prepared for ;us. I had previously ordered Major Stacy to be very cautious and to place pickets out, which he did, and not allow his men to quit their arms. I also threw out my pickets, and as fast as the men had eaten ordered them to remain near their horses with their arms, in readiness to repel any attack. When, however, not more than half our men had eaten and alarm was given. Our pickets were being driven in from the direction of Olive Branch and closely pursued by a large force of the enemy, who upon approaching us closely rapidly dismounted two companies.
Seeing from our position that it was impossible to secure our horses I immediately gave the order to fight on foot. Some of my command, not hearing the order, created some confusion by approaching the enemy too closely in their efforts to secure their horses. I soon succeeded, however, in getting our men into line and fell back to a better position some 30 feet opposite the barn-yard, where the most of our horses were hitched, the enemy int eh mean time briskly firing and advancing upon us in force. It is but justice for me here to mention the valuable services of Captain Peck, Company A, and Lieutenant Hazzard, Company C, who ably assisted me in getting and keeping the men in line and throwing out skirmishers to the right and left of the road, where they were partially sheltered by the fences. And here I cannot refrain from mentioning the pride I feel at the marked coolness and braveness of my command at this time engaged. They stood their ground like brave men that I now know them to be, never faltering, but standing firmly and manfully at their posts, pouring the shots thick and fast into the ranks of the enemy, who outnumbered us four to one. After twenty minutes' constant firing, the lines of the enemy being greatly threatened, they began to waver and fall back, our boys advancing on them. Seeing their lines giving way, I ordered a portion of my men to mount, the balance keeping up a brisk fire on the retreating enemy. We then charged,routing and driving them back upon their reserve, fully one-third of a mile. I had previously sent a messenger to Major Stacy to attack them in the flank and rear, and hoping that the force under Major Stacy would soon arrive we pressed our advantage, but owing tot he large force of the right and one to the left, to flank us, we were reluctantly obliged to fall back, at the same time throwing out skirmishers to the right and left to watch the movements of the enemy, who we found were not advancing on our flanks as we expected, we still moving back slowly until we came to a cross-road, when we halted and threw our men into line.
The enemy not coming in sight we again moved forward. At this moment we heard the firing in the advance of us, which announced the arrival of Major Stacy's command. Moving more rapidly forward, we saw that he had attacked the balance of the reserve, routing and driving them from their position. We rapidly joined our forces and pursued the retreating enemy toward Robinson's Cross-Roads, everywhere seeing evidence of a hasty retreat.
Following as afar as I deemed it prudent, we returned to the battle ground and gathered up the scattered arms, horses,a nd equipments. In the engagement we succeeded in killing 23 and wounding between 30 and 40 and capturing 20. We also captured over 30 horses, and between 30 and 40 shot-guns, with which they were mostly armed.
With a portion of my command I returned by way of White's Station, and arrested in that neighborhood Dr. Moore, Mr. Rosechella, Mr. Trotter, Dr. Todd, and Robert Goodwin.