entire country from the Coldwater on the WEST to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad on the east:
HDQRS. CHIEF OF Cavalry, on THE MARCH,
Near Sledgeville, Tenn.,
June 20, 1863.
GENERAL FIELD ORDERS,
Number 1. The following is indicated as the route to be taken by this command on the return march:
The First Brigade will cover the country from the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad on the east to the Coldwater River on the west, passing through Hernando, and thence northeast to their respective stations on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
The SECOND Brigade will cover the country from the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad and the Coldwater River southwest to the Panola and Holly Springs road, passing through Byhalia and Mouth Pleasant, and Terence to La Grande.
The Fourth Brigade will proceed northeast through Tyro, Chulahoma, thence by the most direct and practicable route to La Grange.
Take all horses, mules, cattle, and means of transportation; destroy or bring away all subsistence and forage. Fences inclosing flourishing crops will be burned; leave no animals behind; if any give out, shoot them. Rout and capture all roving bands of guerrillas, and make the work thorough and complete, rendering it impossible for the enemy to subsist on the country.
By order of J. K. Mizner, colonel and chief of Cavalry.
JAMES G. BUTLER,
Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.
On reaching Senatobia, I learned that Chalmers, after a successful engagement With a small Federal force near Hernando, was moving southwest along the north side of the Coldwater, and resolved to change my previous plans, and, placing the train and led animals in charge of Colonel McCrillis, to take the SECOND Brigade in light marching order and push rapidly WEST on the Helena road, hoping to intercept Chalmers at the Coldwater. My advance encountered the enemy about 3 miles from Senatobia and drove them steadily forward, skirmishing sharply until reaching the Coldwater, where they were found in considerable force. Dismounting a battalion of rifles, and pouring a deadly fire across the river where the enemy were concealed, I secured and retained possession of the crossing until morning, when the enemy were dislodged, and the NINTH Illinois having joined me, the command began crossing at 7 o'clock. Moving the THIRD Michigan cavalry rapidly forward to Walnut Lake, where they found Chalmers' rear guard, who took refuge in a block-house, from which, however, they were soon glad to escape by taking up the floor and making for the woods in their rear, I found that Chalmers had broken camp on the WEST side of Walnut Lake, and was running, With intention apparently of crossing the Tallahatchee at the mouth of the Coldwater. Abandoning all hopes of getting a fight from him, I proceeded northwest till within a short distance of Austin; then, turning north, camped within 3 miles of Commerce, destroying on my way immense amounts of forage, and taking a large number of horses and mules which had been hid in the bottoms. Proceeded east through Hernando and Olive Branch, near which place I detached four companies on the 23rd in pursuit of a considerable number of the enemy, who I learned were between me and Collierville, lying in ambush for forage trains, but on the approach of our men suddenly disappeared. At Mount Pleasant on the morning of the 24th, I received a dispatch from the major-general commanding informing me that La Grange was threatened, and directing me to move forward at once to protect that place.
Accordingly, I again placed the larger portion of the SECOND Brigade in light marching order, and leaving a battalion in charge of my led animals and transportation, With the fighting strength of my command made o forced march through a heavy storm of rain, and over almost an impassable road, to Moscow, where I learned that it was a false