JANUARY 13, 1864.-Skirmish near Collierville, Tenn.
Report of Major Ira R. Gifford, Ninth Illinois Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS NINTH ILLINOIS CAVALRY,
Collierville, Tenn., January 13, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of orders from your headquarters, I moved out on the road to Pleasant Hill with a battalion of the Ninth Illinois Cavalry, numbering about 60 men; while crossing the Nonconnah we heard firing about 1 mile to our left. I moved over the stream as rapidly as possible, the crossing being very bad, and before the command had crossed the firing seemed to be coming toward us. I ordered the advance company forward about 60 rods to a road crossing at right angle, where I saw a small party of soldiers pass at full speed. I knew them to be our own men by their uniform. I then ordered a halt, dismounted two companies, and moved forward in direction of the firing, sending one company around on our left flank mounted. We had advanced about 100 yards through a thicket of brush when we met the enemy coming toward us, numbering from 50 to 100 men, and within 50 yards of us. I then opened fire on them and emptied many saddles, the enemy falling back in great confusion, leaving 1 man mortally wounded on the field, 5 horses, 5 carbines and revolvers, together with 4 prisoners out of the 5 they had previously taken from the command sent out previous to our being ordered out.
I skirmished on through the woods about three-quarters of a mile, then mounted my men and pursued the enemy about 3 miles, and finding they had too much the start, I returned to camp. Our loss none. From indications on the field the enemy's loss must have been heavy.
I remain your obedient servant,
IRA R. GIFFORD,
Major Ninth Illinois Cavalry.
Colonel A. G. BRACKETT,
Commanding Second Brigade.
Great credit is due company commanders.
HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, CAVALRY DIV., 16TH A. C.,
Collierville, Tenn., January 14, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to division headquarters.
It has been ascertained since the fight that 1 rebel was killed and 7 were wounded. Private James A. Montgomery, of the Ninth Illinois Cavalry, Company M, is missing. The party which Major Gifford attacked was the same one which fired into the railroad train on the 12th instant.
ALBERT G. BRACKETT,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.