I fully believe the road to be in perfect order from Holly Springs to Lamar. I learn the force of cavalry which attacked us this afternoon to consist of five regiments, commanded by Jackson in person. In repulsing them we killed one officer and several of their men and horses. I think they have fallen back to Lumpkin's Mill. Our pickets are 2 miles south of the town. Their line of pickets is about one-half or three-fourths of a mile in front of us. In the attack of to-day they used three pieces of artillery. I have no good reason to believe, however, that their infantry (in force, at least) is this side of the Tallahatchie. I learn that General Sullivan has fallen back near Lamar. I shall endeavor to hold this position until you desire it vacated. I think I can do it. I sent to headquarters by General Sullivan seven commissioned officers, captured to-day.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. L. LEE,
Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Division.
General U. S. GRANT, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION,
Near Grand Junction, Tenn., November 22, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that leaving camp at noon of the 19th with detachments from the Seventh Kansas, Second Iowa, and the Third Michigan Regiments of Cavalry, in all 1,024 men, I encamped at night 10 miles northwest of Ripley. At midnight I resumed the march and before daybreak had completely surrounded the city of Ripley without disturbing its inhabitants. In the town I found sleeping Lieutenant-Colonel Hovis, of the Second Mississippi, Colonel Falkner's regiment; also Major Rogers, of the Second Mississippi Infantry. Several private soldiers were also found. I here learned that Colonel Falkner and his men were to meet that morning at a point 13 miles south of Ripley for the purpose of collecting the scattered companies of his regiment and march to join the rebel army at Abbeville. I sent large detachments on every road radiating from Ripley in search of the enemy, and myself with 400 men left for the meeting of Falkner. Arriving within 2 miles of the place of meeting his pickets fired on us and galloped to the main body. From prisoners afterward taken we learned that Colonel Falkner immediately ordered his force to mount and galloped away. We dashed on, overtaking his rear guard, firing many shots, when they scattered in the woods in all directions.
We took here several prisoners, including officers. Falkner with about 100 men escaped by dint of the hardest running, going in direction of Holly Springs. We had parties on all roads leading to this place of meeting and captured frequently small squads of men, frequently led by an officer. We also relieved the county of such stock as our present necessities required.
On the present expedition Tippah County has been completely run over, our scouting extending 15 miles south of Ripley through the Hickory Flats. On my return I sent a regiment through the country below Salem and through that town. This column made several captures.
I consider Colonel Falkner's regiment now broken beyond any hope of reorganization, and a great source of petty annoyance to our forces entirely removed.
I report prisoners sent this morning and enumerated in inclosed list.*