War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0251 Chapter XXXV. EXPEDITIONS TO COURTLAND, ALA., ETC.

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Numbers 4. Report of Colonel Florence M. Cornyn, Tenth Missouri Cavalry, commanding brigade, and including action (May 5) at King's Creek, near Tupelo, Miss.


Corinth, May 16, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit for consideration the following report of the transactions of the cavalry brigade which I had the honor to command on the recent expeditions in which it was engaged: On the receipt of news from Glendale, and in pursuance of instructions from Headquarters District of Corinth, Department of the Tennessee, this command, consisting at that time of the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Bowen, and the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry, Major Gilbert, proceeded, on Tuesday, April 14, to the above place, to assist in repelling the enemy, who was said to be making an attempt upon that post. On our arrival there, we found that the enemy, variously estimated as to strength, had been repelled, and that the First Alabama Cavalry, under Captain "<, had started in pursuit. I, with my command, determined to start also in pursuit. At Glendale we were joined by the Ninth Illinois Mounted Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel J. J. Phillips, who reported to me, and joined in the chase. We drove the enemy through and beyond Burnsville, overtaking at this place the First Alabama Cavalry, where we left them, under orders to repair a bridge over Yellow Creek, and guard a forage train that was expected to arrive at that point during the night. The balance of the command pushed on in close pursuit after the flying rebels, pausing only at nightfall, and going into camp about 4 miles west of Iuka.

It might not be improper here to remark that but for the fact that the almost impassable condition of the roads at some points prevented the moving as fast as desirable of the howitzers attached to the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, we would have come up with the enemy's force on that day, and driven him to or beyond Great Bear Creek.

On the following day (Wednesday, the 15th) we moved through Iuka, to Cook's farm, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and went into camp, to await orders. About 10 o'clock that night we were joined by the First Alabama Cavalry. On the afternoon of Thursday, the 16th, the whole of the command of Brigadier General G. M. Dodge came up and encamped on the same plantation. In pursuance of orders, the next morning, being Friday, the 17th, the whole command moved from its encampment and proceeded to Great Bear Creek, this brigade leading the advance. At the creek a halt was made, and, after some shelling of the opposite shore, the cavalry were ordered to ford, which was immediately done, and with alacrity. The Ninth Illinois Mounted Infantry still formed a portion of the cavalry brigade, which, at this time, consisted of the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, the First Alabama Cavalry, the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry, and the Ninth Illinois Mounted Infantry, amounting, in all, to about 1,050 fighting men.

The creek was crossed without any opposition, our batteries still shelling the opposite side, and many of them falling amongst this command; but, fortunately, no one was hurt. I immediately started out on the road to Tuscumbia, having previously ordered two squadrons of the Tenth Missouri Cavalry and a company of the Ninth Illinois Mounted Infantry to take a road leading off to the left and north of the main road, to develop the enemy, should it turn out that he had