been forced to retire. From what we can learn the enemy carried away with them a large number of dead and wounded. We have some 20 prisoners. Shall we parole them?
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
Major General U. S. GRANT.
Report of Colonel William H. Morgan, Twenty-fifth Indiana Infantry, of skirmish at Davis' Mill, December 21.
HDQRS. TWENTY-FIFTH REGIMENT INDIANA VOLS., Davis' Mill, December 26, 1862.
CAPTAIN: The following brief report of the engagement between the forces of my command stationed at this place (composed of parts of Companies A, F, D, I, C, and H, of the Twenty-fifth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with Companies B and M, of the Fifth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and the rebels under Major-General Van Dorn, on Sunday, the 21st instant, is respectfully submitted:
Information that a large rebel force was moving northward with the evident intention of capturing or otherwise disposing of the troops left as a guard along the line of the Mississippi Central Railway, as well as of destroying the Government stores and the road at various points, had been previously received. I at once set to work to erect such defenses as in my opinion would best protect my small force from injury or capture, prevent the trestle work at this point from being destroyed, and at the same time inflict the greatest amount of damage upon the enemy. I accordingly took possession of an old saw-mill, which I converted into a block-house by means of railroad ties and cotton bales. This is so situated as to command the entire trestle work and the wagon road leading to the mill from the south, crossing Wolf River by a bridge, distant only about 70 yards. I this block-house I placed Company H of the Twenty-fifth Indiana with a sufficient amount of ammunition and bread to last them a siege of at least forty-eight hours.
Our work here was completed about dark on Saturday evening, when with one-half of my command I erected an earthwork around the base of a mound (distant from the bridge over Wolf River about 350 yards), and in such a direction as to cover the approach to and with the aid of the block-house afford us a cross-fire on the bridge.
Our circle was completed, and sufficiently strong for an ordinary engagement by 11 p. m. the same night, and was then, with a sufficient amount of ammunition, taken possession of by those of my men who had been up to that hour resting in camp.
At 4 o'clock the following morning (Sunday, the 21st) all were in position, prepared for an attack; but the enemy failing to make his appearance we continued our labor on the earthwork, and were in this manner occupied until about noon. A few minutes after 12 noon my pickets were driven in, and information was received to the effect that the enemy (variously estimated at from 5,000 to 10,000) was approaching from the south. The infantry were at once ordered into and took the positions previously assigned them; that of Companies A, F, D, I, and C, of the Twenty-fifth Indiana, being in the fort or earthwork; and the cavalry (dismounted) were divided, and a part under the command