NEGenWeb Project
Kansas Collection Books

Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska

Military History
Produced by Ted and Carole Miller.

Part 1:
Military History | Death of Logan Fontenelle
Part 2:
The Rebellion | Proclamation
Part 3:
First Infantry (afterward First Cavalry)
Part 4:
Second Nebraska Cavalry
Part 5:

First Battalion Nebraska Veteran Cavalry
The First Regiment in Nebraska.

Part 6:
The Curtis Horse
Part 7:
The Curtis Horse (cont.)
Part 8:

Public Acknowledgment | The Distinguished Soldiers
Department of the Platte

Part 7


February 1, Companies L and M were furloughed at Cairo and embarked on a steamer for St. Louis. Companies G, I and K were also furloughed, and left on cars for Minnesota. At noon, the same day, Lieut. Col. Patrick, with the remaining companies of the regiment, left Cairo on a special train for Davenport, at which place he arrived February 3, and furloughed the remaining companies to their respective homes, to report at Davenport March 5.

March 22, the regiment left Davenport by railroad en route for Nashville, where it arrived March 31, and went into camp near the city.

The alterations in the First Battalion for the month of April, 1864, were as follows:

First Sergt. Joseph Rich, appointed Second Lieutenant, to date from April 17, 1864; First Lieut. C. B. Smith, Company A, resigned, to date from April 25, 1862.

About May 1, Col. Lowe was assigned to the command of the Third Cavalry Division, and Maj. Young and Lieuts. Hains and Watson detailed on his staff.

All the unarmed portion of the regiment, under command of Lieut. Col. Patrick, remained in camp near Nashville, to draw horses and arms for the regiment.

During the month of June, 1864, Lieut. Col. Patrick succeeded in obtaining some 360 horses and a few carbines, and horse equipments enough for the whole regiment.

His portion of the regiment was employed in taking trains of horses and cattle from Nashville to Chattanooga, the armed portion of the regiment doing duty at and around Pulaski.

July 5, the detachment at Pulaski was ordered to Decatur, and July 8, the detachment at Nashville (except some recruits who were not armed) broke camp at midnight, and moved into Nashville, where men, horses and horse equipments were put on a train of cars and started for Decatur at 1 o'clock P. M., arriving at a station about three miles from that place at 2 o'clock in the morning of July 9, where the train was unloaded, and the command arrived at Decatur at 2 o'clock P. M.

The officers and men of the regiment worked all that night mounting, equipping and preparing for the Rousseau raid. All the necessary preparations being completed, on Sunday, July 10, at 2 o'clock P. M., Gen. Rousseau's command left Decatur, Ala., to carry the banner of our country through regions of rebeldom where it had not been since the war commenced. The command of Gen. Rousseau consisted of the Eighth Indiana, Second Kentucky and Ninth Ohio Cavalry, composing the First Brigade, under command of Col. T. J. Harrison, Eighth Indiana Cavalry; the Fifth Iowa and Fourth Tennessee Cavalry and a section of artillery comprising the Second Brigade, under command of Lieut. Col. Patrick, Fifth Iowa Cavalry; Maj. Beard commanding the regiment.

The whole command was well armed, lightly equipped, and carried five days' rations of bread and bacon and-fifteen days' rations of coffee and sugar. No wagons accompanied the expedition, and but one ambulance to each regiment; three pack mules to each company, carrying ammunition, rations, axes, etc.

