War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0289 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

Search Civil War Official Records

the stragglers fall in my rear order was established in my part of the train. Shortly after dark one of my prisoners attempted to escape by jumping into a thicket by the roadside, but he had hardly left his horse when half a dozen pieces were discharged at him, and hem as I was informed immediately after, fell dead. We halted at midnight, 2 miles southeast of Pontotoc. Distance marched, about 30 miles.

February 23, the march was resumed at 3.30 a.m. Reached New Albany, at noon and immediately crossed the Tallahatchie River without annoyance. After resting here for two hours the march was resumed. After crossing the Tallahatchie bottom we encamped 14 miles from New Albany.

February 24, I left camp at 5 a.m. with the train, the brigade following in our rear. After crossing Tippah River I was ordered to follow immediately in the rear of two companies of the Second Illinois, who had the advance of the train. At the bridge Colonel Waring detailed Captain Fischer, with 25 men from my command, to remain and prevent confusion in crossing by the other commands. These men afterward joined us at different points along the road. About 3 miles from the river I met Colonel McCrillis' brigade, who greeted me with anxious inquiries as to how the battle was progressing, &c., but I was ignorant of any engagement being in progress. Some 2 miles farther on I met General Smith, who had already turned the Second Illinois back, who greeted as follows: "We are attacked in the rear; turn back; I want every man at the river;" but when I informed him the nature of the duty I was performing, he said: "Then also take charge of the train, and pick up all stragglers to assist you in guarding your command, and push on to Memphis as quick as you can. I don't care show you get there, only get the train out of the way. I don't care if you go all the way to-night, only push on as fast as you can." Presuming there was some reason for this excitement, I moved on at as rapid a gait as I thought the train could follow. Shortly after dark, hearing the train was not closed up, I halted about an hour for it, and started as soon as I had it in close column. I moved on a few miles, and halted between Hundsonville and Mount Pleasant, for the night.

February 25, I left camp at 7 a.m., and after moving on beyond Mount Pleasant halted and fed my command. Resuming the march at 11 a.m., I moved on slowly, taking the State Line road between Collierville, and Germantown. At the latter place I halted for an hour, and then moved on. After proceeding a short distance I met Lieutenant-Colonel Hess, of the Nineteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, in command of detachments of the Nineteenth Pennsylvania, Sixth Tennessee, and First Alabama, who were sent out by General Buckland to re-enforce General Smith. Learning from Colonel Hess that stragglers, who had reached Memphis before me, had reported that the expedition had been totally defeated and scattered, I immediately ordered Adjutant Smith to report to General Buckland and contradict the statements of these fellows. I then went into camp 8 miles from Memphis.

February 26, I reported to General Smith and received orders from Lieutenant Ingerton, acting assistant adjutant-general, to turn the train over to Captain Ewart, Second Illinois Cavalry, and report to my regiment at Fort Pickering, which I did after turning over my prisoners to Captain Wiliams, provost-marshal of Memphis.

19 R R-VOL XXXII, PT I