road, close by the river bank. The enemy advanced nearly to the brink of the river, where, under cover of felled trees and a gully, they poured in a perfect shower of balls. The brave Captain Spear, as they advanced down the road within 40 yards, commanded, "Cannoneers to your guns; canister. " The men worked with a will, and it was only when he found that their sharpshooters, under cover of large cypress logs, were picking off his men and horses, that he fell back. On our side was a thick, wooded swamp, which, from the last night's rain, was full of water. The two regiments and three companies on either side remained in their positions from 9 a. m. till 5 p. m., lying flat on the ground, and keeping their sharpshooters, five companies from a regiment, close to the bank, under cover of trees. A continuous fire was kept up from both sides all day. Seven companies of the Twelfth Wisconsin guarded the prisoners and the hill, in our rear. I posted the cavalry up the river at 3 p. m., who crossed the railroad at the burned bridge, but could hear nothing of General Smith.
At 4 p. m. the enemy were again re-enforced, and commenced shelling us from the hill opposite, to which we replied with our artillery, but we could get no range on them. The ground was so watery that we could only get position for one gun. At 4. 30 p. m. I moved the artillery train and the Twelfth Wisconsin to a strong position on the hill.
At 5 p. m. my cavalry sent word they had met the enemy's pickets on our right. I immediately fell back 2 miles, and moved about 3 miles to the WEST on the Horn Lake road, to prevent their flanking me. I am now satisfied that there was nothing there except Blythe's command. Here Major Eastman, with 100 men of the SECOND Wisconsin Cavalry, reported to me. Here we encamped for the night. During the night there was sharp picket firing, and we were in line of battle. One man of the Thirty-THIRD Wisconsin was wounded.
The next morning, Monday, I moved up to Hernando, and sent my cavalry forward again to Perry's Ferry, where they found the enemy still in position, with their pickets (which they drove in) thrown out toward Hernando. I also sent the cavalry east toward Holly Springs, to the river, with instructions to listen for Smith's guns. At 3 o'clock I fell back to Johnson's farm, on the Horn Lake road, and sent 30 cavalry to Memphis with dispatches for you.
At 8 o'clock Tuesday morning I fell back 6 miles to the junction of the Hernando and Horn Lake roads. I here received notice of re-enforcements, and sent the ambulances with dead and wounded to meet those you had sent out. While this was being done, the enemy sent in a flag of truce, which did not detain us, as we were stopped for dinner. I marched till dark, when we encamped.
The next morning, Wednesday, we moved through Hernando, and crossed my cavalry at both the Holly Springs road and Perry's Ferry. I was convinced that General Smith could not be below, from the fact that General Chalmers spent Monday night 2 miles south of Hernando, and was all day Tuesday with his wife at Hernando.
Thursday I returned to Horn Lake Creek, and Friday to camp at Memphis. The expedition captured 80 prisoners, 200 horses and mules (100 of them good cavalry horses), 70 stand of arms, 12,000 pounds of bacon, 10,000 pounds of which were destroyed; also a quantity of dry-goods, medicine,&c.
The Forty-first Illinois lost 1 man killed and 1 wounded. The Thirty-THIRD Wisconsin lost 2 commissioned officers killed and 3 men wounded. The Twelfth Wisconsin had 2 men wounded and 1 MISSING. The Fifteenth