The command of Gen. Rousseau moved out of Decatur quietly, and perfect order and discipline were maintained on the entire march. Company C, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, Capt. Matthews commanding, was detailed as provost guard. No soldier was allowed to enter or take anything from dwelling-houses. When it became necessary to collect provisions, a squad, under the command of a commissioned officer, was detailed to collect them. To these wise precautions of Gen. Rousseau may be attributed much of the successful issue of his raid; for no one cause produces so much demoralization in the army as permitting soldiers to straggle from their commands in order to plunder and maraud. The command marched about seventeen miles and made their bivouac in the town of Somerville, Ala. July 11, broke camp at daylight, and marched and went into camp. July 12, broke camp at daylight, resumed the march, passing through Blountsville about noon, and, crossing the sand mountain, went into camp five miles from Ashville at midnight, except the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, which moved in and occupied the town of Ashville. July 13, the command broke camp at daylight, and marched into Ashville and went into camp until 2 o'clock P. M., when the command resumed the march in the direction of the Coosa River, where it arrived at Springville about 8 o'clock P. M. About two miles from Springville, the first casualty of the expedition occurred. The Fifth Iowa Cavalry was rear guard of the command, Companies E and D being about 300 yards in rear of the regimental mule train. Capts. Curl and Wilcox were riding along about half way between the rear guard and mule train, when a party of seven bushwhackers, who had been concealed in the thick brush close to the road, hailed them and ordered them to surrender, but, hoping to escape, they put spurs to their horses. The bushwhackers fired on them, killing Capt. Curl instantly and wounding Capt. Wilcox severely, a ball and seven buckshot passing through his right thigh and one buckshot through the calf of his right leg. The command went into camp on the bank of the Coosa River. That night our two Parrott guns, the mule train and four companies of the Eighth Indiana Cavalry were ferried over the river, with orders to move down the south side of the river to cover the crossing of the main column at a ford four miles below, called Ten Islands, or Jackson's Ford, from the fact of Gen. Jackson having crossed there during the Creek war. At daylight, on the morning of the 14th, the artillery and cavalry began to move down on the south side of the river. The enemy, to the number of 500, under Gen. Clanton, collected during the night, to prevent, if possible, our crossing, but the four companies of cavalry being armed with Spencer carbines, drove the enemy steadily before them. At the same time, the main column moved down to the ford, and the advance moved over to the island, but, as they attempted to cross from the island, they were fired upon by the enemy, 500 of whom were posted where they could command the ford.

As the river here was over one-fourth of a mile wide and very rocky and swift, it was deemed impolitic to attempt the crossing under fire of the enemy. Sharpshooters were sent over to the island, and the remaining eight companies of the Eighth Indiana Cavalry were sent back to cures at the ferry, and come down in the enemy's rear. But before they could get around, the four companies of cavalry had driven the enemy down to the ford and formed line in the enemy's rear. When the bugle sounded the charge, the enemy fled in confusion leaving ten killed, many wounded and fifteen prisoners in our hands, our loss being one man (Eighth Indiana Cavalry) wounded. The main column then crossed the ford, among the rocks, many horses falling and their riders having to abandon them and struggle through the rushing waters to the shore. To have crossed this ford in the face of the enemy would have resulted in serious loss to us, but the whole command crossed over safely, resuming the march, the Fifth Iowa in advance. During the afternoon, arrived at an extensive iron works, which it was found had been employed in manufacturing shot and shell for the enemy. The buildings and their contents were burned. The command only halted long enough to prepare a hasty meal and then moved on. Soon after starting, the advance encountered a reconnoitering party of the enemy sent out from Talladega, but the well-directed fire of our advance sent them back to Talladega as fast as their horses could carry them. The march was continued till 2 o'clock in the morning, when the command bivouacked within ten miles of Talladega at daylight. July 15, the command was again moving and marching rapidly forward, reaching Talladega about 9 o'clock A. M. Here Gen. Rousseau burned the depot of the Blue Mountain & Selma Railroad, filled with cotton and supplies for the rebel army. The telegraph was destroyed for some distance, the railroad torn up and a bridge burned.

The command moved out of Talladega about 12 M., and, about two miles from town, encamped long enough to prepare dinner, and then marched until 3 o'clock the next morning, when the command bivouacked, and the weary men, throwing themselves from their horses, slept for an hour. At daylight, the command again moved on till 2 o'clock P. M., when they halted for two hours to feed their horses and get dinner. At 4 o'clock, the command again moved on, reaching Tallapoosa River about 8 o'clock P. M.

At Stone Ferry, where the main command crossed, a very rapid and dangerous ford, several of the men were obliged to swim ashore, leaving their horses in the stream. The artillery and mule train were ferried over, which occupied all night, the ferrying being done by Company H, Fifth Iowa.

