War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0348 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

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p.m., when I received orders to move my brigade down to go forward to the battle ground. It is proper for me to add that on my return to the river that evening on my way back to Columbus after the engagement was over, my attention was called to the large quantities of ammunition at different places on the river bank, some fifty boxes being untouched, and which was brought over to Columbus on the morning of the 8th.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,


Brigadier General Commanding Fifth Brigadier, First Div.

Major-General POLK,

Second in Command, Department Numbers 2.

Numbers 27. Report of Lieutenant Colonel M. J. Wright, One hundred and fifty-fourth Tennessee Infantry.


Columbus, Ky., November 9, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit to you the following report of the part taken by my command in the engagement with the enemy on the 7th instant:

On the morning of that day, between 9 and 10 o'clock in obedience to your order, I formed my regiment in line within the lines of my encampment where we remained awaiting further orders until about 1 o'clock, when I was ordered to move to the river.

Having arrived on the bank of the river, after some little delay we embarked on board the steamer Kentucky nearly opposite the headquarters of Major-General Polk, and were soon afterwards landed on the opposite shore, where we formed, and were ordered by Brigadier-General Cheatham to follow in pursuit of the retreating enemy. I moved the regiment in double-quick time in the direction indicated by General Cheatham, who led our advance, accompanied by yourself, Major-General Polk and General Pillow.

At a distance of some one and a half or two miles I was ordered to halt and send out a party of skirmishers on the side of a neighboring corn field. In obedience to this order, I detailed Captain Edward Fitzgerald, of Company F and 16 of his men, and then moved up the road rapidly until we came in sight of the enemy's boats three in number, supported by two gunboats.

At this point we found large quantities of baggage scattered in the road, indicating that our pursuit had been very close. We moved from here through a corn field fronting the enemy's fleet of boats, Colonel Smith leading the line, until we came to a lane dividing the field, and which led to the enemy's boats, the left wing of the regiment, under lead of General Cheatham, having filed around the field and taken position on the left and up the river. As we passed down the lane I discovered an officer mounted in front of the boats, and evidently urging the rapid embarkation of the troops. I ordered the men to reserve their fire until Colonel Smith should have placed the leading companies in position on the right, which he immediately did, and a volley of well-directed musketry was immediately opened by the leading companies upon the boats. I ordered the companies in the rear to pass