3 p.m. halted at a plantation 4 miles north of Prairie Station, where the Second Illinois, Fourth Missouri, and Second New Jersey Cavalry made a demonstration to the right, checking a body of the enemy flank was attempting to flank the whole column by a movement along the railroad. Remained in this position until the Second Brigade had closed up, and then proceeded, by order of Brigadier-General Grierson, to the camp of the division, about 3 miles south of Okolona.
February 22, marched about 9 a.m. the Pontotoc road, preceded by the Second Brigade and followed by the Third. On passing to the left of Okolona, the Seventh Indiana Cavalry, which formed the rear of the brigade, was ordered to fall out and support the Fourth U. S. Cavalry, which had been stationed at the edge of the town to watch the movements of the enemy. At a point about 5 miles west of Okolona a message was received from the rear to the effect that the Fourth U. S. Cavalry had found the enemy too strong and had been forced to retire with much loss, and that the Seventh Indiana Cavalry and the whole of the Third Brigade had been unable to resist the inward march of the enemy, and were retreating upon the main column. I immediately formed my brigade in line, with skirmishers far out on each flank, and remained in this position until the Third Brigade had passed through, portions of it in such confusion as to endanger the morale of my own, command. I was then ordered to fall back to a stronger position, about a mile to my rear, where the Second New Jersey, Fourth Missouri, and Second Illinois Cavalry again formed in line. This position was gallantly held by the Second New Jersey and Second Illinois Cavalry against a sharp attack until the Seventh Indiana and the Fourth Missouri Cavalry fell to the rear within a line formed by the Second Brigade. These regiments then followed, and a new position in the rear of the whole command was selected on a farm called Ivey's Hill, near Tallaboncla. Before the Seventh Indiana and Fourth Missouri Cavalry, with its battery, could be fairly placed in position the other brigades were seen to be retiring, and the immense train of packmules and mounted contrabands, which had been corralled in a field near the road, swarmed up with such force as to carry past the line the Second New Jersey and the Second Illinois Cavalry, which were then marching to this position. Several regiments in the other brigades were brought to a stand at this place, and the chief of cavalry in person assumed command of the field. The enemy followed our retiring forces very closely, and soon attacked us with heavy musketry fire, which was replied to with good effect by the battery of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, one shell from which is reported to have killed Colonel Forrest, brother of General Forrest, who in person was commanding the enemy's column. As the enemy approached more closely General Smith ordered the Fourth Missouri Cavalry to charge with sabers. This charge was brilliantly made in the face of a galling fire; but, owing to a high rail-fence between our position and that of the enemy, was without effect except as a diversion. Finding that the charge was useless, the troops broke to the rear and retreated at great speed, but were rallied by their officers on the line of original formation (behind the battery), without the loss of a single straggler. At the end of an hour, the enemy having been held in check sufficiently long for the pack train and disorganized regiments to be withdrawn to a place of safety, the brigade was ordered by the commanding general to retire, a movement which