The command left the Tallapoosa River about sunrise, July 17, marching rapidly forward; arrived at Lochapoka, on the West Point & Montgomery Railroad, about 8 o'clock P. M. As the destruction of 'this railroad was the main object of this expedition, the work was at once begun by burning the depot. One-half of the command worked all night tearing up and burning the railroad, the other half lying on their arms all night. At daylight, July 18, Maj. Beard, in command of a detachment, consisting of Companies B, F, H, and M, Fifth Iowa, and two companies of the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, started out for the purpose of destroying some trestle work on the railroad near Chehaw Station. When near the station, the detachment encountered a force of 1,200 of the enemy, who had just arrived on a train from Montgomery A brisk fight ensued for half an hour, but the enemy being in such superior forge, we were obliged to fall back about a mile, when a line of battle was formed and reinforcements sent for. The remaining companies of the Fifth Iowa and the Eighth Indiana Cavalry came up, and, advancing on the enemy dismounted, completely routed and dispersed them, killing thirty and wounding a large number. Our loss was one man in Company H, D. D. Sage, and two men in Company M, killed, and eight wounded, all of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry. Soon after the fight, the entire command left Lochapoka, moving along the railroad in the direction of West Point; marched through Auburn, burning the depot there, and camping on the railroad some three miles from Auburn.

July 18, at daylight, the command resumed the march along the railroad, destroying the track as it went. This railroad was made of strap rail laid on sleepers of pitch pine, which, being very dry, burned freely, consuming the ties. About noon, the command reached the town of Opelika, and halted for the purpose of preparing dinner. About 1 o'clock P. M., the Fifth Iowa was ordered out to destroy a mile of railroad in the direction of West Point. The road running through thick timber and brush, Lieut. Hays, Company H, was ordered to take twenty men, and form a skirmish line and move on the right of the advance of the regiment, to protect the working party and prevent surprise by the enemy. The skirmish line had not advanced more than 300 yards when it was fired on by bushwhackers, concealed in thick brush, and Private James Koonts was instantly killed. Soon after the regiment was ordered back to Opelika, and the whole command started on the return march to our lines; We moved down the railroad toward West Point, thereby inducing the enemy to believe we intended to attack that place. When within fifteen miles of West Point, Gen. Rousseau left the railroad and marched directly to the town of La Fayette, reaching that place at dark. Information was received that the enemy were in force in our immediate front. Preparations were at once made for battle; the mule train was broken up; the pack-saddles burned; all the ammunition distributed among the men, and the march resumed in the direction of Carrollton. Silently the command filed out of La Fayette, and through the dark forest, expecting every moment to encounter the enemy. The march was continued till 3 o'clock in the morning, when Glen. Rousseau halted his command in a dark wood, and in a few moments the wearied men and horses had sunk to rest, and the stillness of death reigned over the entire command. It was subsequently learned, that while we were bivouacked there, the enemy's cavalry, to the number of 4,000, had passed within two miles of us in the direction of West Point, from which point we were only eighteen miles distant, and to the relief of which the enemy's cavalry were hastening, as they expected us to attack that place at daylight in the morning. But the well-executed strategy of Gen. Rousseau threw the enemy entirely off our track; nor did they become aware of our actual route until we were beyond their reach.

At daylight, July 31, the march was resumed about 2 o'clock P. M. The command passed through Carrollton. Here the advance was fired on by citizens, but without loss to us. One citizen was killed. About 9 o'clock, the command passed through Villa Rica, and at midnight bivouacked in the woods.

July 22, arrived at Marietta at sunset, and went into camp, the men and horses nearly worn out with an almost continuous march of thirteen days and nights, during which time the command marched 380 miles, entirely in the enemy's territory, destroyed thirty-five miles of railroad, five large depots filled with cotton and supplies for the rebel army, one shot and shell manufactory, one locomotive and train of cars and captured many valuable horses and mules, inflicting a loss on the enemy estimated at $20,000,000. Our loss, one Captain and four privates killed, and eight privates wounded. All the above loss was in the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, except one man of the Eighth Indiana Cavalry, wounded, which shows the prominent part the Fifth Iowa bore in what may well be determined the most successful raid of the war.

