just in rear of my lines, and by encouragement and cheers they were moved rapidly back to the ground from which they had been driven, and I doubt not did good service in assisting to complete the rout of the enemy.
As soon as the enemy had retreated out of sight and beyond the range of fire, in order to be prepared for another attack, as well as to keep the men from scattering over the battle-field and to replenish the ammunition, I ordered the whole division back to the position it had occupied when the attack opened. This closed the operations on the battle-field.
On the morning of the 5th the division started at 7 o'clock without other instructions to me than to follow McKean's division. By a misunderstanding of the roads the four divisions within a few miles all came together upon the same road. Much confusion and delay occurred from want of a commander. I deemed myself restrained by my instructions from assuming the command so long as the march was without resistance. Had we encountered the enemy I should not have hesitated to exercise my right of seniority in the absence of the general commanding. The first day's march was to within 4 miles of the Tuscumbia River, the men suffering much from deficiency of water. Distance marched about 14 miles.
On the 6th the division marched to within 3 miles of the Hatchie, and there, under orders from the general commanding, diverged to the Kossuth road and bivouacked at Gum Spring. Distance marched about 15 miles. Here orders were received to proceed to Kossuth, and from thence to seize the Hatchie Crossing. Under instructions to post a regiment at Kossuth to protect supply trains, the Fifty-sixth Illinois, Colonel Raum, was pushed forward from Gum Spring on the right of the 6th and occupied the town. The division marched at dawn of day. When 3 miles beyond Kossuth a brisk cannonade, accompanied with musketry firing, was heard in the direction of Rienzi. Learning that Rienzi had been occupied on the 5th by two regiments of rebel troops, and knowing that the supplies for the army were to be sent there by rail, and also that the hatchie Crossing was in possession of Colonel Hatch with a considerable force of cavalry, I deemed it my duty to proceed to Rienzi, and to clear that point, in our line of supplies, from any rebel force. Rienzi was reached after night-fall, the division having marched 23 miles, over dusty roads, and with but a single well of water on the whole route. The day was exceedingly hot and the suffering of the men extreme. At least 600 of the command gave out by the wayside during the last 8 miles of the march. They, however, regained the column during the night and the following morning. No supplies had reached the place; but at 5 a. m. a train of cars arrived, and two regiments were forthwith supplied with rations, and moved at an early hour, under Colonel Matthies, to the Hatchie River. The whole command, together with two regiments, arrived from Corinth, followed during the day. The 9th was spent at the Hatchie, and the bridges across it, which had been destroyed by the rebels, were rebuilt.
During the 10th the division returned, under orders, yo Rienzi, and during the night rebuilt the bridge over the Tuscumbia near Danville; and on the 11th reached its old camp near Bridge Creek, 2 1/2 miles from Corinth.
I may here remark tat this division, from the morning of the 5th to include the 11th, marched about 100 miles, over roads almost destitute of water, through intense heat, and did much severe labor in rebuilding bridges and repairing roads.