On the 24th, marched north through Birmingham, where I was attacked in the rear by what I believe to be Chalmers' forces, at 10 a. m. My ammunition giving out, I retreated slowly toward Molino, stopping occasionally to repel their charges, concealing my men at all favorable points with the 2-pounder, which did excellent service. I waited until the enemy suffering terribly, with small loss to me. In this way the attack was kept up for 6 miles, when the enemy were evidently tired, and, with the exception of annoyance from guerrilla parties, we were not troubled by the enemy from that point to LA Grange, where I arrived on the 26th.
We captured about three hundred shot-guns and rifles, mostly Enfield, which, for want of transportation, were destroyed, and have had but 10 men killed, wounded, and MISSING. I left camp with 70 rounds of ammunition, and had 10 on reaching it. I had decided on reaching Okolona to go south, but upon examining my ammunition I had but 21 rounds left, which did not warrant the movement.
The fight at Palo Alto gave the enemy time to guard the railroad at WEST Point and prepare for an attack on Columbus, with some 2,000 State troops, under General Ruggles.
I left camp with 250 horses, worn out, which broke down at the end of the SECOND day, and mounted my men upon the mules from my train and borrowed mules. I have nearly mounted my regiment, returned the mules borrowed, and filled up my train, captured 50 prisoners, and killed and wounded not less than 100 of the enemy.
The fight at Palo Alto, and diverting the enemy from Colonel Grierson, has undoubtedly given him thirty-six hours' start.
Inclosed I send list of prisoners captured; also duplicates of paroles given. * The prisoners taken near Pontotoc were turned over to Major Love, of my regiment.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel SECOND Iowa Cavalry.
Captain W. H. HARLAND,
Asst. Adjt. General, First DIVISION, SIXTEENTH Army Corps.
Number 5. Reports of Brigadier General John Adams, C. S. Army. LAKE, April 25, 1863.
Five hundred Federals at Newton Station this morning at 2 o'clock; have certainly gone to Enterprise. Heavy firing heard in direction of Meridian this morning. One regiment of Confederates came from Meridian to Hickory Station yesterday without ammunition. They went back, so General Loring must know of the enemy. My engine has just arrived; report another heavy column of cavalry advancing on Newton Station from Decatur, MISS., and going to Enterprise. Telegraph operator was left beyond Newton, putting up wire to Meridian. Eleven small bridges burned between Newton and Meridian. I await further orders.