At noon of July 26, Gen. McCook started on his memorable and disastrous raid in rear of Atlanta. The object of the raid was the destruction of the enemy's communications on the Atlanta & Macon Railroad, the objective point being Lovejoy Station. All that afternoon and the following night, the march was continued very slowly down the Chattahoochie River, and, at sunrise of July 28, had only reached Campbellton, from which point the command passed down the river under fire of the enemy, a force of whom were posted behind houses across the river, in Campbellton. About 4 o'clock P. M., the pontons were laid across the Chattahoochie River, at a point about five miles below Campbellton, and the command crossed and pushed rapidly forward, reaching Palmetto Station, on the Atlanta & West Point Railroad, about dark. Here were stationed about 600 of the enemy, who, after a slight skirmish were driven off and the depot fired, the telegraph torn down and the railroad track torn up for a short distance. The command started out, leaving the Fifth Iowa Cavalry to bring up the rear. After waiting an hour, and seeing the depot and large cotton warehouse nearly consumed the Fifth Iowa Cavalry closed up the rear. The command marched all night, arriving at Fayetteville, nineteen miles from Palmetto, at daylight on the morning of July 29. Before arriving at Fayetteville, the command met with a train of 500 wagons, containing the extra baggage of the rebel army at Atlanta, sent out on this road for safety, and so secure did they feel, that no guards or pickets were posted, and the whole train and the officers and men fell an easy prey into our hands. We captured 250 prisoners, most of them officers. About 2,000 fine mules and horses were taken with the train, which was loaded with every species of army property. The wagons, with their contents, were burned.

The destruction of this train was an immense loss to the enemy. The command moved on from Fayetteville to Lovejoy Station, where it arrived about noon, and commenced tearing up the Atlanta & Macon Railroad, and also burned the depot at Lovejoy. Remaining there about two hours, the Fifth Iowa Cavalry was ordered out in advance of the column on the return, the command marching on two roads. The Eighth Iowa being in the rear, was cut off by a brigade of the enemy, and a sharp fight ensued in which the Eighth Iowa lost two lieutenants and twenty men killed. Part of the command turned back and relieved he Eighth Iowa from the perilous position.

The Fifth Iowa Cavalry moved out rapidly, and, on arriving at the bridge over Flint River, found the enemy in the act of firing the bridge. They were quickly driven away by the advance, and the Fifth Iowa crossed over with our two Parrott guns, which were placed in position to cover the bridge, the Fifth Iowa supporting the battery. In a short time, the whole command arrived and crossed the bridge, which was then destroyed. The Fifth Iowa Cavalry was then ordered out in advance on a road leading to the right of Fayetteville, and, after marching about two miles, were ordered back to the command. Again they were ordered out on the same road, and, arriving at the place they had previously reached, were ordered back to the command, who, during all this marching and counter- marching, were quietly sitting on their horses in the road. In this way three precious hours were lost. Finally, at dark, Gen. McCook sent four companies of the Fifth Iowa to the rear, with orders to remain four hours after the whole command had passed. The balance of the command he placed in front, Company H, Lieut. Hays in command, in the advance, with orders if he met the enemy to charge into them and not suffer the command to halt for a moment.

The command then started out on a road leading some four miles north of Fayetteville. Soon after starting, the advance ran into a force of the enemy and opened on them such a brisk fire that they fled, escaping in the darkness. The command moved very slowly during the night, and at daybreak had not marched more than ten miles. The mule train and prisoners impeded the march very much, delaying the column half an hour at a time in crossing streams and swamps.

About 10 o'clock A. M., July 30, the advance reached the town of Newman, and five companies of the Fifth Iowa and two companies of the Eighth Indiana, under command of Maj. Beard, charged into the town, but were obliged to retire under a heavy fire of the enemy, about 1,000 of whom occupied the town. Gen. McCook then formed the Fifth Iowa and Eighth Indiana in line of battle before the town, while he moved the mule train, prisoners and the balance of his command around the town on the left, the movement occupying two hours, and compelling the command to march at least five miles out of a direct course, thereby enabling the enemy to concentrate a large force in our front. After passing Newman about four miles, the command turned to the right and moved on a road leading directly to the Chattahoochie River. We had moved on this road about five miles, when the advance was attacked by Wheeler's Cavalry, who stubbornly contested our advance. After an hour's skirmishing, the two Parrott guns were put in position and shelled the enemy vigorously. They charged the guns three times and were repulsed each time with considerable loss. The ammunition being exhausted, the guns were spiked and abandoned, after cutting down the wheels.

