OCTOBER 22-25, 1862.--Expedition from Fort Donelson to Waverly, Tenn., with skirmishers.
No. 1.--Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Davies, U. S. Army, commanding District of Columbus.
No. 2.--Lieut. John B. Colton, Quartermaster Eighty-third Illinois Infantry.
Report of Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Davies U. S. Army, commanding District of Columbus.
COLUMBUS, KY., October 29, 1862
SIR: I have the honor to report an engagement near Waverly with Napier's guerrillas by a detachment of the Eighty-third Illinois Volunteers and one piece of artillery and 30 cavalry, under Maj. E. C. Brott, from Fort Donelson, assisted by Lieut.-Col. Patrick, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, and infantry from Fort Heiman.
Our forces amounted to about 500; the enemy 800. We killed 122, wounded several, took 15 prisoners and destroyed 12 barges and row-boats of the enemy, who would make no further fight.
THOS. A. DAVIES, Brig.-Gen.,
Report of Lieut. John B. Colton, Quartermaster Eighty-third Illinois Infantry.
COLUMBUS, KY., October 29, 1862.
DEAR SIR: I am directed by Brig.-Gen. Davies to hand you a report of the late battle near Waverly between a detachment of Eighty-third Regt. Illinois Volunteers, under the command of Maj. E. C. Brott, and a part of the rebel forces commanded by Col. Napier. The official report of the same not having yet been received, having been with the expedition, I give the facts as correctly as the circumstances will admit.
The Federal force left Fort Donelson on Tuesday, October 22, at 1 o'clock p. m., consisting of 140 infantry, 30 cavalry and 1 rifled gun of Capt. Flood's battery, and proceeded toward Waverly, which, is situated 40 miles north [south] west from Fort Donelson and 9 miles from the Tennessee River.
On Wednesday afternoon when within 6 miles of Waverly our advance guard of cavalry were fired upon by 25 mounted guerrillas, but without effect. At sunset of same day our advance came upon a band of 75 mounted guerrillas stationed in a thicket, one-half mile from the town of Waverly. They fired upon us, killing, 1 private and slightly wounding 2 others. Our force returned the fire, killing 4 (as near as could be ascertained) and wounding several others. We took 1 prisoner. The enemy immediately took to fight. Maj. Brott then ordered his command to fall back 1 mile, where we encamped for the night, troops lying on their arms. From the prisoner taken we ascertained that the rebel force amounted to 700 or 800 well-mounted men, armed with muskets and double-barreled shot-guns, with two rifled Parrot guns taken from the steamer Terry.
The next morning at 5 o'clock Maj. Brott ordered his command to fall back to White Oak Springs, about 14 miles, not thinking his force sufficiently strong to proceed farther. When about 6 miles from camp, at the crossing of a creek, a band of about 300 mounted guerrillas attacked us on our rear. At the time of the attack our forces were scattered, owing to a misunderstanding of the place of camping for breakfast. The order was to camp about 4 miles farther on. The enemy dashed in upon the troops, causing considerable confusion for a time, but they rallied and fired upon the enemy, the fire lasting about eight minutes, when he enemy retired with 8 men killed and several wounded, as was reported to us by their two surgeons whom we took prisoners. We had 1 man severely wounded and 2 slightly. On the battle grounds and on the march we took 15 prisoners. Our forces were then ordered to march back to Fort Donelson, where they arrived on Friday evening, October 25.
I suppose the reason of the whole of Napier's force not attacking us was from the fact that a Federal force of about 250 infantry, and cavalry, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Patrick, of Fifth Iowa Cavalry, coming up on the opposite side of the river from the enemy's camp, and they (the enemy) fearing an attack did not send out a large force. We did not know that Col. Patrick was on the opposite side of the river. He was ordered to go out on the road from Fort Heiman to Paris to reconnoiter, and on his return to camp went over to the river opposite the enemy's camp. He succeeded in destroying twelve barges and row-boats belonging to the enemy. He also fired several shots at them.
The foregoing are all the facts of importance that would be of service.
JNO. B. COLTON, Quartermaster Eighty-third Illinois Volunteers.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 463-464.
22, Confederate situation report relative to flour mill operation, pickets and scouts on the Tennessee River, Igou's to Blythe's Ferry
HDQRS. 35TH AND 48TH TENNESSEE REGIMENTS, Near Georgetown, Tennessee, October 22, 1863.
Gen. STEVENSON, Cmdg. at Charleston and Loudon, E. Tennessee:
I am commanding the Thirty-fifth and Forty-eighth Tennessee Regiments at this point, numbering about 400 men. I was sent here to gather up wheat and put three mills in operation, and to gather up stock for the army. Have been very successful in both. I am also picketing the Tennessee River from Igou's to Blythe's Ferry with my infantry and a few mounted [men] whom I have in my command.
The enemy has fortified and done a good deal of ditching on the opposite side at Blythe's Ferry. They have also ditched on the island at that point to protect them while hauling corn from the island. Col. Cooper, commanding a regiment in Spears' brigade, is in command of about 400 men at Blythe's Ferry. I have a good company of infantry guarding that point stationed on this side. Spears' headquarters are located on Sale Creek. The remainder of his brigade is with him. Byrd, commanding brigade of cavalry, is located at Post Oak Springs above.
I have scouts who go across the river every night. They report that Joe Clift, owning a mill on opposite [shore], and who has been grinding for the Federals, applied to Gen. Spears on last Tuesday or Wednesday for a guard for his mill. Gen. Spears replied that they were under marching orders and liable to move at any moment, consequently he could not furnish it. Gen. Spears told Joe Clift that the Federal forces in east Tennessee were in a precarious situation; that our troops were marching on them from above and below, and that he was fearful they would be cut off. The Union men and private soldiers are of the opinion that Rosecrans is preparing for a retrograde movement; that he could not support his army where he now is very long.
Rosecrans sent 1,000 wagons across Walden's Ridge by the Poe road, loaded with sick, wounded, and other surplus, as the Yankees say, on last Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday night four or five batteries passed up by Sale Creek in the direction of Post Oak Springs or Smith's Cross-Roads as though they were hunting out a road to Middle Tennessee or getting forage for their stock or going to East Tennessee. Our scout was not able to ascertain which. They were nearly starved, as they pressed Gen. Spears' corn as they went up by Sale Creek. They had a general rip and cursing spell. They said that their horses had had no forage for forty-eight hours.
Some of the gassing, boasting officers brag that Rosecrans had received 60,000 re-enforcements and would hold his position, while others of his men and officers said that he had not received one-half that number and could not hold it.
I have thus summed up and penned down the various items of information acquired by my scouts on the opposite side of the river. You can weigh it and judge for yourself. I hope if anything of importance should occur above you will let me know, and oblige,
Your obedient servant,
B. J. HILL, Col., &c.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. III, p. 577.