encamped about 4 miles WEST of Verona, I received orders to proceed at once to Verona, intelligence having been received that the enemy had driven in Major [W. M.] Inge's pickets in the neighborhood of Tupelo. On my arrival at Verona, the column moved toward Tupelo, Colonel [J.] Cunningham in front. My command, which consisted of detachments of four companies (about 140 in all), constituted the left wing. The enemy's pickets were driven in about 1 mile from the scene of action. In the neighborhood of King's Creek, one-half mile WEST of Tupelo, while my command was crossing a large corn-field, Colonel Cunningham drove in the enemy's advance guard, and immediately crossed the creek and proceeded into the heavy timber on the opposite side. My command followed with as little delay as possible, considering the difficulty of fording, and proceeded into the wood about 100 yards in the rear of Colonel Cunningham. Colonel Cunningham pushed on in pursuit of the enemy's advance guard, without drawing the fire of his main body, which was in ambush. On reaching a ridge about 100 yards from the creek, I first received the fire from the enemy's left wing, at a distance of from 25 to 40 yards. I returned the fire and dismounted my right wing. Several of the horses of my left becoming unmanageable, they faltered. The enemy raised a yell and attempted a charge, but were held in check by my right wing.
At this time Lieutenant-Colonel [C. R.] Barteau came to my assistance on the right; poured a volley into the enemy, driving him back about 200 yards, to a more advantageous position. The firing then commenced from their whole line, with three pieces of artillery, two making a cross-fire from each wing and one from the center. It is said by those at a distance they fired 40 rounds from each gun. Just before the firing ceased, Colonel Barteau informed me that two regiments were attempting a flank movement on the left, and ordered me to recross the creek and form on the opposite side, which I did under a heavy fire. I was here joined by two rear companies of the SECOND Alabama, which were cut off. After crossing the creek, the firing ceased along the whole line, and Colonel Barteau's command to Chesterville, 1 1/2 miles WEST of Tupelo, and continued driving in the enemy's pickets and skirmishing until night.
My loss is 1 killed, 3 wounded, and 2 MISSING. I also lost 12 horses.
Without attaching too much importance to the affair, I consider it my duty to mention Captain Jacob R. Shepherd, First Lieutenant Samuel P. Morrow, and First Lieutenant H. H. Bibb as worthy of praise for gallant and meritorious conduct.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. A. HEWLETT,
Captain L. D. SANDIDGE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General.
Number 4. Report of Lieutenant Colonel C. R. Barteau, SECOND Tennessee Cavalry. VERONA, MISS., May 8, 1863.
Having been ordered to this place from the Pontotoc and Shannon road on the morning of the 3rd instant, I reached here at 10 a. m. There