all needful help. He ordered forward Colonel Morgan, with two regiments and the Yates Sharpshooters, who reached the old field north of Tuscumbia Bottom a little after dark, where they found General A. J. Smith and General Granger, with his cavalry and Powell's battery, withdrawn from the bottom, where it came near being entangled. Colonel Bissell, with a detachment of 300 men, had accompanied the advance, and was in the bottom, where he and the head of the cavalry column had been fired into by sharpshooters and some artillery. The rebel rear guard fled from a small battery had constructed 150 yards north of the bridge, and, crossing fired and destroyed the bridge. Bissell's engineers cut away the timber felled to obstruct the road, and, with the sharpshooters, occupied the ground during the night. General Smith not having been placed under my orders, I gave him the infantry asked for, and went into bivouac with the remaining troops at 11 p.m., Paine in advance and Stanley in rear of Morrison, Colonel Murphy having been ordered at 1 a.m. to cover a road leading westwardly across the Mississippi and Ohio Railroad.
When the morning of the 31st came I repaired to the front to learn whether the rebels had left and what progress they had made in rebuilding the bridge, and found that the rebels still occupied the opposite side of the stream, and nothing could be done until they were dislodged. General Pope and staff arriving, the general directed me to examine the vicinity for crossing grounds for the command. On my return to report the result of the reconnaissance, about 3 p.m., the general directed me to proceed to the front, where considerable firing was heard, and to arrange to force the passage of the stream. I found Colonel Morgan with two regiments and the sharpshooters in the bottom, but no progress. The firing had been from his two regiments, which had advanced in line and fired a couple of volleys into the woods where the rebel sharpshooters were concealed. The rebels replied, but not with artillery.
I reconnoitered the bottom above the bridge for half a mile. I found it low, swampy, covered with heavy forest trees, sparse undergrowth, and intersected with narrow channels of backwater, with miry beds extending from their entrance into the river above the bridge to various distances from half to three-quarters of a mile above, and growing gradually shoaler. I found the channel of the river could be spanned by trunks of threes standing on its banks. I ordered Colonel Roberts, with two regiments relieved Colonel Morgan's command, to have the road blazed to a point about three-quarters of a mile above the bridge, and trees to be sawed down to make a crossing for infantry, to pass over a trusty reconnoitering party to ascertain the position and strength of the rebels, blaze the wood back to the crossing then to pass over his infantry, and bringing forward two sections of artillery, to open fire on the rebels, draw them toward the bridge, and then fall on their flank and rear, the shout of his charge being the signal for our artillery to cease firing.
The plan was executed as far as the reconnaissance, but the reconnoitering party found the rebels had left at 10 p.m., and out troops were over and in Danville, a mile beyond the bridge, early in the morning. The right with moved promptly forward. A passable bridge for artillery was completed by 11 o'clock. Our artillery passed over, and our command arrived at old Rienzi at 5 a.m., where it halted while the cavalry pushed toward Booneville. General Granger reached Booneville over the dark, obstructed road, across the swampy creek bottoms, by 1.30 a.m. June 3; as soon as he had daylight reconnoitered