as effective in the face of an enemy as their most noted companions in the field.
This action was fought under peculiar difficulties. The road was narrow and extremely muddy, lined nearly all the way on both sides by a dense and almost impenetrable growth of oak trees and underbrush, running over a broken and impracticable country or through river bottoms of a miry character. It was impossible to see the enemy's position or note his strength till we were upon him. It was equally difficult to and the horses of the dismounted men.
In this pursuit, over muddy roads and through almost incessant rains, in a country destitute of forage for horses and without rations for men, the enemy was followed four successive days, skirmishing daily and almost hourly, and chased as far as Coffeeville, a distance of about 50 miles, and after fighting him at that point several hours, engaging his artillery and infantry, I withdrew my command steadily and fell back to a place of security where I could give the troops the rest they so much needed.
In the expedition we captured 750 prisoners and near 200 horses and mules; also 5 railroad cars, 4 wagons loaded with supplies, $7,000 of Confederate money in the hands of a rebel quartermaster; compelled the enemy to burn several hundred tents and to abandon and destroy several hundred stand of small-arms; saved from destruction all of the railroad bridges on the route and most of the trestle work, and obtained a correct man of the country through the assistance of the assistant topographical engineer who accompanied me.
We lost 10 killed, 63 wounded, and 41 captured. Of the enemy at least 70 were killed, 250 wounded, and 750 taken prisoners. His loss in stragglers and deserters on the retreat is probably 600 or 700 more.
I transmit herewith a list of the casualties, which is respectfully submitted.*
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. LYLE DICKEY,
Colonel and Chief of Cavalry, Commanding Cavalry Division.
Lieutenant Colonel JOHN A. RAWLINS,
HDQRS. CAVALRY DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Oxford, Miss, December 20, 1862.
COLONEL: I beg leave to report to Major General U. S. Grant, commanding the department, that his order commanding me to take a part of my division of cavalry and strike the Mobile and Ohio Railroad as far south as practicable and destroy it as much as possible was received about 11 o'clock on the night of the 13th instant a few miles east of Water Valley.
Colonel Hatch, commanding the Second Brigade, was ordered to report to me at half past 8 a.m. of the 14th with 800 picked men from his command, properly officered, well mounted, well armed, and with 50 rounds, of ammunition with rations of hard bread and salt, and ready for six days' scout, with no more wagons than necessary to haul the rations. Major Ricker with a battalion of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, was sent to the south from Paris to make a demonstration toward Grenada,
*Nominal list omitted.