HQ, First & Third Brig.
Second Cavalry Division
Maysville, Ala., October 22, 1863

SIR: In accordance with directions from division headquarters, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my command in the recent pursuit of Wheeler's rebel cavalry:

While encamped near Winchester, Tenn., having received very positive information that the enemy intended to destroy our line of railroad communication between Nashville and Chattanooga, I moved with my command (Fifth Iowa Cavalry) to the support of the forces stationed at Elk River Bridge, judging that to be one of the most exposed points on the line. Upon my arrival (October 5, 1863, at 10 a.m.), I communicated with Major-General Granger for orders. At 5 p.m. I received an order from General Rosecrans to collect all the cavalry at Murfrees-borough and elsewhere to pursue Wheeler and Forrest; to keep on their flank and join General Crook.

By 10 p.m. one battalion of the Third Ohio Cavalry, Major Howland commanding, from Decherd Station, was reported for the march. At daylight on the 6th, I moved up the railroad, passing Tullahoma at 12 m., and reaching Duck River Bridge at 3 p.m. At this point I found Colonel Coburn, with an infantry force, who reported the enemy at Wartrace, burning the bridge, destroying railroad track, &c., and requested me to move on, stating that he would follow with infantry by railroad.

At 5 p.m. attacked and drove the enemy from the burning bridge; pushed him through the town of Wartrace, attacked the main body, consisting of General Martin's division, drawn up in force beyond a creek and ravine, dislodged and pursued him till after dark, killing and wounding some 30; of my command 1 killed and 1 wounded.

Returned to Elk River at 11 p.m. for forage and rations. Found that Major-General Butterfield had arrived in the meantime with a considerable force of infantry and assumed command. Here I was joined by Colonel Galbraith, with six companies of the First Middle Tennessee Cavalry. October 7.--Under orders from General Butterfield, I moved on Shelbyville in co-operation with two other columns, moving upon different roads, the report having reached General Butterfield that the enemy was occupying the town in force.

On my arrival at Shelbyville, 12 m., I learned that part of General Crook's command had already passed through, was up with the enemy, and skirmishing when last heard from. Communicated with General Butterfield, whose column had not yet arrived, and as soon as relieved from his command moved on toward Farmington, joining the main cavalry command trader General Crook near that point about 10 p.m., Colonel Galbraith's command having been left at Shelbyville by order of General Mitchell.

October 8.--By direction of the general commanding, I followed in rear of the column with my command, camping at night near Pulaski, where, by Special Field Orders, No. 1, from division headquarters, the First and Third Brigades were consolidated and placed under my command. October 9.--Brigade leading column, Fifth Iowa Cavalry in advance, came up with enemy's skirmishers about 10 a.m.. and soon found the enemy in some force (supposed to be Kilpatrick's brigade), with temporary barricade erected on west side of Sugar Creek. By a well-executed saber charge of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, 85 prisoners were captured, 13 of the enemy killed, a number wounded, and the remnant of his force dispersed in all directions.

On our side I man wounded. Camped near Rogersville, Ala., after having pursued the enemy to and beyond Elk River and finding that his force had succeeded in crossing the Tennessee at a ford. Of the operations of my command from the 10th instant to the present time I deem it unnecessary to speak. Owing to the length and rapidity of our marches my horses are much jaded, and will require some considerable time and rest before they will again be fit for active operations.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Colonel Fifth Iowa Cavalry, Commanding.
Second Cavalry Division, Brownsborough, Ala.

Submitted by Jim Davis