War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0120 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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quent to July 25, when I, by his order, assumed command of the District of the Tennessee:

As soon as the withdrawal of General Hardee's army gave me the control of the railroad I began to concentrate all of the troops within the district at Tupelo, with the intention of making a forward movement at the earliest day possible. Believing that it was very important, if not essential to success, that such a movement should be made with the co-operation of Major-General Van Dorn, I wrote to him on July 31, proposing to "advance our armies rapidly and concurrently toward Grand Junction or some other point on or near the Tennessee line," at which place he should assume command of the combined armies and move thence through Western or Central Tennessee into Kentucky.

Having received no reply to this dispatch I wrote him again on August $:

The success of the campaign depends on the promptness and boldness of our movements and the ability which we shall manifest to avail ourselves of our present advantages. The enemy are still transferring their troops from Corinth and its vicinity eastward. They will by the end of this week have reduced their force to its minimum. We should be quick to take advantage of this, for they will soon begin to get in re-enforcements under the late call for volunteers. In fact every consideration makes it importation that I should move forward without unnecessary delay. I earnestly desire your co-operation in such a movement, and will, as I have before said, place myself and my army under your command in that contingency.

Events happening within his own district made it utterly impossible for General Van Dorn to accede at the time to my proposition. Believing that I could not advance successfully without his co-operation I determined to await either that or the wreaking of the enemy's force in front of me and to meanwhile perfect my preparations to move. I at the same time sent out a cavalry expedition under Actg. Brigadier General Frank C. Armstrong. This gallant young cavalry officer had already distinguished himself and done the country some service at Courtland, as I have already informed the commanding general. He now left Baldwyn at the head of about 1,600 men. Having been re-enforced at Holly Springs by about 1,100 cavalry, under command of Colonel Jackson, of General Van Dorn's army, he pushed boldly forward toward Bolivar, met a largely superior force in front of that town, and drove them back with heavy loss, killing and wounding a large number and capturing 73 prisoners. Having accomplished this he did not delay, but pushed northward, crossed the Hatchie River, passed between Jackson and Bolivar-at each of which places there were heavy bodies of the enemy-and took and held possession of the railroad for more than thirty hours, during which time he destroyed all the bridges and a mile of trestle work. Returning, he encountered the enemy in force near Denmark, attacked and routed them, killing and wounding about 75 of them, capturing 213 prisoners, and taking two pieces of artillery, after which he returned to Baldwyn.

His entire loss upon the expedition was, in killed, wounded, and missing, 115, among whom I regret to mention Captain J. Rock Champion, whose reckless daring and intrepid boldness have illustrated the battle-fields of Missouri, Arkansas, and Alabama, as well as that of Bolivar, in which he fell far in advance of all his command.

The highest praise should be awarded to General Armstrong for the prudence, discretion, and good sense with which he conducted this expedition, and his officers and men for the gallantry and soldierly bearing which they displayed upon it.

I meanwhile (August 17) received from General Bragg a copy of his letter of August 11, addressed to General Van Dorn, in which, refer-