To the members of my staff, Surgeon Crane, Captain Baker, acting commissary of subsistence; Lieutenant Cherry, acting assistant quartermaster, and Lieutenant Sinclair and Smiedel, my aides, I express my gratitude for their hearty co-operation and arduous service during the two days' fight.
Very respectfully submitted.
D. S. STANLEY,
Brigadier General, Commanding Second Division, Army of the Mississippi.
Colonel KENNETT, Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION,
October 15, 1862.
COLONEL: Early in the afternoon of October 4, after the enemy were discovered to be in retreat, it was announced that pursuit would e made. The order of march was received in the evening. My column was to support General McPherson's brigade and General Davies' division was to follow me. Owing to the fatigued condition of my men and having to provide them with ammunition and rations I did not get off until 8 a. m. The guide assigned me, much to my chagrin, did not know which road to take at the first fork of the Chewalla road, but finally left off on the right fork. This brought us in less than a mile upon Hamilton's column. I retraced my steps, and finding the guide knew nothing of the country I concluded to follow the beaten trail of the enemy and move toward the cannonading plainly heard in the west. Taking the next left-hand fork of the road I moved west, and at a distance of 4 miles from Corinth found that this road too crossed to the south of the Memphis Railroad. A countryman asserted solemnly that no road north of the railroad led to Chewalla.
The houses, outhouses, tents, and barns filled with badly-wounded men illustrated the destructive effects of the two days' fighting upon the enemy. A mile farther I found my advance stopped by General McKean's division, and at the risk of being thought hypercritical I must say that I considered the march of General Mckean exceedingly slow. Indeed the train accompanying the division was so long and cumbersome that any idea of making successful pursuit must at once be dropped. I would here respectfully suggest to the general commanding the utter impossibility of overtaking a flying army with divisions encumbered with wagon trains, and would in the same sprite recommend, should a like case occur, the allowance to each regiment be limited to one ammunition wagon and two ambulances. I will not say that my division could have overtaken and engaged the enemy, but I will say that we could have aided General McPherson and driven the rear guard in quick time from their successive positions.
The night of the 5th we encamped 2 miles from the Tuscumbia. The morning of the 6th we crossed the Tuscumbia, and upon reaching the ridge found abundant evidence of the demoralization and hurry of the enemy, in the coming in to give themselves up of numerous stragglers, and the abandonment of wagons, tents, camp equipage, caissons, muskets, &c.
We reached the Hatchie at Crum's Mill at 2 p. m. an left at 1 a. m. on the morning of the 7th, reaching Sprites', 3 miles north of Ripley, at 10 p. m. The enemy made a small demonstration from the woods on our left here at midnight, but scouring the woods with skirmishers, I found if was nothing but a small squad of light cavalry or perhaps