McGuirk), and the Eighteenth Mississippi Battalion (Major Chalmers), bore the brunt of the conflict, and although the last two were composed almost entirely of untried men, they behaved with a gallantry equal to that which has ever distinguished the veterans of the Second Missouri Cavalry.
The First Mississippi Partisans was placed on our right flank, and the Seventh Tennessee was held in reserve until late in the day, when both regiments were ordered to support the Second Missouri Cavalry, which they did bravely and successfully. Our entire force did not exceed 1,200 men, with one piece of artillery, which became disabled after the third fire and was not again used. That of the enemy was not less than 2,000 men, with six pieces of artillery.
Our loss was 1 killed and 27 wounded. That of the enemy could not be accurately ascertained, as they moved many of their dead and wounded from the field while the fight was going on, but it is reported, by reliable persons who had an opportunity of knowing, to have been 47 killed and 103 wounded, besides 5 prisoners, whom we brought off.
Colonel Richardson joined me on the night of the 8th with his brigade, consisting of the Twelfth Mississippi Cavalry, Colonel Inge; Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Green; Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, Colonel Neely; Fourteenth Tennessee Cavalry, Colonel Stewart; the Reneau Battery of two 6-pounders, Captain Palmer, and the Buckner Battery of four steel breech-loading 2-pounders, Lieutenant Holt, the whole amounting to about 950 men.
The enemy were re-enforced at La Grange by the Sixth and Seventh Illinois, and Third Michigan Cavalry, and on the following evening (9th) the whole force, amounting to nine regiments, of mounted men and nine pieces of artillery, under the command of Colonel Hatch, moved out against us. At the same time a force of infantry and artillery was sent to Davis' Mills, on Wolf River, which was between our position and La Grange, and within supporting distance of their cavalry. During the greater part of the day we remained drawn up in line of battle at Hamar's house, 2 miles from Salem, and there was some slight skirmishing between the advanced parties, but the enemy did not make their appearance in any force.
Late in the afternoon, the enemy having entirely disappeared, we moved 10 miles toward Holly Springs in order to obtain forage and water, and on the next day we moved into that place, where we remained during the day to procure a supply of ammunition and rations, of both of which we were in much need. While there four detachments of 100 men each, commanded, respectively, by Major Mitchell, Eighteenth Mississippi Battalion; Major Couzens, Second Missouri; Major Burrow, Twelfth Tennessee, and Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall, Fourteenth Tennessee, were sent out with instructions to tear up the Memphis and Charleston Railroad and destroy the telegraph wire, so as to prevent the passage of troops or intelligence. Mitchell and Couzens were ordered to cut the road east of Collierville; Burrow and Marshall west of it. The first two were successful in tearing up the track in several places before daylight the next morning; but the others, owing to the greater distance they had to travel, were not able to damage the road so as to prevent the passage of trains on the next morning.
After dark the whole command moved out 12 miles toward Byhalia and halted for a few hours.
I ordered Colonel Richardson to move at 4 a. m. the next day with