War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0482 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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church, and some private dwellings late in the evening of the same day. At midnight I left for New Albany, reaching the place about 9 o'clock Owen's artillery, which had not come up. Ascertaining that the enemy numbered only some 500 men, With two guns, I sent Colonel William Boyles, With 400 men, and Colonel W. C. Falkner of General J. R. CHALMER'S command, who had for some time been near, and who joined me at New Albany, With some 200 men in pursuit, accompanied by Colonel John M. Sandidge one of my staff officers, With instructions to press the enemy and attack him wherever found. The enemy having retreated in the direction of Ripley, the troops of Colonels Boyles and Falkner pursued by different routes to that place, as instructed, With the hope of overtaking him there.

Arriving at 2 p. m. the 14th, colonel William Boyles found the enemy left at 9 a. m. going in the direction of Pocahontas. Colonel Boyles immediately continued the pursuit, leaving a message for Colonel Falkner who had not arrived to join him at a feeding place 12 miles our intending, if the could not overtake the enemy during the night, to attack him at Pocahontas at daylight the next morning. At 11 o'clock in the night, being informed that Colonel Falkner could not for some reason proceed beyond Ripley, and that the enemy was already at Pocahontas, colonel Boyles reluctantly, and With the concurrence of my staff officer, abandoned the pursuit and purpose of attacking Pocahontas, returning to New Albany the next day.

It is believed that With the co-operation of Colonel Falkner the expedition would have resulted most successfully.

Remaining at and near New Albany until the 17th, captain Thomas Puryear, of Colonel C. R. Bartean's SECOND Tennessee Regiment, With a detachment of 125 selected men, accompanies by the staff officer already mentioned, was instructed to penetrate the enemy's line, if practicable, near Chewalla, and, passing north of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, break up the enemy's communications on all the railroads in that section. As the success of this expedition depended very greatly, in not entirely upon its passing some distance beyond the enemy's lines without being observed during the night of the 17th, it was found that, after a march of 42 miles during the day, there was still 20 miles to be passed over night, With total darkness, made it impossible to accomplish the desired object, and the troops were halted about midnight, and the next morning the 18th turned eastwardly to scout the country in front of the enemy's lines, so as to unite With the main body of my forces, which had been marched the day before from New Albany in the direction of Guntown, to watch and harass the threatened raid on Atlanta, if made.

After a short march, captain Puryear got into the rear of a party of the enemy's cavalry moving from the east westwardly, in the direction of Ripley, and I was informed that Captain Puryear, having failed in his first object, would follow after the enemy, then three hours in advance. At 2 p. m. when within 4 miles of Ripley Captain Puryear ascertained that the enemy he had been pursuing had united With a much larger force at Ripley, who came out from Chewalla and Pocahontas With artillery. Maneuvering upon two or three roads near Ripley in such manner as to induce the enemy to believe a large force was approaching against him, he retreated from the place, and Captain Puryear's command encamped for the night 6 miles distant, on the road leading to New Albany. Ascertaining, as is supposed the real strength