War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0426 Chapter XXXVI. Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

150, while the enemy had actually engaged about 1,000 men and his battery of six pieces. We charged the enemy twice, and repelled one charge from him, when, finding ourselves about to be flanked on both sides, we yielded the field.

Our loss was 2 men killed and 5 wounded. The enemy admitted a loss of 7 killed, 6 wounded, and 20 prisoners. We lost 8 men taken as prisoners. Some small proportion of my men ingloriously fled the field, but generally my companies fought bravely and retired in good order.

I desire especially to mention Captains [R.] Burrow, [J. H.] Hazlewood, [W. A.] Bell, [J. H.] Hicks, and [J. S.] Caruthers, who distinguished themselves for courage; also Lieutenant Colonel James U. Green and Major Berry [B.] Benson, for coolness and courage in the midst of all the circumstances.

The enemy captured a portion of our train, &c., valued at about $4,000. We are consoled, however, in this by the reflection that we had taken it in former conflicts from him. I retreated about 7 miles; encamped all night.

Next morning as I left my camp I came on the enemy, commanded by Colonel [Albert L.] Lee, of the Seventh Kansas [Cavalry], and another regiment, who had been marching on me from Collierville, with a view to surround me and crush my command in the folds of a vastly superior force. A slight skirmish ensued, which availed for all my purposes, when I escaped frmpleted circle designed for my destruction. Finding myself unable to meet the numbers pressing upon me on three sides, I ordered my companies upon detached service, and threw out squads, under efficient officers, to harass and annoy the enemy on every hand. He soon lost the track of my regiment, and found himself surrounded by small bands, annoying him in every possible way. He remained but three days, when he retired to his posts at LA Grange, Collierville, and Memphis.

During the time (about five months) in which I have been enlisting and organizing my regiment, we have killed about 50 of the enemy, have wounded about 100, and paroled about 700 men.

I believe that a force of 5,000 men can be raised in WEST Tennessee for the defense of this part of the State through the operations of the conscript law. My command is probably the first and only regiment of partisan rangers organized in Tennessee within the enemy's lines. It is a nucleus around which a larger force may be gathered. In WEST Tennessee there are large supplies, enough for the sustenance of an army sufficient to defend the country. These are lost to the cause unless a force is raised to defend the country. Here also are horses and mules; these are taken by the enemy whenever he makes a raid. My lines, now limited north by the Big Hatchie, might be extended north, and thus reach a region of country where there are many soldiers away from their commands and many conscripts. I suggest, would it not be well enough to encourage the raising of partisan corps within the enemy's lines, and thus avail yourself of a class of men now rendering no service to theirs country? I have made out a requisition for articles needed, and hope you will approve it and supply us as soon as practicable. Captain Harrison and Lieutenant [N.] McMullen will give all desirable information as to my wants and the exigencies of the service in this region.

Very respectfully,


Colonel Comdg. First Tennessee Regiment Partisan Rangers, C. S. A.