vicinity of Farmington, always preceded by two to three companies deployed as skirmishers, who were frequently on the heels of the enemy's cavalry, fully within range of musket-shot, but did not fire, the order of General Ruggles being to draw first the enemy's fire, for fear of shooting our own men.
Soon after the artillery had commenced the action in earnest my skirmishers briskly engaged those of the enemy. The latter falling back on the main body, my regiment moved on to the attack with the rest of the brigade, and kept up with it until the enemy was completely routed. While in pursuit of him my regiment, with several others of our own brigade and other commands, became entangled in an almost bottomless swamp. After long-continued, great, but vain, exertions to get through, all the regiments in this swamp were compelled to retrace their steps, and on reaching the open field from which we had started we found the order for the return of the troops issued, and consequently took up likewise the march back to Corinth.
No opportunity has offered itself to my regiment to call forth acts of conspicuous gallantry, and I have therefore merely to mention that all the officers and men did their duty faithfully and bravely, with the exception of three privates, whom I shall bring to punishment.
Company K, while engaged as skirmishers, met a company of the enemy's cavalry in an inclosed farm-yard; in their haste to escape they left their standard, which was picked up by the men and afterward delivered up to the acting assistant adjutant-general of the brigade.
The accompanying statement* will show the number of wounded.
I remain, captain, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Comdg. Twentieth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers.
Captain J. C. ALEXANDER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade, Ruggles' Division.
No. 65. Report of Colonel Samuel Benton, Thirty-seventh+ Mississippi Infantry, of engagement at Farmington, Miss., May 9.
HDQRS. THIRTY-SEVENTH REGIMENT MISSISSIPPI VOLS.,
Corinth, Miss., May 14, 1862.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to orders requiring it, I have the honor to present the following report of the part my command took in the action near Farmington on the 9th instant:
Early in the morning I had taken position on the Farmington road near a small creek, a mile or more beyond our breastworks, having been on outpost duty in the vicinity the night before, with directions to hold myself in readiness to support the artillery and a body of infantry thrown forward beyond the creek should they encounter the enemy.
Soon afterward I was directed to relieve half my command and send them back to camp (having an unusually large regiment) and advance with the remainder. I did so, and formed in line in a field beyond the creek a little in advance of the artillery, indications of the enemy's presence in the woods opposite having been observed. Thence I was
+After March 5, 1863, known as Thirty-fourth Regiment.