War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0168 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX. N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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miles from this place my skirmishers fell in with an advance party of the enemy, fired on them, emptied three saddles, and drove the rest rapidly back. A short distance beyond, his cavalry were seen drawn up in considerable force. Our artillery opened a well-directed fire, and the cavalry retreated rapidly. We advanced, firing shell and shrapnel at intervals, until near Plains Store, where my skirmishers found the enemy's infantry with some artillery, and has a sharp contest with them. The line was quickly formed and ordered to advance. It moved forward steadily, and was soon engaged in close and deadly conflict. The contest raged with great fury for nearly an hour, when I discovered we were overpowered by greatly superior numbers, any my line was being pressed back. I at once ordered a section of Captain [R. M.] Boone's battery to advance up the Plains Store road, to a point where it could deliver a raking fire on the enemy's right flank. The order was promptly obeyed, and the fire was so effective as to completely check his movements, enabling me to withdraw the command at leisure and in good order, bringing off 23 of my wounded, this being all I could furnish transportation for.

In this affair both infantry and artillery behaved with great coolness and courage, and deserve much praise for their soldierly bearing.

I have no means of knowing the exact number of the enemy we encountered. It was quite large, however, and very much exceeded our own, the prisoners captured by us stating it to consist of fifteen regiments of infantry, besides artillery and a large cavalry force.

Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing is 89. It is impossible to state with accuracy the number of killed and wounded. I only know of 8 killed and 23 wounded. The enemy, however, report having buried 40 of our dead, and say they are in possession of a number of our wounded.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. R. MILES,

Colonel, Commanding Legion.

Major T. F. WILLSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ON THE FIELD,

May 24, 1863.

I beg leave to report that no attack or menace has been made on my line to-day. The shelling from guns and mortars, however, has been extraordinarily furious, and I regret to say that 3 men have been killed and 3 others slightly wounded by them. The casualties occurred in Major Anderson Merchant's battalion.

I am, general, very respectfully,

W. R. MILES,

Colonel, Commanding.

Major T. F. WILLSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ON THE FIELD,

May 25, 1863.

I beg leave to report that, at an interval of about two hours, two advances have been made on our lines to-day-the first by infantry and cavalry, and the second by cavalry alone-both times in considerable