edge, and opened on us with them, firing with considerable accuracy, but fortunately with no more effect than the slightly wounding of 1 man of the Seventh Kansas, who was hit by a piece of exploding shell. To counteract this cannonading, I ordered up a section of the howitzer battery belonging to the Tenth Missouri, and replied to them vigorously, and with such effect that, after five or six rounds, the enemy withdrew his guns and retreat, we pursuing and driving him through the town.
During the cannonading I dismounted Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips' command, and pushed them forward as skirmishers on the right and left flanks, and, as soon as the enemy fled, moved them rapidly on the town, and took possession of it. Sending two squadrons of the Tenth Missouri through the town to discover the direction of the enemy's flight, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips to search every house in the place for contraband goods, and recalled the Seventh Kansas Cavalry, which had advanced to the right and south of the place. All of the command except those on duty in the town were ordered to halt just on the outskirts. The enemy's force was variously estimated,and was under the command of Brigadier-General Wood. He retreated in two directions, hoping by this means to divide my command, but in this he failed, as I did not order any pursuit beyond the town limits. We found in Florence some 5,000 of canister and 30,000 rounds of ammunition for small-arms, which we destroyed. The few wagon-shops in the place were engaged in making artillery wheels, and the blacksmith shops in doing other Government work, and were burned.
After remaining in the town about two hours, I started my whole command southwardly and toward the river on my return. Scarcely had I got the head of my column in motion, when a demonstration was made on my rear, but which was kept in check until after the whole command had crossed the creek running to the southwest of the town, by the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Bowen, who, by my order, prevented any further annoyance of the rear by burning the bridge across the said creek.
About the time my advance reached this creek it was attacked by the enemy, who made considerable demonstration, in order, as I supposed, to draw our attention from the immense tan-yards in that vicinity, and the largest in the Southern Confederacy, and the factories that were in operation here. However, these were destroyed, and all their contents with them. The contents were worth more than the cost of the establishments and their entire machinery.
Before leaving Florence, I ordered several old houses to be fired, and shell to be placed in each corner of them, covered with combustible materials, so that if the enemy attempted too close a pursuit they would hear from us in a manner that would be disastrous to them.
In this connection I might also state that I ordered the fences to be fired in different places on both sides of the road by the rear guard, with shells so placed that their eventual explosion would allow no pursuit of us by the road, for I had learned that the rebels were massing for that purpose or to attack us on our flanks.
My advance guard had considerable skirmishing with the enemy, who seemed disposed to dispute every mile of our road, until midnight, at which time I went into camp, to rest my men and animals after the almost overwhelming fatigue of the march. Up to this time I had destroyed every corn-crib in the vicinity of our line of march.
About daybreak on the morning of Friday, the 29th, we again took up our line of march toward Corinth, passing through Waterloo, destroying a large cotton factory about 20 miles from Hamburg,and know