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GRAVELLY SPRINGS
                                by Curtis J. Carley

Headquarters Fifth Iowa Cavalry, Macon, Ga,. April 24th, 1865.

General: In accordance with instructions from your headquarters, I have the honor to report, that during the campaign of the Cavalry Corps, M. D. M., commencing from Chickasaw Bluffs, Ala., on the morning of the 22nd of March, 1865, and now arrested at this place, the Fifth Regiment of Iowa Veteran Volunteer Cavalry has marched five hundred and eighty-two miles. On Tuesday, the 28th., the regiment being in advance, skirmished very slightly with a few of the enemy. From Five Mile Creek to the town of Elyton, capturing two of them, belonging to the Alabama Cavalry (Colonel Patterson commanding), near the town. This Confederate regiment had been hastily withdrawn from the Huntsville and Decatur Roads, on which it expected we would have advanced, and had passed through Elyton but a few hours previous to our advance entering. No loss or accident during the day. On Friday, the 31st ult., at Montevallo, about 11:30 )o’clock A. M., the enemy showed themselves in some force, in line. The Fifth Iowa Cavalry being in advance, and with one and one-half companies, which, with the non-commissioned staff and orderlies, comprised about sixty men in all, In column on the main road to Randolph, charged the enemy, breaking their lines, and following them up so closely as to frustrate their attempts to rally. After running our horses for about one and a half miles at the full charge, the heat and exhaustion were so great as to compel us to dismount. Our forces proceeded on foot, driving the enemy one or two miles further, when we were relieved by the First Brigade of the Fourth Division. In the charge (mounted) several of the enemy were ridden down and otherwise wounded; our force, however, was too small to guard the prisoners to the rear. Many undoubtedly took this opportunity to escape after surrendering. Twenty of these prisoners were received at corps headquarters. They belonged to Forest’s command, and some were of his provost guard. Proud of the honor of initiating this campaign, so promising in the important results, the regiment vied with itself in the giving to this first meeting with the enemy in force. The regiment lost one man mortally wounded (since dead). Saturday, April 1st, the regiment took part in the battle at Ebenezer Church. Arriving at a critical time, it was hastily dismounted by companies, as they arrived, and these were thrown successively against the enemy, where they rivaled one another in pressing forward, and in their bravery and daring. Some of the men of the regiment were picked up after the fight. Utterly exhausted, having charged about two miles on foot and wading Bogler’s Creek pursuing the enemy. The regiment captured one piece of artillery with limber chests and horses. The capture of prisoners was completely ignored in the eagerness of the men to press forward so long as there was an enemy in front still showing resistance. Shortly after the complete rout of the enemy, we were relieved by the First Brigade, Fourth Division, charging in, mounted. Sunday April 16th, Companies A and F, under direction of Brevet Major General Upton, opened the assault upon Columbus, charging upon the enemy’s right, and drawing their infantry and artillery fire. The regiment took a slight part in this engagement, by driving in the enemy’s outposts and skirmish line in their front and center. We then lay down, under fire from the enemy’s artillery, and awaited further orders. Companies E, L, and M, being my advance skirmish line, were ordered forward without my knowledge by the A. A. G. and took part in the general assault, which resulted in the capture of the enemy and place, without loss or accident. Each and every individual member of the regiment, both officers and men, have during this campaign, seemed to contest with each other in the bravery, daring and coolness, for the honor and glory of the regiment and the success of the cause; but neither opportunity nor accident offered to any individual the occasion for such distinction as would justify special mention.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
Morris Young, Colonel

Commanding Fifth Iowa Cavalry.




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Revised 7-15-1997

3-29-1998

by brother, Curtis J. Carley


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