It was now found that the enemy had completely surrounded us with a heavy force of cavalry, commanded by Gens. Wheeler, Jackson, Hune, Ross and Rody. Accordingly, orders were issued to each regiment to form and charge through the enemy's lines, which was done successfully, with the exception of the Eighth Iowa, which regiment, being ordered to cover the rear, was cut off by the enemy and nearly all captured. After breaking through the enemy's lines, the command scattered, reaching the Chattahoochie River at different places. Gen. McCook with the Fifth Iowa, Eighth Indiana and Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, arrived at Philpot Ferry about midnight, and commenced crossing in a ferry-boat, the Eighth Indiana crossing first. This occupied the time till sunrise, about which time the enemy appeared in force and attacked our men who had not crossed the river, and who, finding themselves opposed to overwhelming numbers, abandoned most of their horses and escaped, mostly by swimming the river. After crossing, Gen. McCook marched out to Rock Mills, and then collecting the mounted men, he ordered the dismounted men to take to the woods and make to our lines the best way they could. The General then pushed on with the mounted men in the direction of Carlton, but before reaching that place made a circuit of some thirty miles in the direction of Rome, and finally reached Marietta five days afterward. The dismounted men took to the woods in small parties, and, having no arms to defend themselves with, became an easy prey to the citizens, who patrolled the woods in every direction with packs of hounds, picking up our men. Some of the poor fellows were out twelve days in the woods before reaching our lines, and endured almost unparalleled privations of hunger and fatigue, being hunted by the inhuman enemy like wild beasts.

The loss of the Fifth Iowa in this ill-fated raid was heavy, and First Lieut. Hays, Company H, taken prisoner and 119 men killed, wounded and captured.

The only alterations in the battalion for the month of July, 1864, were as follows: William Carl, Captain Company D, killed near Coosa River, July 13, 1864.

August 1, 1864, Col. Lowe was ordered to Nashville to take charge of the dismounted cavalry of the Department of the Cumberland, to superintend the mounting, arming and equipping of the same.

On the 28th of August, the regiment, Maj. Young commanding, was again called on as a part of the Third Cavalry Division, to take part in the grand movement of Gen. Sherman, to turn the rebel flank and fall on their rear at, Jonesboro.

On the 24th of August, Maj. Young was placed in command of the Third Brigade, composed of the Fifth Iowa and Third Indiana--Lieut. Col. Kline having to go to the rear from sickness.

Skirmishing continually until the night of the 3d of August, the army secured the crossing of Flint River within two miles of Jonesboro, and, on the morning of the 31st of August, the Third Cavalry Division, under Gen. Kilpatrick, was ordered down the river one and a half miles, to secure and hold the bridge and ford directly west of Jonesboro. The First Brigade of the division was placed to protect our right and rear on this side of the river, while the Second and Third Brigades, some 600 in all, were sent across to hold the opposite side. When, at 3 o'clock P. M., the rebels made their grand assault on our main line, our little cavalry forge threatened and harassed their left flank so seriously, that they detached from their main force Gen. Cleburn's famous division of infantry, to fall on our devoted band and punish our temerity. Stubbornly contesting every inch of ground against overwhelming numbers, closing in on both flanks, we held the enemy until their main attack was repulsed by our army in front. The Fifth Iowa Cavalry was complimented by Gen. Howard, commanding, in an order, of which the following is an extract: * * "Embalming forever the name of every hero who fell from our ranks that day, the Fifth Iowa, though least in numbers, lost heaviest in the action--Second Lieut. McGuire killed, and eight men wounded and ten missing."

The alterations in the regiment for the month of August, 1864, were as follows:

First Lieut. William McBeath, appointed Captain of Company D, vice Curl, killed, to date from August 17, 1864.

Second Lieut. Peter McGuire, killed in action near Jonesboro, Ga., August 31,1864.

