War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0291 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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On the 18th, the Ninth Illinois Cavalry, by order of Brigadier-General Grierson, moved upon Aberdeen, 45 miles distant. Colonel Burgh, commanding was opposed by a few companies of Confederate cavalry, which he quickly, dispersed, and reached Aberdeen, from which he drove the enemy's cavalry at sundown. He captured several prisoners of war, large quantities of stores, and many horses and mules. On the night of the 18th, the brigade encamped 4 miles east of Okolona.

On the 19th, passed through Aberdeen and to a point 2 miles east of Prairie Station.

On the morning of the 20th, the entire command moved in the direction of West Point, the Second Brigade in the front. The Second Iowa Cavalry was in the advance of the brigade, and the Sixth Illinois Cavalry upon the left flank on the railroad, which they effectually destroyed. Immense quantities of corn belonging to the Confederacy was burned. Near Loohattan Station Colonel Starr reported the enemy in force at a point about 6 miles north of West Point. The advance, consisting of 17 men of Company K, Second Iowa Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant Bandy, ran upon a vastly superior force of the enemy. Lieutenant Bandy immediately charged them, putting them to flight, capturing several prisoners. His conduct was gallant in the extreme, and entitles him to the hearty commendation of his commanding officers.

One and one-half miles north of West Point the enemy, reported to be Colonel Forrest's brigade, advantageously posted in timber and behind fences, vigorously attacked and checked the advance of the Second Iowa. The regiment was soon in position and so supported by other parts of the brigade that the enemy was routed, but not without the loss of Lieutenant Dwire, Second Iowa Cavalry, and 4 men wounded.

Lieutenant Dwire was a brave, earnest and faithful soldier, but the many comrades who mourn his loss have the comforting reflection that he died at his post and in the full discharge of his duty.

An hour later West Point was occupied by our forces, and the brigade encamped for the night in its vicinity.

On the morning of the 21st, one battalion of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, under command of Major Whitsit, was ordered out to reconnoiter the West Point and Houston road. He soon found a superior force, and was re-enforce by the Second Iowa Cavalry. After an engagement of two hours the enemy were driven across the Sakatonchee. In this engagement we lost several men wounded.

While the Second Iowa and Major Whitsit's battalion were engaged, the enemy, about 400 strong, made a demonstration on the West Point and Columbus road. They were driven rapidly back by Captain Webster, Seventh Illinois, and Captain Blackburn, Ninth Illinois Cavalry, with their respective companies.

After driving the enemy across the Sakatonchee and routing them on the Columbus road, the First and Third Brigades having been well advanced in the retrograde movement, the Second Brigade was ordered to retrace their steps of the day before and cover the rear of the command, the Second Iowa in the rear.

I directed Major Coon, commanding the Second Iowa, at any time when he might be severely pressed to sound the signal "halt." I also directed the other commanding officers to have the signal repeated from rear to the front of the brigade. Major Coon replied that he could take care of anything that was in the rear.