Report of Lieutenant Colonel Robert H. King, Third Kentucky Cavalry, commanding Third Brigade, of operations August 18-22 (Kilpatrick’s raid).
HDQRS. THIRD BRIGADE, THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,
Near Sandtown, Ga., August 23, 1864.
I have the honor to report that the Third Brigade moved from their camp, on the north bank of the Chattahoochee River, on the evening of the 18th, marching in the direction of the railroad leading from Atlanta to West Point. This road we crossed near daylight on the morning of the 19th, tearing up a portion of the track. After crossing this road heavy firing was heard in our rear, which was understood to be directed at the command of Colonel Monty. Nothing of interest occurred during the remainder of that day until we arrived in the neighborhood of Jonesborough, a station on the Macon railroad. The Third Brigade being in the rear I can give no detailed account of the operations at that point until 8 p. m., when my command arrived. The men were immediately ordered to commence tearing up and destroying the railroad, which they did most effectually for several miles. While engaged in this work of destruction the enemy in front of the Second Brigade opened a heavy fire, compelling my command to relinquish their work and hasten to the assistance of their comrades in front. The fire of the enemy, through severe, was of short duration. The Third Brigade was formed with its left resting on the railroad, the center behind barricades, and the right protected by a skirt of heavy timber. Nothing of interest occurred during the night except an ineffectual attempt of the enemy to dislodge a portion of our command.
The brigade moved with the balance of the expedition about 3 a. m. in the direction of McDonough and Fosterville. The operations of the brigade during the march until our arrival at the latter place are unworthy of mention. Arriving at Fosterville, we found the brigades of Colonels Minty and Long heavily engaged with what was supposed to be a large force of the enemy’s infantry. The Third Brigade was ordered into line on the left, and partially in rear of these two brigades. Shortly afterward the Ninety-second Illinois Mounted Infantry was ordered from their first position and assigned by Colonel Murray to a different part of the field. The lines of the Third and Fifth Kentucky Cavalry were in a short time changed for the purpose of holding in check any movement of the enemy in front of my brigade until our forces could form for the purpose of forcing their way through the enemy’s lines. Preparations for this movements being completed, the Third Brigade was ordered to form for the charge. Never did men obey an order with more alacrity or determination. When the word was given to charge they moved forward with enthusiasm, but with the utmost precision. In fifteen minutes after the charge they were in column ready for another.
To the officers and men of the brigade I returned my thanks for their gallant conduct on every occasion and for the cheerfulness with which they bore the fatigues of the march.
R. H. KING,
Lieutenant-Colonel Third Kentucky Cavalry, Commanding.
Lieutenant J. S. McREA,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.