HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, RUGGLES'S DIVISION,
SECOND ARMY CORPS, ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Corinth, Miss., May 15, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit this my report of the part taken by the brigade under my command in the affair with the enemy at Farmington on the 9th instant:
By a circular order from division headquarters the brigade was put in readiness on the night of the 8th to move to the front at an early hour on the morning of the 9th. I was directed by the brigadier-general commanding the division to march my command to a field some half a mile beyond the breastworks, to form the brigade in close column by divisions, and to await further orders. At the same time I was informed that it was the purpose of the commanding general that we should move out on the lower Farmington road until the enemy should be found, and then to encounter him; also that Brigadier-General Walker, commanding Third Brigade, Ruggles' division, with, among other troops, one regiment of infantry (Thirty-seventh Mississippi Regiment, Colonel Benton commanding) and one section of artillery, Lieutenant Vaught commanding, belonging to my brigade, would deploy his column as soon as Bridge Creek was crossed, and that my command, consisting of the Twenty-fifth Louisiana, Colonel Fisk; the Thirty-sixth Mississippi, Colonel Brown; the Florida Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Clack, and four pieces of the Washington Artillery, Captain Hodgson, would follow closely his movements, and be ready to support him at any point of the field where occasion might require. My disposition was in columns by platoons, right in front. In this manner we moved to within half a mile of Farmington, advancing slowly and cautiously, being regulated in this by Brigadier-General Walker's line in front. After a half of about half an hour, by General Ruggles' order we moved up into the village and halted for some time about 100 yards in rear and on the left of General Walker. By order from the same authority I then formed the brigade on General Walker's left, which was now advancing. The four pieces of artillery under Captain Hodgson were ordered to follow at convenient distance in the rear of my center. General Walker's brigade being in motion at the time, I was ordered to form upon its left and some hundred yards in advance, which compelled me to execute the movement at a double-quick, which, however, was completed just in time to engage the enemy's skirmishers as they were retiring down the slope of an open plain and entering a thick wood beyond. I deemed it necessary to press on without hesitation and push the enemy from his cover as well as to gain a less exposed position for our own troops. The nature of the ground on my right had proved impracticable, and a short delay was occasioned by the effort of the Twenty-fifth Louisiana and the Thirty-sixth Mississippi Regiments to pass the obstacles. The latter regiment had only arrived a few days previous, and had enjoyed none of the privileges of drill and instructions. To prevent further delay and confusion, I ordered forward the balance of the brigade, and instructed Colonel Brown to form his regiment in rear of my center and to follow on closely until an opportunity was presented of regaining his position in line. On ascending to the top of the hill in an open field we received a heavy fire from the enemy's skirmishers in the thick wood not 100 yards in front, and just at this moment the Orleans Guards [Ducatel's] Battery was coming into position immediately in my center for the purpose of shelling the wood. As the officer in charge informed me that this way by General Ruggles' order, whom I saw present about this time, I directed the