with about 200 rebels the afternoon before and that morning, killing, wounding, and capturing a number.
We reached Pontotoc about 5 p. m. The advance dashed into the town, came upon some guerrillas, killed 1, and wounded and captured several more. Here we also captured a large mill, about 400 bushels of salt, and camp equipage, books, papers, &c., of Captain Weatherall's command, all of which were destroyed. After slight delay, we moved out, and encamped for the night on the plantation of Mr. Daggett, 5 miles south of Pontotoc, on the road toward Houston.
At 3 o'clock the next morning, April 20, I detached 175 of the least effective portion of the command, with one gun of the battery and all the prisoners, led horses, and captured property, under the command of Major Love, of the SECOND Iowa, to proceed back to LA Grange, marching in column of fours, before daylight, through Pontotoc, and thus leaving the impression that the whole command had returned. Major Love had orders also to send off a single scout to cut the telegraph wires south of Oxford.
At 5 a. m. I proceeded southward with the main force on the Houston road, passing around Houston about 4 p. m., and halting at dark on the plantation of Benjamin Kilgore, 11 1/2 miles southeast of the latter place, on the road toward Starkville.
The following morning at 6 o'clock I resumed the march southward, and about 8 o'clock came to the road leading southeast to Columbus, MISS. Here I detached Colonel Hatch, with the SECOND Iowa Cavalry and one gun of the battery, with orders to proceed to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad in the vicinity of WEST Point, and destroy the road and wires; thence move south, destroying the railroad and all public property as far south, if possible, as Macon; thence across the railroad, making a circuit northward; e Columbus and destroy all Government works in that place, and again strike the railroad south of Okolona, and, destroying it, return to LA Grange by the most practicable route.
Of this expedition, and the one previously sent back, I have since heard nothing, except vague and uncertain rumors through secession sources.
These detachments were intended as diversions, and even should the commanders not have been able to carry out their instructions, yet by attracting the attention of the enemy in other directions, they assisted us much in the accomplishment of the main object of the expedition.
After having started Colonel Hatch on his way, with the remaining portion of the command, consisting of the Sixth and Seventh Illinois Cavalry, about 950 strong, I continued on my journey southward, still keeping the Starkville road. Arriving at Starkville about 4 p. m., we captured a mail and a quantity of Government property, which we destroyed. From this point we took the direct road to Louisville. We moved out on this road about 4 miles, through a dismal swamp nearly belly-deep in mud, and sometimes swimming our horses to cross streams, when we encamped for the night in the midst of a violent rain. From this point I detached a battalion of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry under --- ---, to proceed about 4 miles, and destroy a large tannery and shoe manufactory in the service of the rebels. They returned safely, having accomplished the work most effectually. They destroyed a large number of boots and shoes and a large quantity of leather and machinery; in all amounting, probably, to $ 50,000, and captured a rebel quartermaster from Port Hudson, who was there laying in a supply for his command.
We now immediately resumed the march toward Louisville, distant