Marched on 10th instant 16 miles, passing through Hillsborough, where we had a short skirmish, encamping 5 miles in advance of the army, on Ontagoloo Creek.
On the evening of the 11th, encamped east of Coonahatta Creek, marching 15 miles; Captain Parsons, with two companies, proceeding to Lake Station and aiding in the destruction of property.
Encamped east of Chunky Creek at 5 p. m., 12th instant, after considerable heavy skirmishing.
Marching at daylight on 13th, encamped 10 miles west of Meridian, fighting some hours after dark (Fourth Iowa in advance), over a rough, mountainous country, driving the enemy 5 miles and punishing him severely. Above one hundred stand of arms were abandoned by him during this fighting. The obstruction of these rough roads by felling of timber was prevented.
Moved early on morning of 14th instant, meeting command of Brigadier-General Ferguson 2 miles west of Meridian, driving the enemy speedily through the town. Bivouacked at 3 p. m. on plantation of Mr. McLamore, remaining there until morning of the 16th, the enemy having retreated beyond Marion.
During the march the command had been in the saddle twelve days; were engaged with the enemy much of that time, always successfully; had expended above 50,000 rounds small ammunition. The enemy had left on the different fields 50 men dead, and must of course have lost others and had men wounded in due proportion. Thirty of these wounded were found in one hospital at Lauderdale Springs. The men had burned but one building, had worked hard at making roads and building bridges, and had conducted themselves as true patriot soldiers.
The prisoners captured to this date numbered 72, many of them of rank, and 37 deserters had been received all transferred to infantry commands.
Notwithstanding a march of above 175 miles, the horses were in better condition than when we left Big Black River.
The Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, being directed to report to Brigadier General M. M. Crocker, commanding Fourth Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, did not rejoin me until after my arrival at Canton, and I cannot now give any account of the operations of that regiment during this temporary detachment.
While the army remained in and around Meridian my command scouted to the east and north, destroying property, bridges, & c., and traveling many miles.
During the first two days of the return march we had the rear of the Sixteenth Army Corps marching to Union. At this point, acting under special instructions from Major General W. T. Sherman, commanding Department of the Tennessee, I proceeded north, through Philadelphia and over the Pearl River, to a point about 10 miles south of Louisville, thence across over to the main road from that place to Kosciusko, passing through the latter place, Thomastown, and Sharon, to Canton, where we arrived at 2 p. m., 25th instant, one day in advance of the army, having met no enemy north of the Pearl.
The command of Brigadier General William Sooy Smith could not be definitely heard from. I sent two messengers eastward, with instructions to join him if possible.
Remained in bivouac on Three Milee Creek, east of Canton, during the 26th instant.