APRIL 29-MAY 5, 1863. -Scout from LA Grange, Tenn., into Northern Mississippi.
Number 1. -Colonel Edward Hatch, SECOND Iowa Cavalry, commanding Cavalry Brigade.
Number 2. -Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles, C. S. Army, commanding First Military District.
Number 1. Report of Colonel Edward Hatch, SECOND Iowa Cavalry, commanding Cavalry Brigade. LA GRANGE, TENN., May 5, 1863.
CAPTAIN: Complying with Brigadier-General Smith's orders, left LA Grange on the morning of April 29, 1863, with the SECOND Iowa Cavalry, Sixth Iowa Infantry (mounted), Fourth Illinois Cavalry, four 10-pounder guns, and 80 men of the WEST Tennessee Cavalry-in all, an effective force of 1,300 men-to attack the forces of the enemy concentrating at New Albany and Pontotoc, to intercept the supposed return of Colonel Grierson. Marched 38 miles, and camped south of Ripley.
Learning that General Chalmers (Confederate), with a force of 1,500 men and one piece of artillery, had encamped at New Albany, and would dispute the passage of the Tallahatchee, passed at this point by two bridges, each about 200 feet in length, on the morning of the 30th, threw forward a detachment toward the bridges, moving with the main body to the crossing at Lee's Mills, 8 miles above, on the Tallahatchee. Coming upon their pickets at this point, captured a lieutenant and 1 private, and immediately pushed for the rear and flank of the enemy. Coming upon the trail of the enemy, I supposed it was the main body moving toward Okolona, but afterward learned that a regiment of the enemy had been sent to Okolona to mislead me, while the main body crossed the bridges, going north, burning them and King's Bridge, 6 miles below, on the stream.
On May 1, pushed rapidly toward Okolona, through Chesterville, coming occasionally upon the enemy, and, capturing a few prisoners, camped south of Tupelo that night.
May 2, moved toward Okolona, the enemy burning bridges in our advance, until we reached the Chiwapa, 6 miles from Okolona, which was so impassable, being swollen, and the bridge, an important one, destroyed, that I was obliged to move up the stream in a northwestern direction 12 miles, to effect a crossing, where I camped, throwing out detachments to examine the crossings. There I learned that General Chalmers, the day before, had moved north to my rear, and then recrossed the Tallahatchee at Rocky Ford, going south, and was moving on Pontotoc. I immediately took up line of march at dark toward Pontotoc, marching nearly all night in a rain-storm, hoping to come upon him at this point. When within 6 miles of Pontotoc, my scouts informed me that Chalmers had again taken flight hurriedly for Grenada.
Learning there could be no doubt of Colonel Grierson having moved rapidly to Baton Rouge, on May 3 took up my line of march toward LA Grange, arriving here on the 5th of May, bringing in about 400 captured stock and 20 prisoners.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain WILLIAM H. MORGAN,