Lieut. Col. Patrick, resigned September 31, 1864.

During the month of October, the regiment were, most of the time, in camp, drilling and equipping for the field. The 27th of October, Maj. Young, with the effective force of the regiment, started by rail, for Louisville, Ky., to procure horses for the regiment. He succeeded in obtaining 500 horses at Louisville, and started, November 3, for Nashville, reaching camp November 14. Soon after, 500 Spencer carbines were obtained for the regiment. November 22, the regiment, under command of Maj. Young, left camp for Columbia, Tenn., marched to Franklin and encamped. November 23, marched to within four miles of Columbia and went into camp. At 2 o'clock, on the morning of the 24th, Maj. Young received orders from the commanding officer at Columbia, to march his regiment into town at once, as the enemy were expected to attack the place. The regiment, accordingly, moved out and reached Columbia at sunrise, and was at once ordered out on the Mount Pleasant road. The rebel cavalry had driven a brigade of our cavalry, under Col. Capron, in from Mount Pleasant. The Fifth Iowa was formed in line of battle, about a mile from Columbia, but the enemy did not attack. About 4 o'clock P. M., the regiment moved back to Duck River, and went into camp about a mile from Columbia. November 25, at 3 o'clock P. M., the Fifth Iowa was ordered out, to make a reconnoissance on the Pulaski road, to develop the location and strength of Hood's force, who was investing the tours. Moving outside of our lines, the Fifth Iowa advanced gallantly on the enemy, and drew their fire, standing their ground till the enemy moved a heavy force of infantry against them, when the regiment was ordered to fall back, which they did without loss.

The regiment was highly complimented by Gen. Stanley, under whose supervision the reconnoissance was made, for their gallantry and promptness.

November 26, the regiment moved down Duck River near the bridge, and was formed in line of battle, remaining till noon, when it was ordered up Duck River to prevent the rebel cavalry, under Frost, from crossing Col. Capron's Brigade, to which the Fifth Iowa had been assigned. Went into camp on Lewisburg pike, and next morning, November 27, Companies B, D and H, of the Fifth Iowa, were sent on a reconnoissance to Lewisburg and returned at 5 o'clock P. M, with information that a rebel force of cavalry were moving up from Columbia in the direction of Shelbyville.

November 28, four companies of the Fifth Iowa crossed Duck River on a reconnoissance, and, after marching out three miles from the river, developed a heavy force of Forrest's Cavalry advancing, and were obliged to fall back over the river. The different companies of the Fifth Iowa were posted at several fords to keep the enemy from crossing. They made their appearance at all points along the river, but, by hard fighting, the Fifth Iowa kept them from crossing till dark, when it was found they had crossed in heavy force above and entirely cut off the Fifth Iowa, Sixteenth Illinois and Eighth Michigan, who were penned up in a bend of the river with a line of the enemy across their entire rear. As Col. Capron, commanding the brigade, could not be found, Maj. Young, commanding the Fifth Iowa, assumed command of the above-named regiments, and at once prepared to charge out through the enemy's lines. Advancing cautiously until within sight of the enemy's campfires, Maj. Young gave the order to charge, when the whole force dashed gallantly through the enemy's lines and down the road in the direction of Franklin, and at 11 o'clock that night reported at Gen. Wilson's headquarters.

Maj. Young was highly complimented by Maj. Gen. Wilson, commanding Cavalry Corps, for his gallantry in bringing the command through the enemy's lines. The loss of the Fifth Iowa at the fords on Duck River was fifteen men killed, wounded and missing. November 29, the whole Cavalry Corps moved in the direction of Franklin and camped near that place. November 30, the Fifth Iowa crossed the Harpeth River and was placed to hold the ford at the crossing of the old Franklin & Nashville road, which they did during the battle of Franklin, and, after the battle, covered the rear of Gen. Thomas' army as it fell back as far as Brentwood.

The regiment went from there across the Nashville pike and camped about 4 P. M.

The alterations in the battalion for the month of November, 1864, were as follows:

Capt. Alfred Mathias, Company C, mustered out, to date from November 14, 1864.

Maj. Harlan Beard, appointed Lieutenant Colonel, vice Patrick, resigned, to date from November 19, 1864.

