Michigan and Seventh Illinois, made a reconnaissance to Burnsville and Iuka and the country lying between Chambers and Yellow Creeks. He was absent two days, thoroughly exploring the country by forced marches. He took several prisoners, but met with no enemy in force.
On the 28th May I detached Colonel Elliott, with his brigade, consisting of the Second Iowa and Second Michigan, with instructions to penetrate by some circuitous route the country to the south, and strike, if possible, the Mobile and Ohio Railroad at some point 30 or 40 miles below Corinth. This expedition, although a very hazardous and arduous service, was attended with the most complete success. Colonel Elliott succeeded in reaching the railroad at Booneville, some 30 miles below Corinth, and after a sharp skirmish with about 250 of the enemy's cavalry succeeded in obtaining possession of the town, which contained from 2,000 to 3,000 of the enemy's sick, wounded, and convalescent, together with a train of 26 cars, filled with arms, ammunition, baggage, and equipments, and 3 pieces of artillery and a locomotive, all of which he destroyed. He also burned the depot, which was filled with provisions and military stores of every description. He also cut the railroad in a number of places,and having accomplished all this immense damage to the enemy, he returned unmolested to his camp at Farmington, his entire casualties having been but 1 wounded and 9 taken prisoners.
On the 30th of May, the enemy having evacuated Corinth, I started from Farmington in pursuit with the First Brigade, under Colonel Mizner, consisting of the Third Michigan and Seventh Illinois and Powell's battery of six guns. I found the country very rugged and broken and heavily timbered, and the road strewn with blankets, knapsacks, small-arms, carriages, and wagons, broken and abandoned by the enemy in his flight. I met with no obstruction until I arrived at Tuscumbia Creek, 8 miles south of Corinth. Here the road passes down a steep hill to the bottom, over which it crosses by a narrow causeway for 300 yards to the bridge across the creek.
The causeway was greatly obstructed by felled trees the entire distance, and here I found the enemy's pickets stationed in the woods in strong force. Colonel Bissell's regiment was accompanying my command to clear away obstructions, and I ordered two companies of it to deploy as skirmishers and drive back the enemy, sending at the same time one company of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, under Major Rawalt, to pick their way around the obstructions in the road and charge over the bridge, but on proceeding 200 yards they were met by a severe fire of grape from a masked battery near the bridge,and were obliged to retreat, with a loss of 1 killed and 6 badly wounded and 6 horses killed and wounded. The two companies of engineers incontinently fled at the first fire, many of them throwing away their arms.
It having by this time become nearly dark, I retired my whole force to the open ground on the hill and bivouacked for the night. On this day Captain Kendrick, Second Iowa Cavalry, with 30 men, having taken the Ripley road, came up with the enemy about 2 1/2 miles from Corinth,and after exchanging a few shots followed them about 2 miles farther, taking 50 prisoners and saving three bridges. He found a large force burning a bridge and attacked them, when they opened fire from a battery of three guns, and he retired in good order, with a loss of 1 man killed and 1 wounded, 2 horses killed and 2 wounded.
On Sunday, the 1st of June, the enemy having evacuated Tuscumbia Creek, I recommenced the pursuit, passing Rienzi, fording the streams with my cavalry and artillery with much difficulty, the bridges all having