War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0427 Chapter XXXVI. EXPEDITION FROM COLLIERVILLE, TENN.

Search Civil War Official Records

MARCH 8-12, 1863. - Expedition from Collierville, Tenn.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel Martin R. M. Wallace, Fourth Illinois Cavalry.

COLLIERVILLE, TENN., March 12, 1863

SIR: I have the honor to report that at 9. 30 a. m., March 9, 1863, in pursuance of orders from brigade headquarters, dated Headquarters SECOND Brigade, Cavalry DIVISION, March 8, 1863. I took 210 men of the Seventh Kansas Cavalry and 170 of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, and proceeded WEST from Little's Bridge, on Wolf River (about 3 miles WEST of this place), northeast through Fisherville to the Memphis and Somerville stage road, where we met 5 of the enemy's cavalry, who fled at our approach; thence along that road over the Cypress Levee to about 2 miles east of that place, then turned to the left and proceeded to a little village called Wythe Depot, and fed the command. While there, one of the troopers, who had been placed on picket, left his post and rode to a house near by, for the purpose of (he said) taking prisoner a couple of Richardson's men he had heard were there eating dinner; he was himself taken prisoner, and is now in camp with his parole. Several shots were fired at the guard in the road while at this place. From thence we proceeded in a northwesterly direction to Jackson's Mills, on the Loosahatchee; captured near the river 1 of Richardson's men. Here a very unfortunate circumstance occurred.

A man by name of Forbes being near the road, and seeing my flankers coming through his field, armed himself, and on approach of two of the flankers to the house, and being ordered by them to come out, refused to do so, but immediately fired, cutting the carbine belt and riddling the overcoat of one of the soldiers; he then ran to another house and refused to come out. My men burst the door open, and rushed in, firing up stairs at him (he having gone there), and he in turn firing at them. One man of Company E, Fourth Illinois Cavalry, fell, in the house, badly wounded, and one of Company B fell, mortally wounded, and since drs immediately set the house on fire; this brought Forbes out. When I rode up it was hardly possible to save the house; it might probably have been done if we had nothing else to do. The first words spoken by Forbes were, "Oh, gentlemen, I am mistaken," and from that time protested he was a Union man. He was severely wounded in the right arm. We left him at his house (being unable to travel). The evidence is overwhelming that he is a genuine Union man.

After disposing of the dead and wounded, I proceeded with the command, To Galloway Station, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, about 25 miles from this place by the road we traveled, not being able to communicate with Colonel Grierson as yet.

At daylight on the morning of the 10th instant, I proceeded on the road north to Concordia. Here I learned that Colonel Grierson, of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, had, at about 10 o'clock on the day previous, surprised Richardson in his camp, and, after a fight of about twenty minutes, Richardson and his men fled, leaving their camp an easy prey, which he wholly destroyed. I immediately sent a party to communicate with him, and his reply was, he did not know I was out, and I might do what I thought proper. I also sent a party back to Jackson's Mills to pick up the wounded man and bring him to camp.

I proceeded with the balance of the command WEST on Fort Randolph road, and after traveling about 2 miles, and just entering the bottom of East Beaver Dam Creek, I ran on to a squad of Richardson's men. The advanced guard, under Lieutenant [James] Smith, Company C, Seventh