Directing portions of my command to the right and to the left, throwing out skirmishers, moving at the same time 100 yards to the ditch or gully in front of the rebels-who poured a heavy volley upon them as they advanced, their shot fortunately passing harmlessly over our heads-dismounting a portion of my men, they gained the protection of the ditch before mentioned, and we opened a vigorous fire upon the enemy from all points, which proving destructive, they soon wavered and fell back. We pressed them closely through the woods for a mile to a large field, at the edge of which they rallied, endeavoring to make a stand. That portion of my force who were dismounted and fighting on foot having remounted, with our entire force directed an impetuous charge upon their flanks, preventing them forming into line and drove them in confusion across the field, a distance of quite a mile. Here, gaining the protection of heavy timber and fence and the advantage of rising ground, gathering their scattered forces, they attempted to make another stand. Pushing forward the center, frequently admonishing my men to keep in good order, press forward, and fire low, the rebels, yielding under this movement on their left and center, made a desperate effort to flank my left. I ordered the main portion of my force against their right, resulting int he complete rout of their entire command,t hey scattering and fleeing in every direction. We pursued them as far as we could see any of them; then halting, reformed, congratulated each other upon our signal success, sent three reusing cheers for the Stars and Stripes reverberating though the woods after the skedaddling foe, which may have been heard in Grenada, and returned through the battle ground, gathering up the arms, horses, and equipments which in their rout and disorder the enemy had abandoned, bringing with us our few wounded to Coldwater Bridge.
The enemy were well armed with breech-loading carbines and revolvers, a portion (the mounted infantry) having muskets and rifles, but failed from some cause to use their arms to advantage. We killed of the enemy during the engagements 41, wounded between 70 and 80, and took 4 and killed 15 of their horses. (The enemy admit a loss of over 100 in killed and wounded.) We lost in the fight 1 man killed and 4 wounded; also 7 horses killed.
At Coldwater Bridge, the command having mostly crossed, and alarm was caused by stragglers (who may not have participated in the fight) that the enemy were following us in force to attack again. i soon formed my men in position to receive them, but upon investigation the alarm proved to have been given without cause.
i regret the necessity of referring to an order given at the time of this false alarm by an officer of my command which occasioned much useless marching for your command as well as mine under you, the responsibility of which I trust may rest where it should.
Joining you on the morning of the 10th, by your order I afterward took the advance, proceeded to Hernando, and camped for the night. During the day a detachment from my cavalry which had remained with you had a skirmish with a party of mounted rebels, resulting in the killing of 1 man and 1 horse and the capture of 18 or 20 by the infantry among whom they were driven.
On the morning of the 11th followed you toward Coldwater, pressing to the front when within 2 miles of Coldwater Bridge, which, upon approaching, we discovered to be on fire and guarded by a force of rebel cavalry stationed on the opposite side. Of these we killed 1 and drove the balance away, and succeeded in saving the bridge from destruction. From this point, the bridge having been repaired, I proceeded under