War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0518 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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America were burned accidentally, together with the cars that contained them, at Batesville a few days previous to our arrival. I will inclose a map which will give you distances, names of creeks, of planters, &c., which may be of use to you. The few Confederate soldiers I have taken I have already turned over to your headquarters.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Sixth Illinois Cavalry.


Commanding United States Forces at College Hill.

HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS., December 29, 1862.

COLONEL: In obedience to Special Field Orders, Numbers 4, from headquarters of Colonel Mizner, which I received at 1 o'clock on the morning of the 20th, I marched with my command from our camp, 5 miles west of Spring Dale, at 2 o'clock a. m., arriving at Spring Dale at 4 o'clock a. m., where we halted two and a half hours to await the arrival of Colonel Mizner with the rest of his force. About 6.30 o'clock a. m. on the same morning we crossed the Yocknapatalfa at the ford near Spring Dale and proceeded to Oxford, where we arrived at 1 o'clock p. m., December 20; halted about three hours and again proceeded on the march toward Holly Springs; camped at 8 o'clock at night 1 mile south of the Tallahatchie; left at 1 o'clock a. m., December 21; arrived at Waterford at 7 a. m., where we halted to feet. At this place the command of the expedition was assigned to me, and I ordered the First Brigade, under Colonel Lee, to march by the main road to Holly Springs, while I proceeded in person with the Third Brigade by an untraveled road running parallel to and east of the main road. At 11 a. m. the two brigades arrived at Holly Springs simultaneously with an infantry force from Waterford, commanded by Colonel Marsh, about an hour previous. Here we were detained, by order of Colonel Marsh, until late on the afternoon of the 22d, when, by his order, I put the command on the march toward Oxford.

The Sixth Illinois Cavalry had proceeded 1 mile from Holly Springs when a dispatch was received from Major-General Grant ordering me to follow Jackson until he was caught or West Tennessee so completely exhausted as to render it impossible to support an army. The Third Michigan had in the mean time been sent to Grand Junction by order of Colonel Marsh. Upon receipt of the general's dispatch I immediately countermarched the Sixth Illinois Cavalry and proceeded with it and the First Brigade at 10 o'clock p. m. to Grand Junction, arriving at 7 o'clock a. m. December 23, having passed the Third Michigan in the night; halted to feed men and horses, and collected information which led me to believe that the whole force of the enemy under Van Dorn had gone in the direction of Bolivar.

After three hours' rest, the Third Michigan having again joined us, I started the column northward, arriving at Bolivar at 11 o'clock p. m. On the road I distinctly saw the camp-fires of the enemy about 6 miles to the southeast of Bolivar. Having sent our scouts to reconnoiter and ascertain their position I moved my command into the town and bivouacked for the night. About daylight the following morning, December 24, the enemy having made a circuit of about 11 miles, attacked the town on the west, capturing some pickets of the First Tennessee