War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0025 Chapter XLII. EXPEDITION TO HERNANDO,MISS.,ETC.

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No. 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Hervey Craven, Eighty-ninth Indiana Infantry,

commanding expedition.

FORT PICKERING, TENN., August 21, 1863.

SIR: On the morning of the 16th, in obedience to the order of Brigadier General J. C. Veatch, the scouts under my command, composed of the Eighty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry and one company of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant Guiteau, moved for Hernando, going out on the Horn Lake road, and were joined on the next day by another company of the Sixth Cavalry, under command of Captain Grimes.

The command arrived and camped on the banks of Horn Lake Creek on the evening of the 16th, when I was informed that at the Widow May's, about 1 mile south of the creek, there had been some ten or a dozen of the cotton-burning guerrillas on that day, who, having learned of the advance of our forces, field. No pursuit was made after them, as they had fled some hours before I received the information that they had been there. The next morning we encountered much difficulty in crossing the creek, as the bridge had been burned and the channel is deep, and the banks very steep, in consequence of which we had to unload and pack the forage across, it being with difficulty that we crossed with empty wagons. During the day the cavalry in advance, under command of Lieutenant Guiteau, pursued 2 men on horseback, said to be cotton burners, one of them a lieutenant in the rebel army; and in the afternoon, while the command were resting during the heat of the day, 4 men on horseback, coming along the road, discovered our pickets, when they immediately wheeled and rode off at speed, the pickets having fired on them after they had refused to halt. From a negro I learned their names to be Cyrus Smith, Henry Douglass, Robert Scales, and Horace Polk, the latter living within 3 miles of Hernando, and the others in the same neigh borhood, but farther this way, Cyrus Smith living some 5 or 6 miles this side of Hernando, and all between the Horn Lake and Hernando roads. They seem to be well understood in the neighborhood as active rebels, and doing considerable in the way of cotton burning. On the next evening the command arrived at Hernando, the advance, under command of Captain Grimes, having found on their arrival in the place some 6 or 8 cavalry there, among whom was Captain Perry, a citizen of that neighborhood, and now at home recruiting for the rebel army. The captain and his squad, having notice of our approach by the rising of the dust, succeeded in making their escape, but were pursued and fired upon, and one of the fugitives, who was riding a mule not remarkable for its speed, was captured, he and his mule held until the next morning, when, from information which I deemed reliable that he did not belong to the squad of cavalry that had fled, and that he was a citizen of the neighborhood, and had indiscreetly fled simply because he supposed we would take his mule from him if it was found there, and also being informed that he was violently opposing the Southern conscription, I deemed it advisable to release him and did so, handing over his mule also. The citizens seemed