War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0776 KY.,SW. VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N. ALA.,AND N. GA. Chapter XLII.

Search Civil War Official Records

train had returned without putting off any troops. I then ordered Colonel McCulloch to move with his command (except his picket) to the north side of the railroad and occupy that portion of the field northwest of the main fort, to push his skirmishers as far forward as possible, and at the sound of the bugle to charge the depot house in concert with the Seventh Tennessee. At the proper [time] I ordered the charge. The two regiments dashed gallantry forward in the face of a heavy fire, killing, wounding, and capturing a considerable number of the enemy and driving the balance into the works. The Seventh Tennessee took possession of the entire train, but, owing to the weakness of the Second Missouri, and a heavy flank fire to which it was exposed, Colonel McCulloch was unable to reach it, or even to advance at all.

Seeing this, and the utter impossibility of going farther without assistance, I dispatched for re-enforcements, which I was informed could not be furnished. I therefore did not think it advisable to hold the command under severe fire without a prospect of accomplishing anything, and allowed them to retire.

Soon afterward I received an order to take the train and burn it at all hazards. At this time I found that Lieutenant-Colonel McCulloch had fallen back so far that his co-operation within a reasonable time was impracticable; so I resolved to retake the train with the Seventh Tennessee, which I did, and succeeded in firing the two rear cars; but, in the absence of any combustible matter, the progress of the fire was too slow. Seeing that the fire had slackened round the whole line, and only one piece of artillery remained, and that the enemy had taken advantage of this and were concentrating a heavy fire on my front and flank, it became evident that I could not hold the train until it burned without great loss-perhaps of the whole command. I accordingly ordered it to fall back.

This closed the operations of the 11th, with heavy casualties in the Seventh Tennessee, a list of which will appear in the proper time and place.

On the morning of the 12th, I was ordered to go into camp at Ingram's Mill, on Pigeon Roost Creek. The command had scarcely reached camp when I received an order from Colonel Richardson, then in command, to move up in vicinity of Byhalia to meet the enemy. Owing to the broken-down condition of my men and horses and the distance (being about 8 miles), I was unable to reach him in due time.

The night of the 12th I was ordered into camp 4 miles south of Ingram's Mill, with orders to move back to the mill at 4 o'clock on the morning of the 13th, to hold the enemy in check at that place until 9 a. m.; then to fall back slowly in the face of the enemy and cover the retreat to Wyatt Ferry. I moved out at the appointed time, but found the bridge at the mill occupied by the enemy when I arrived. A brisk skirmish ensued at this place, but, finding it to be the purpose of the enemy to gain my rear by pushing a column up the creek in direction of Wall Hill, I fell back to the junction of the roads, which place I had scarcely reached when the enemy fired on my pickets on the road on my left. The enemy followed close on my rear all day, but made no other attack. I reached the ferry in rear of the whole command, but had not crossed before scouts announced the enemy within 1 1/2 miles of our position. I was ordered to dismount, recross the river, and take position on the extreme left and to hold it at all hazards, which I did. The enemy making no