,
On Flint River, August 31, 1864.
Lieutenant-Colonel CLARK, Assistant Adjutant-General:
COLONEL: Your dispatch has been received. I have opened communication with your infantry on the right, which now occupies a position from a half to three-quarters of a mile from this point. The shells from one of your batteries reach the enemy’s position, the left of which rests on the Fayetteville road, not quite half a mile from Jonesborough. I have a lookout upon a house overlooking the enemy’s left. A small force of cavalry is now passing down the railroad, with, it is thought, one piece of artillery and two covered wagons. No infantry can be seen on or passing to the right. Fearing that this force of cavalry was moving to intercept my men already sent to destroy the wire, I have ordered Colonel Jones, with his brigade, to attack in flank and hold them in check until the object of the expedition is accomplished. A train of cars is now passing south; brakemen can be seen on the cars, but no troops. The country on both sides of the river about this point is quite open. I have 100 men at a good ford one mile and a half below this point, and a sufficient force is at the bridge burned by the rebels five miles farther down. I expect the bridges are quite all burnt for a considerable distance down, but any of them can be repaired in a very short time. Our position is now so very near the railroad that any formidable force of cavalry can strike it at pleasure.