According to orders received from your headquarters on Wednesday, 2 p. m., October 1, I ordered out the Fourteenth and Eighteenth Wisconsin Volunteers, who were busily engaged moving their camps, and who had on that day furnished the grand guard for nearly our whole front. The officers and men fell promptly into line we marched for Chewalla.
At Alexander's Cross-Roads Captain Munch's First Minnesota Battery reported to me. I retained two 12-pounder howitzers, deeming that was all I could use to effect, and ordered the balance of the battery back. I reached the heights above Chewalla just before dark, and formed junction with the Fifteenth Michigan Volunteers a regiment of my brigade that was guarding that point, in connection with one company of Independent Illinois Cavalry, Captain Ford commanding who reported that their pickets and been fired upon and that the enemy were advancing in force. I accordingly placed my men in position, commanding both roads to Tuscumbia Bottom, and at once ordered out Company B, Fourteenth Wisconsin Volunteers, under Captain Worden, as skirmishers, with orders to feel vigorously for the enemy in the road and woods south of Chewalla; the direction from which they were supposed to be advancing. At the same time I pushed forward a scouting party on the Bolivar road, and found such indications of the enemy from the cavalry reports as to induce me to charge front. I therefore formed the Fourteenth and Eighteenth Regiments Wisconsin Volunteers in line of battle, supporting the two guns which commanded the Bolivar road and the open field in front. Six companies of the Fifteenth Regiment Michigan Volunteers, on the left of the line, were so retired as to command the road running south to Tuscumbia Bottom. Four companies of the Fifteenth Regiment Michigan Volunteers and two companies from the Eighteenth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers were posted as pickets around our entire line, under the supervision of Major Jackson, of the Eighteenth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, and Captain John Q. Adams, Fifteenth Regiment Michigan Volunteers, and all the former lines of pickets were ordered in.
The idea of the cavalry and infantry at Chewalla seemed to be that the enemy were entirely on the road toward Kossuth. We therefore, at daybreak the next morning October 2, scouted as far as the river, but found nothing, and destroyed the bridge. I also pushed a reconnaissance, starting at daybreak, with 20 cavalry, nearly to Young's Bridge on the Bolivar road, Major Jackson, of the Eighteenth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, taking charge of the party. Two miles out on this road some cavalry were seen,which retired about 1 mile. Farther on they saw quite a large body of cavalry. Not having the force to engage them, according to orders returned and reported what they had seen.
One mile and a half in our rear, toward Corinth, an old road from Kossuth forks into the Chewalla road. I sent 20 cavalry down that road the same morning under command of Lieutenant King, to guard against being flanked by a force coming up that road. They went down the road for several miles; saw nothing, but heard drums toward Kossuth. They returned about 8 a. m. I then entirely withdrew my infantry pickets from toward Kossuth, leaving only the cavalry well out; sent the ambulances and baggage to the rear, and pushed a force of 20 infantry to the railroad and to the north of the road on the bottoms; drove in what appeared to be cavalry vedettes, but soon met with such vigorous resistance that we were driven back, having 2 men wounded. According to your order I then made disposition to retire to the forks of the road before spoken of, not at that time thinking that you desired