HDQRS. THIRD MISSISSIPPI STATE CAVALRY, Wyatt, Miss., October 16, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that at Holly Springs, Miss., on October 10, Lieutenant-Colonel Hovis reported to me with his regiment, the First Mississippi Partisans, and the Buckner Battery, under Lieutenant Holt, consisting of four small guns, which I moved, with my regiment in front, to Clayton's farm, about 10 miles west of Holly Springs, and went into camp about 11 o'clock. I received from Brigadier-General Chalmers orders to move with Colonel R. V. Richardson, to whom I was directed to report my command. At 3 a. m. I was sent for by Richardson, who explained that we were to attack Collierville, and it was agreed that I should enter town on the east side with my command, while Colonel Neely, commanding brigade, should go around to the west, and that we would attack the camps north of town promptly on both sides, and then attack the town in the rear.
I moved at the hour indicated and reached the camps of Colonel Richardson at the time appointed, and moved with his command toward Collierville, having conferred with Colonel Neely and agreed upon signals to be used on the approach of our respective commands. When nearing Collierville, I was overtaken by the commanding general, who, on my arrival at the outskirts of town, directed me to make no dispositions until a flag of truce which had been sent into the town could be heard from. After the return of the flag of truce he ordered me to move without the Buckner Battery to the northeast of town. Before entering the town I sent a squadron forward from Lieutenant-Colonel Hovis' regiment, under Captain Duncan, who captured the enemy's pickets, 15 in number.
Before we reached the camps north of Collierville a force of the enemy deployed fired upon Lieutenant-Colonel Hovis' regiment, which was moving in advance, and for a time threw them into a slight confusion. Lieutenants-Colonel Hovis became very hoarse from his exertions in rallying his men. Lieutenant-Colonel Barksdale, commanding Third Mississippi State Cavalry, moved rapidly up, brought his regiment front into line on the left of Lieutenant-Colonel Hovis' advance, dismounted his regiment, and moved forward through the camps. Colonel Hovis' regiment dislodged the enemy from the house and orchard and moved on the right and in rear of Lieutenant-Colonel Barksdale's regiment. I moved forward after the regiment of Colonel Barksdale and ordered the horses to follow in the rear. On passing beyond the camp I ordered Lieutenant J. H. Alexander to return to the camps and have the mules harnessed up and put to the wagons and then loaded and carried to the rear. This he did, and succeeded in fixing up 18 with the assistance of men from the regiment of Colonel Hovis.
At the suggestion of Lieutenant-Colonel Barksdale, I had the command of Colonel Hovis deployed on the right and left as skirmishers, while he with his regiment scoured the bottom, hunting for detachments of the enemy, but was unable to discover them, they having fled to their intrenchments south of town. We again returned through the camps, and, finding that liquors were being distributed by the stragglers there, I gave Colonel Hovis orders to have the camps burned and ordered the wagons and stock all to be carried to the rear. Shortly after this Major W. M. Cargill arrived, and the transportation was turned over to him.