of our weak force which had deluded him, the enemy moved forward the next morning the 19th and at 2 p. m. a lively skirmish commenced at New Albany, captain Puryear's rear guard, in command of Lieutenant A. H. French, With 20 men, holding them in check for three hours, killing and wounding several, as was subsequently ascertained.
The conspicuous gallantry of this lieutenant as well on that as the succeeding day, when he was wounded, entitles him to special commendation.
Sergt. J. D. Carr, of Company D, and Private W. W. Thurmond, company G, SECOND Tennessee Regiment, also deserve special praise for gallant conduct at New Albany.
On reception of the information communicated the morning of the 18th by my staff officer With Captain Puryear, that they were in pursuit of an enemy moving toward Ripley, I retraced my steps from near Guntow, sending the SECOND Alabama Regiment, under Captain R. G. Guntown, sending the SECOND Alabama Regiment, under Captain R. G. Earle, to New Albany, and With the remainder of my troops and guns took the road to Plenitude, to be in position to meet the enemy and cover Pontotoc, should he advance in force. near Plenituede Captain Puryear's detachment rejoined the command, and ascertaining that the enemy, leaving New Albany at 6 p. m. were encamped on the Pontotoc road 5, miles from the latter and 3 miles from the former place my troops were moved to the right during the night to be in communication With the daylight. The enemy, it seems, ascertaining in some way the proximity of a larger force than he expected to encounter, left his camp during the night not withdrawing his pickets, taking the direction of Rocky Ford on the Tallahatchee River. He was overtaken by the advance of my troops, under Colonel C. R. Barteay and Captain R. G. Earle who marched all night, and attacked in the canebrake swamp on Ultchehubbypathan before reaching the Tallahatchee. Arriving on the field With the main a conflict of three hours, the enemy was entirely routed and driven from and exceedingly strong position in dense swamps and behind almost impassable creeks. NEARLY 50 of his killed have been found in these thickets; a few are prisoners, the remainder fled in confusion, barely saving their artillery, losing caissons and nearly all of his baggage and ammunition train. The pursuit was continued to the Tallachatchee, at Rocky Ford.
Colonel Jesse J. Phillips, in command of the enemy's troops, had With him the NINTH Illinois, tenth and Eleventh Missouri, and FIFTH Ohio Regiment, With two companies Tories mounted infantry and cavalry, numbering over 1,000 men, one parrott gun, and one 12-pounder howitzer, and had moved out to co-operative With other forces of the enemy near the Central Railroad.
I was much gratified With the conduct of officers and men, who engaged the enemy With vigor and determination, and, after final dispositions were made gave evidence of their ability to drive greater numbers than were then opposed to them from the field.
Colonel C. R. Barteaus' SECOND Tennessee, colonel William Boyles' First Alabama, and Captain R. G. Earle's SECOND Alabama Regiments of cavalry vied With each other in pressing the enemy home, while Captain J. A. Owen's light battery and First Lieutenant H. C. Holt's William's guns swept the canebrakes and jungles With marked effect. But for the difficulty in jungles With marked effect.
But for the difficulty in obtaining guides in the dense thicket extending some miles, a flank movement would have been made to the right by which the enemy's rear might have been gained, resulting, unquestionably, in the destruction or capture of his entire force.