War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0142 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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Numbers 3.

Report of Major John J. Mudd, Second Illinois Cavalry.

BOLIVAR, TENN., September 22, 1862.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report the following as the part performed by the detachment of Second Illinois Cavalry, under my command, in the recent movement on Grand Junction and La Grange:

When on Saturday evening you moved forward from the main body I took command of the advance, being Company K, Captain Jones, and 20 men of Company H, under Captain Higgins, and moved rapidly to Grand Junction, dispersing a squad of rebel soldiers on our way. Finding no enemy at that place, I had just pressed a guide and started Captain Jones with his company in direction of Davis' Mills when you arrived and recalled him.

On Sunday morning, in accordance with your order, I, with Companies H, Captain Higgins; K, Captain Jones; M, Orderly Sergeant Webb, commanding, and C, Captain Fullerton, moved toward La Grange, arriving within half a mile of that place at 8 a. m. On the way we had noticed persons at distant points in several places across fields, but were not able to decide whether soldiers or citizens. We also arrested some citizens, but could gain no information from them. My extreme advance now reported a large body of cavalry half a mile in front of the head of our column. I ordered the fences pulled down and preparations made for battle, while with a few men I went forward to view their movements. I found it to be a large body of infantry moving to the north diagonally across the road occupied by me. They moved with celerity and paid no attention to us, except to place pickets on the road to watch us. A citizen brought in by pickets reported that the whole rebel army had been passing through La Grange for an hour and a half, and that their design was to fall on our rear and cut off our rain. This was evident from their movement, to which I was now a witness. I immediately dispatched couriers to notify General Lauman and yourself of the state of affairs, called in my pickets and advance guard, and moved with haste to the main body of the army, being during the march watched but not disturbed by the rebel cavalry on our left. Under General Lauman's direction I dispatched a squad of men from Company I to reconnoiter on the left. They soon reported the enemy's cavalry and artillery a little to the rear and a half mile to the left. Fearing they might be moving on our left on parallel roads with us, I, without orders (being without communication with yourself or General Lauman), called out Companies H and K, and with them moved north 4 or 5 miles, until satisfied that none has passed. Returning, I had just got well into the road when I discovered the enemy in hailing distance on our last night's camp ground. I directed Captain higgins to move forward, while with a small squad of men from Companies I and K I kept the enemy at bay until my command had reached a safer position. Finding that no rear guard was following I assumed to perform that duty, and followed at a good distance from the army, keeping the enemy at bay and picking up and urging forward stragglers until I came up with General Lauman, with his command in order of battle, 1 mile this side of Van Buren. At his suggestion I dispatched Captain Vieregg with a squad of men to watch the movements about the village. He soon returned, followed by a large body of rebel cavalry, who followed within range of our artillery, when a few rounds from Captain Mann's battery dispersed them.