December 3, Col. Beard, with the effective part of the regiment, started to Hopkinsville, Ky., to press horses, and returned to camp December 9, with 400 fine horses.

The Fifth Iowa Cavalry was here assigned to the First Brigade of the Sixth Cavalry Division, commanded by Col. T. J. Harrison. December 12, the entire Cavalry Corps moved across the Cumberland River, and went into camp on the Charlotte pike inside our line, preparatory to the grand movement of Gen. Thomas against Hood's army, which was investing Nashville.

At 5 o'clock on the morning of December 16, the movement began, the cavalry, the Fifth Iowa in advance, moving out of our lines and on the Charlotte pike. After marching about three miles, the Fifth Iowa encountered a strong force of the enemy posted behind a stone fence. They opened on us with shell, the first shot killing Lieut. John W. Watson, Company H. The regiment then drove the enemy from behind the fence and four miles beyond without further loss. The regiment then went into camp. December 17, the regiment marched about six miles on the pike, and then turned in the direction of Franklin, where they arrived about 10 o'clock A. M.; the command commenced skirmishing with Chalener's rebel cavalry, driving them from the town. The regiment was then sent out on the Spring Hill pike on a reconnoissance, but did not meet the enemy. They camped at night eight miles from Franklin.

December 18, at daylight, the regiment moved out on the pike, and, after passing Spring Hill about two miles, ran into the enemy's pickets, driving them into a line of rifle-pits. The Seventh Ohio and Fifth Iowa were drawn up in line of battle, and were under a severe fire of artillery for ten minutes, when the Fifth Iowa was dismounted and advanced on the enemy at a charge, drove them from their works and two and a half miles beyond, inflicting a severe loss on the enemy. Our loss was one man slightly wounded. The regiment then returned and camped in the woods, out of which they had driven the enemy.

December 19, the regiment lay in camp waiting for rations till 4 o'clock P. M., then marched to within four miles of Columbia and went into camp.

December 25, the Fifth Iowa took the advance at daylight, and, after marching three miles, commenced skirmishing with the enemy, driving them into Pulaski, where they made a stand. The Fifth Iowa formed in line and charged through the town and across the bridge over Richland Creek, taking fifty prisoners. Our loss was First Sergt. Klint Poins, Company I, and Private Christian Brennar, Company C, killed; Private Christopher Shuck, Company C, mortally wounded same day; Private William Armstrong, mortally wounded, died four days afterward; Corp. Edward C. Taiker, Company C, and Corp. James Rannals, Company I, wounded. The regiment moved on, skirmishing with the enemy, and drove them into barricades five miles from Pulaski. The Seventh Ohio was then ordered up, and both regiments gallantly charged the barricades under a withering fire, but were obliged to fall back about 300 yards, being charged by five regiments of infantry and five regiments of cavalry, but our men held the ground till the main force (Glen. Hatch's command) came up and drove the enemy in confusion from their works. The Fifth Iowa then went into camp. The loss of the Fifth Iowa in this fight was, in wounded, Private Winfield Combs, Company A; Privates M. C. W. Bayliss and Peter Berington, Company B; Privates Christian Bersmyer and Henry Saulsbury, Company E; Privates Samuel G. Allison and James B. Gallord, Company G; Sergeant William Sutler, Corp. S. W. Hoffman, Privates E. C. Blakesley and George Wheeler, Company I; Private Matthias Christnach, Company L; Private Fred Sable, Company M.

December 26, the regiment moved out at daylight and marched fifteen miles on Lamb's Ferry road, and went into camp.

December 27, the regiment lay in camp waiting for rations.

December 28, the regiment moved out at daylight, marched on the Florence road and encamped three miles beyond Lexington.

December 29 and 30, the regiment lay in camp.

December 31, the regiment broke camp at daylight, marched twenty miles and camped on the bank of Elk Creek.

The alterations in the regiment for the month of December, 1864, were as follows:

Second Lieut. John W. Watson, Company H, killed in action near Nashville, December 15, 1864.

J. C. Wilcox, Captain Company H, appointed Major, vice Beard, promoted, to date from December 20, 1864.

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