War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0368 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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in the direction of Davis' Bridge across the Hanchie River, which I inferred to be Major-General Hurlbut's forces from Bolivar engaging the advance guard of the enemy. My command pressed on in the most lively manner until we reached Chewala, where I ascertained that three brigades of infantry and a battery of six pieces of artillery, constituting their guard, had passed Chewalla only a short time before, and scarcely had I received this information when my advance guard of cavalry came up with them and a slight skirmish ensued, the enemy replying to the fire of the cavalry with infantry and artillery. Colonel Lawler's brigade was immediately place in position in an old entrenchment until a bridge

near by could be repaired so that the artillery could pass. Colonel Stevenson with his brigade was directed to move to the right and take up a position on the enemy's flank, ready to attack them as soon as he heard firing in the front. The enemy, however, beat a hasty retreat and the column was soon in full pursuit, the advance skirmishing more or less with their rear guard until we came to Big Hill, on the east side of the Tuscumbia, the slopes and top of which were covered with timber and a dense undergrowth, where we found the enemy strongly posted and evidently disposed to contest our farther advance. The First Kansas, being in front, was immediately deployed in line of battle, supported on the right by the Twenty-ninth Illinois and on the left by the Seventh Missouri, the Thirty-first Illinois remaining a few hundred yards in rear as a reserve and a support to Powell's battery, a section of which had been run into position and was firing upon the enemy with decided effect. A strong body of skirmishers was thrown to the front and the whole line directed to move forward, which was promptly and gallantly executed by officers and men. A short but spirited skirmish ensued with artillery and infantry firing on both sides, the rebels shooting grape and canister at short range as our troops advanced; but, nothing daunted, they pressed forward and the hill was soon carried. It being now dark, the men rested on their arms in line of battle, ready to repel any attack of the enemy and prepared to advance at daybreak.

As soon as it was light enough to distinguish objects the troops were put in motion, the enemy having quietly fallen back during the night. On reaching the Tuscumbia we found the bridge destroyed, the timbers and some of the planks still burning. The engineer detachment was called into requisition, and in three-quarter of an hour the bridge was made passable for artillery and the pursuit continued. After crossing the Tuscumbia, and from there to the Hatchie at Crum's Mill, the evidences of a most rapid retreat, almost a rout, were apparent. The road was strewn with tents, blankets, clothing, wagons, small-arms, ammunition, six caissons, and a battery-forage, some of them blown up and partially destroyed and others in good condition. At one point the road was obstructed by trees felled across it, which were soon cut away by the engineer detachment. The Hatchie at Crum's Mill was reached at 12 m., a half hour after the enemy's rear guard had passed, to find the bridge and a large mill at the end of it on fire and mostly destroyed. Buckets were procured and the fire partially extinguished. The engineer detachment was again set to work, and by 4.30 p. m. a bridge was constructed, ready for the artillery to pass over, the troops in the mean time having rested and eaten a good meal, of which they stood very much in need. As soon as the bridges was ready to cross on the pursuit was continued to Jonesborough, which place was reached about 10.30 p. m. The men bivouacked in the open air, sleeping on their arms, and again started at daybreak. Came up with the enemy, chiefly cav-