War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0413 Chapter XXIX. CORINTH.

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at the salient near the railroad crossing. The First Missouri Regiment, deployed as skirmishers, covered the rear of both brigades. The command, after a successful evacuation, encamped at Chewalla about sunset.

Detailed on the morning of the 5th as the rear guard of the army, the brigade left its encampment in rear of the train at about 10 a. m., marching slowly, very much annoyed and delayed by the wagons.

At 12 m. the enemy's advance overtook us, and I formed line of battle with the Mississippi battalion and one section of artillery, under Lieutenant Barlow, in advance, our line then fronting the enemy. The attack was made by their cavalry and vigorously repulsed by two companies of Jackson's cavalry and the Mississippi battalion, and their rout completed by the rapid and effective fire of Lieutenant Barlow's section. Resuming the retreat, we were not again molested until compelled to halt for several hours at the Tuscumbia River Bridge, allowing the wagons to cross. The enemy arrived at our position near the bridge about sunset. Deploying, they endeavored to turn my left in order to cut me off from the brigade, at the same time advancing strongly on my front and center. After heavy skirmishing, well maintained on both sides, and some artillery firing by the enemy, they advanced boldly in front of my center, opposite the Fifteenth Mississippi Regiment. Taking command of this regiment in person, I advanced it about fifteen paces and then poured in a deliberate, well-aimed, and simultaneous volley. This fire-which was handsomely seconded by several rounds of canister from Bursley's (first) section, under Lieutenant Toledano, on our immediately right, which enfiladed their line, followed up by a rapid, well-aimed, and continuous file-fire from the Fifteenth Mississippi Regiment-must have proved destructive, as the advance was not only thus checked, but heir whole force fled from the fled. I then crossed the Tuscumbia at my leisure, tore up and burned the brigade, obstructed the ford near by, and joined the division about 3 miles beyond.

My loss in the action of the Tuscumbia was 2 or 3 killed and 8 or 10 wounded. This brigade was subsequently detailed as the rear guard of the army, but had no other engagement with the enemy.

I have the honor to transmit herewith a full list of the killed, wounded and missing in the three days' actions alluded to.*

The officers of my staff were present and untiring in the discharge of their respective duties. In addition to the assistance given by my adjutant-general, Captain Hutchinson; my inspector-general, Captain Percy, and Lieutenant Carter, aide-de-camp, I am indebted to Caldwell, of the Watson Battery, for bearing orders on the field. All of these gentlemen were and on the retreat.

In closing I would call the attention of the division commander to the unexampled courage and endurance displayed by the troops, who, under hardships and privations which can only be appreciated by those who experienced them, never faltered in the discharge of their arduous duties. The exceptions mentioned in the report+ of Colonel Farrell, Fifteenth Mississippi Regiment, were conspicuous in a brigade which acted so well that they deserve to be immediately punished. I know of no better way of rewarding the 2,000 brave men than by casting out the two or three cowards who happened to be among them. I therefore recommend that Second Lieutenant T. J. Clark, Company A, Fifteenth Mississippi Regiment, be dismissed in disgrace, and that Corporal Bennett


*Embodied in Numbers 106, p. 384.

+Not found.