the utmost difficulty that we continued the march; the rain fell in torrents, making the road nearly impassable in the blackness of the night.
It would have been impossible for man or beast to have marched but for the continual flash of fighting which kept us n the road a part of the time.
It was so difficult to keep the road that many a horse, rider and all, tumbled into the ditch, where they would struggle for some time before they could extricate themselves.
At 12 o'clock midnight we reached the old battle-ground of Coffeeville, when we became tired of the slow progress making, and concluded to halt awhile for the clouds to move off that there might be a little more light. After an hour's halt we moved on, and after a mile's travel were overtaken by yourself, who directed that we halt until morning.
Soon after sunrise of the 17th we moved on toward Coffeeville, where we arrived in an hour afterward. Here we captured some 3 prisoners, and after a few minutes' halt moved out on the Grenada road. The advance struck the enemy's pickets about 2 miles below the town, where they captured a soldier belonging to McCulloch's command.
When 6 miles below Coffeeville I saw a locomotive moving up the road slowly and ordered the advance to send some men in its rear, hoping that they might reach the track in time to prevent its return by throwing obstructions upon the track. But, unfortunately, the movement was discovered in time for the engine to escape, not, however, without receiving some fifty shots from our carbines, which was the only means left for halting it. One car was found here loaded with car equipments which were left by the company.
The locomotive was undoubtedly after this car, as no other business was apparent.
From this on skirmishing was continuous all the way to Grenada. When within 8 miles of Grenada we discovered a large number of cars and locomotives, which we afterward learned amounted to 6 locomotives and 25 cars, all in good order.
When within 4 miles of Grenada we discovered a heavy column of smoke which we took to mean destruction of some kind, and immediately took a gallop that we might get to the place as soon as possible.
At three-fourths of a mile of town our advance came upon a heavy force, as they thought, and called for assistance, when I dismounted one battalion of the Third Michigan Rifles [Cavalry] and one battalion of the Ninth [Illinois] Infantry, deploying them on either side of the road as skirmishers, and pushed forward.
To make the command entirely safe from any show of ambuscade, I sent a company of sabers on each flank to feel the timber all through, and see the enemy driven out.
We had not advanced more than one-half a mile when they opened upon us with 6 and 10 pounder artillery.
This did not check our movements, however, until we had driven them all over the river. Here they exhibited a strong determination to resist us.
In an hour we succeeded in bringing two of our 12-pounder howitzers to bear upon them, when nothing more was to be heard from them.
As soon as it was practicable to cross I took some 200 men and went