Farmington, some 4 1/2 miles distant, and reached there about 10 a.m., having encountered some small scouts of the enemy.
Colonel McCulloch, with about 200 Arkansas cavalry, joined me some 2 miles distant from the trenches, and one-half of his force was thrown out as flankers to the right and left and the remainder in the advance.
In the vicinity of the town we discovered a body of the enemy's cavalry, and dispersed it by a section of Captain Ducatel's guns, of the Orleans Guards Battery.
Possession was immediately taken of the village of Farmington, where the enemy had established a telegraph station, and, as we subsequently learned, the Assistant Secretary of War of the Federal Government had just been engaged with it in urging the advance of the Federal troops. The brigades of my division advanced in separate columns, in readiness to deploy into line of battle. Finding masses of the enemy apparently in line of battle some distance in front, I directed sections of Hodgson's, Ducatel's, and Hoxton's batteries to open fire upon them, awaiting in the mean time the advance of General Van Dorn's division on my right.
Having communicated with General Trapier's division, which had already arrived on my left, I then deployed the columns into line of battle, holding the Fourth Brigade in reserve, and advanced against the enemy, encountering his first fire near the road leading to the left of Farmington. The enemy was sheltered by the high bank along the road-side and in a narrow skirt of timber bordering the road on the left, in which his position was partially taken.
Just previous to the opening of his fire I had directed the three batteries into action at a point in advance, calculated to sweep the forest and more elevated ground beyond. The march of my division was mainly through an open field, in which exposed position our troops received the enemy's opening fire when about passing the batteries, mainly directed against the left of Walker's [and] the entire front of Anderson's and Gober's brigades.
At this time Robertson's battery, of General Trapier's division, which had just opened fire on the enemy on our left, ceased firing at my request, as our lines came under the range of his guns, and advanced to a position I indicated, where he swept the open ground beyond the skirt of timber already mentioned. The contest of our infantry with the enemy was for the space of half an hour sharp and spirited, until we drove them before us to another skirt of timber and underbrush, distant some quarter of a mile beyond an open field. After having cleared the enemy from the forest and driven him from the open field in front, the division pursued him until his entire force had fled and retreated across the large creek, where the pursuit was called off and the bridge burned, and was then ordered to fall back on Farmington, and thence to return to its encampment within the lines of Corinth.
Brig. General J. P. Anderson speaks in terms of special commendation of the conduct of the First Brigade, specifying the Confederate Guards, of Louisiana, and the Florida Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Clark; the Twenty-eighth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, Colonel Fisk, and also of the Thirty-seventh Mississippi Volunteers, during a brief period when under his observation.
The Second Brigade, Major D. Gober commanding, participated to a small extent in the action and behaved in a spirited manner, advancing with the line, without, however, encountering any great force of the enemy.