Major-General Sherman, and constructed additional rifle pits. It was from this camp that two companies of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry and Dollins' cavalry, under command of Lieutenant. M. Fitts, Captains M. J. O'Harnett and E. Carmichael's independent companies of cavalry, all under command of Lieutenant. Col. William McCullough, made a reconnaissance in the direction of and beyond Purdy, destroying the Mobile and Ohio Railroad bridge across Cypress Creek near Jones' Mill, and about 5 miles south of Bethel. They also captured a locomotive with 4 men on board, and, placing the men under guard ran the entire into the creek, destroying it. In their advance they met the enemy's picket, about 3 miles from Purdy, where a heavy skirmish took place, the enemy's pickets retreating. On the third the enemy was discovered drawn up in line of battle, when our force advanced, giving them a volley, causing a panic, which broke their lines, when they immediately retreated, scattering in all directions, continuing to fire, however, from cover of trees,&c. The cavalry of Colonel McCullough was then dismounted by his order, deployed as skirmishers, and ordered to advance. The enemy was still slowly retreating and firing until our force came closely upon them, when they turned,and it became a perfect rout, the enemy passing through Purdy, dispersing in all directions. The cavalry again mounted and made a charge through the town, with the hope of taking some of them prisoners. Our cavalry then advanced to the railroad bridge cover Cypress Creek, as before stated, and after executing their orders returned to camp without any loss. While at this camp my command, in conjunction with Brigadier-General Ross' brigade, a battery of eight guns, and a battalion of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, were ordered to make a reconnaissance, under command of the division commanders, in the direction of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, for the purpose of ascertaining what force, if any, was in the direction of our on the railroad, and to drive them beyond and destroy the track. The expedition moved forward at 4 a.m., Brigadier-General Ross, with a battalion of cavalry, taking the advance, my brigade in the rear as a reserve. No enemy appeared before reaching the road where we found the enemy's pickets posted, and fired upon them, killing 1 man, when they fell back. General Ross advanced hurriedly, and commenced the work of destroying the road. After doing so the expedition was ordered to return, arriving in camp at 10 a.m., having marched 7 miles and destroyed the railroad in six hours.
About the 4th of May Brigadier-General Ross was ordered to move forward his brigade with the Fourteenth Indiana Battery of Artillery and two companies of cavalry and take position on the main Corinth road 1 1/2 miles from Camp No. 5. On the 21st of May my command was ordered to move forward, taking all camp and garrison equipage, and occupy the position vacated on that day by
Major-General Sherman. This was Camp No. 6, near Easel's house, on the road to Corinth. On the 28th of May, at 1.30 a.m., I received orders to move up the first brigade, without camp equipage or transportation to the extreme right of General Sherman's division, by 7.55 a.m., with instructions to assist in driving the rebels from the house, on Sherman's front, also in driving back their pickets, and to make a strong demonstration of attacking Corinth. General Ross' brigade was at the same time ordered and came up in my rear. Through some misdirection we advanced too far to the right, and approached the Mobile and Ohio Railroad at Bowie Cut. The enemy's pickets were in sight at a house on the hill on the opposite side of the road. An agreement having been made between the pickets that they would not fire on each other, an officer was sent