War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0784 KY.,SW. VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N. ALA.,AND N. GA. Chapter XLII.

Search Civil War Official Records

larity, I refer to the reports of regimental and battery commanders, and the report* of Dr. Caruthers, my brigade surgeon, herewith inclosed.

We retired, as you know, general, on the evening of the 11th instant to the vicinity of Byhalia. Receiving no news of any pursuing enemy, on the morning of the 12th you had ordered my brigade into camp at Myers' Mill, Colonel Duckworth's brigade to Ingram's Mill, and Colonel McGuirk's brigade to Denty's farm. This disposition placed the three brigades at the angles of an equilateral triangle whose sides were about 7 miles long.

You desired to visit your family at Hernando, and ordered me to assume command of the forces in the district. A few hours after you left scouts brought information that the enemy were moving in the direction of Byhalia. Colonels Duckworth's and McGuirk's and part of my brigade had moved off to their respective camps. Fortunately, however, Colonels Green and Stewart and their regiments had not left. Colonel Duckworth was present, though his command had left. I ordered him to overtake and bring back his brigade. I sent for Colonels Neely's and Inge's regiments and the Reneau Battery to return. I reconnoitered the ground from Ingram's house to Byhalia, a distance of 2 miles, under the guidance of Colonel Casey Young, to whom I am indebted for many valuable suggestions, and determined to make a stand on a hill that sloped down to the wooded bottom of the Red Bank Creek. I placed Colonels Green's and Stewart's regiments of Tennessee cavalry (dismounted) on the right-hand side of the road.

About 1 p. m. the enemy drove in our pickets, and commenced firing on our lines of skirmishers. By this time Colonels Neely and Inge had gotten on the field, with one section of the Reneau Battery. They were ordered to dismount. Colonel Neely was placed on the left of the road in a wooded lot, and ordered to hold that position at all risks. Colonel Inge was formed on the right of Colonel Stewart. The Reneau section was placed on the road in the center. The enemy now advanced with great apparent resolution on Colonel Neely's position, and opened upon him a heavy fire of small-arms and artillery. The colonel and his brave men unflinchingly advanced through the storm of leaden and iron hail about 100 yards upon the enemy, driving him back, and holding him in check throughout the engagement.

The enemy now threatened to turn our left flank. Colonel Neely detached Lieutenant-Colonel White with a squadron of his regiment and threw them out to his left to take and hold a ridge. [Lieutenant-] Colonel White did this most gallantly, charging the enemy several times and driving him back until Colonel Inge came to his support, whom I ordered from the extreme right of the line to the extreme left to support [Lieutenant-] Colonel White and check any flank movement of the enemy. We fought the enemy for about three hours. Colonel Duckworth had not come up. I could hear nothing from him. A heavy column of the enemy was reported by scouts to be moving from Holly Springs, on my right, toward our rear. Colonel Neely sent me word that his ammunition would soon exhaust. I had left about 50 canisters for the Reneau section. I determined to withdraw from the field, and immediately ordered the colonels to advance skirmishers along the whole line, and Lieutenant McLaugh-

---------------

*Not found.

---------------