received from your assistant adjutant-general, I pushed on with my brigade and the Morton [Indiana] Battery, Captain Mueller, the Fourth Regiment Illinois Cavalry being in advance, until arriving about 2 1/2 miles from Holly Springs, where a sharp skirmish was going on with the enemy's cavalry. The enemy had fired from ambush on our cavalry at very short range, but only killed 1 man and wounded 3 others. Our cavalry dismounted, and very gallantly entering the bushes, although greatly outnumbered, drove the enemy from the ground. The firing still continuing pretty sharp in front, and three considerable bodies of the enemy's cavalry having shown themselves near the town, I ordered up the Forty-eighth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Parker commanding, to re-enforce the cavalry, still engaged as skirmishers, when I received your orders to halt and not advance any farther. The regiment was halted, and soon afterward the cavalry retired to the rear. I was very much embarrassed at the moment, believing as I did that if I should retire it would be an invitation for the enemy, still in sight, to attack us. I could see no infantry, however, in the enemy's lines, and although the distance was near or quite. 1 1/2 miles, I determined if possible to drive them away with artillery. I therefore brought up a section of Captain Mueller's battery, which opened on them, when, after the firing of a few rounds, they fled through the town and disappeared from our view.
In this little affair the only troops actually engaged with the enemy were the small remnant of the Fourth Regiment Illinois Cavalry, commanded by Major Gibson, and no troops could have behaved better.
The enemy, as we afterward learned, were about 1,500 strong; but at the first discharge of Captain Mueller's guns they began to move off, and by the third discharge they were in full flight.
After sending the cavalry and some of my staff through the town I returned to Coldwater with my command, in accordance with your orders.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. W. DENVER,
Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Fifth Division, Army of the Tennessee.
JULY 5, 1862.-Skirmish on the Hatchie River, Miss.
Report of First Lieutenant Daniel M. Caldwell, Third Michigan Cavalry, Aide-de-Camp.
RIENZI, MISS., July 5, 1862-10 p.m.
CAPTAIN: Major Nelson, of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, reports the enemy, 411 strong, occupying the Hatchie Bottom. One hundred of their force were at Nolin's this morning. Want of water compelled the major to return to his camp here. He had a slight skirmish with the enemy's advance; killing 1 man, taking 1 prisoner, and losing 1 horse killed.
D. M. CALDWELL,
First Lieutenant, Aide-de-Camp.
Captain R. O. SELFRIDGE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Cavalry Division.