ascertained from a deserter that the enemy were in strong force upon the creek, both in artillery, infantry, and cavalry, and we were rapidly pressing on to drive him from his position before dark, when I received the order to return to Booneville with the whole command, which I did, arriving in camp at 10 o'clock p.m.
Too much praise cannot be awarded to Colonel Roberts and his splendid brigade, or to Captain Powell, for the promptitude and eagerness they all manifested to closely engage the enemy, and it was a matter of regret to all that time seemed to disallow farther pursuit.
June 3.-Lieutenant Colonel Smith, First Ohio Cavalry, with seven companies, made a reconnaissance toward Ripley. At Blackland he encountered the enemy, 100 strong, whom he charged and drove in, wounding several, taking 1 prisoner, and capturing their animals, wagons, and several guns drooped by the enemy in his flight. Colonel Smith reports Sergeant-Major, Scott as having been in this affair particularly distinguished for coolness and daring.
June 4.-Colonel Elliott, with his brigade and four guns of Powell's battery, was sent down the Blackland road. Arriving at Osborn's Creek, he encountered the pickets of the enemy, which the riflemen of the Second Michigan drove in for about 4 miles. Crossing the bridge at Wolf's Creek, he encountered the enemy in heavy force. The fire of the skirmishers continuing brisk, he placed Captain Powell's four guns in position, where, under Captain Powell and Lieutenant McMurray, they did excellent service. Colonel Sheridan, Second Michigan, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch, Second Iowa, Cavalry, conducted with great skill and coolness the operations of their respective commands.
Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, First Ohio Cavalry, who had reported to Colonel Elliott with Companies E, I, and M, was directed to act as a support to Lieutenant Barnett's section of artillery, which duty was gallantly done, although exposed to a fire from the enemy. His position not being tenable, Colonel Elliott retired his force in good order across the bridge. His loss was 2 killed, 8 wounded, and 2 missing. The list would have been largely increased had not the enemy fired too high. A prisoner reports the loss in killed and wounded of the enemy at 30.
On June 6 Colonel Sheridan made a reconnaissance toward Baldwin, on the left-hand road from Booneville. He proceeded about 7 miles, when he encountered a regiment of rebel cavalry and an independent Georgia company of mounted scouts. Dismounting five companies, he vigorously attacked and drove them back for 2 miles, taking prisoner Captain Avery, of the Georgia company. Meeting the enemy's infantry in considerable force on his left flank, and having advanced until his rear was in advance of the railroad bridge, where the enemy was known to be posted in force, Colonel Sheridan withdrew his command to camp. His only casualty was 1 man severely wounded. Loss of the enemy unknown.
On the same day Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch, with the Second Iowa Cavalry, made a reconnaissance on the road still farther to the east of the one taken by Colonel Sheridan, but found no enemy save a few scattering pickets.
On June 9 the Second Brigade, under Colonel Sheridan, was ordered to proceed to Baldwin by night, to ascertain if the enemy had evacuated that place. He arrived at Baldwin at 4 o'clock on the morning of the 10th, and found the enemy had retired.
Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch was then directed to proceed with a battalion each to the Second Iowa and Second Michigan in the direction of Guntown, which he did,