and had to confine our attention to the defense of the fort, depot building containing the supplies of the garrison, and our own train. In this we succeeded. Lieutenant James, Third U. S. Cavalry, acting ordnance officer on my staff, organized the unarmed clerks and orderlies with some soldiers who had taken passage with us on the train, and undertook to protect the train, which extended well to the rear of the depot, and was sheltered from the fire of the fort by that building. He made a sally and charge on the enemy,
receiving a very severe wound. He is a very enthusiastic and meritorious young officer, and his loss to the service at this time is a serious one.
Toward the close of the action, the enemy had got possession of some of the rear cars and had taken out 5 of our horses, and carried off some overcoats and parcels left in the cars. They set fire to the rear car, but a sally from the fort, made by a company of regulars, led by Lieutenant Griffin, drove them off, and the party extinguished the fire.
The enemy drew off about 3 p. m., leaving on the ground about 10 dead, but their ambulances were seen removing dead and wounded. From wounded prisoners left in our hands, and a Confederate surgeon, we learned that General Chalmers was in command and his force was entirely a mounted one, composed of five regiments numbering from 2,500 to 3,000, with four guns.
Colonel Anthony will make a detailed report, also Captain C. C. Smith, from which you will see that our aggregate loss was about 20 killed, about 50 wounded, and as many missing, consisting chiefly of the pickets and sick men taken from the cars, who were not in the fight.
There is no doubt our opportune arrival and the efforts of the regulars saved the place, and prevented the enemy capturing our force at Collierville, with its store of supplies, and, what is of more importance, the railroad at that point.
I avail myself of the opportunity to record my high appreciation of the services of this small but devoted battalion. They have served near my person for about a year, and have been subjected to every sort of test, and have proven equal to them all. At the fight at Chickasaw, at Arkansas Post, at Deer Creek, at the assault on Vicksburg May 19, at Jackson, Miss., and now at Collierville, always at the most exposed point, they have suffered terribly, having lost in battle fully one-half their original number.
I commend all officers and men to the notice of their Government, and cannot discriminate among the company officers without doing injustice to others. The present commander of the battalion, Captain C. C. Smith, has been once severely wounded and had labored hard and most successfully in keeping up the discipline and tone of the battalion, and should be rewarded.
Indeed, all the officers present deserve a brevet, and those who are absent, on fancy duty far to the rear, should hasten to share with their comrades the exposure, labor, and risks, which these who are present have borne so well, gaining fame and reputation which the whole regiment will enjoy.
The moment the enemy retired I gave the necessary directions for the repairs of road and wires; and General Corse's division, then marching out from Memphis, having reached Collierville, I ordered it to march by way of Mount Pleasant to drive to the south any