War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0522 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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than by sending regiment to Oxford, as they would be obliged to return to New Albany to recross the Tallahatchee. I have ordered a single scout, however, to go from Pontotoc toward Oxford, strike the railroad, and destroy the wires.

I start at 4 o'clock in the morning, and on the night of the 20th shall be 50 miles below here. Everything looks exceedingly favorable. Rest assured that I shall spare no exertion to make the expedition as effective as possible. I may possibly find an opportunity to communicate with you again in four or five days, but do not wonder if you should not hear from me in thirty days.

We have yet encountered no force except the unorganized cavalry scattered through the country. We have succeeded in killing 4 or 5, and wounding and capturing a number. The prisoners return with this expedition.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Brigade.

Brigadier General W. S. SMITH,

Commanding United States Forces at LA Grange.


Baton Rouge, La., May 5, 1863.

COLONEL: In accordance with instructions from Major General S. A. Hurlbut, received through Brigadier General W. S. Smith, at LA Grange, Tenn., I left that place at daylight on the morning of April 17, with the effective force of my command, 1,700 strong. We moved southward without material interruption, crossing the Tallahatchee River on the afternoon of the 18th at three different points. One battalion of the Seventh Illinois, under Major Graham, crossing at New Albany, found the brigade partially torn up, and an attempt was made to fire it. As they approached the bridge they were fired upon, but drove the enemy from their position, repaired the bridge, and crossed. The balance of the Seventh Illinois and the whole of the Sixth crossed at a ford 2 miles above, and the SECOND Iowa crossed about 4 miles still farther up. After crossing, the Sixth and Seventh Illinois moved south on the Pontotoc road, and encamped for the night on the plantation of Mr. Sloan. The SECOND Iowa also moved south from their point of crossing, and encamped about 4 miles south of the river. The rain fell in torrents all night.

The next morning, April 19, I sent a detachment eastward to communicate with Colonel Hatch and make a demonstration toward Chesterville, where a regiment of cavalry was organizing. I also sent an expedition to New Albany, and another northwest toward King's Bridge, to attack and destroy a portion of a regiment of cavalry organizing there under Major [A. H.] Chalmers. I thus sought to create the impression that the object of our advance was to break up these parties.

The expedition eastward communicated with Colonel Hatch, who was still moving south parallel to us. The one to New Albany came upon 200 rebels near the town, and engaged them, killing and wounding several. The one northwest found that Major Chalmer's command, hearing of our close proximity, had suddenly left in the night, going WEST.

After the expeditions, I moved with the whole force to Pontotoc. Colonel Hatch joined us about noon, reporting having skirmished