War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0295 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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Illinois Cavalry, there reporting to Brigadier-General Grierson. The rear of the column being somewhat confused, General Grierson ordered my regiment into position in advance of the First Brigade, two regiments of the Third Brigade being still in advance, skirmishing with the enemy. One of the three regiments being pressed, broke and retreated through my line in disorder, scattering one battalion of my regiment. The Third Battalion, under Major Whitsit, on the left, and the Second Battalion, under Captain John Lynch, on the right, held the enemy in check for some time, until they were attacked on the flanks, when they were withdrawn, Lieutenant-Colonel Thornburgh, Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, having formed one battalion of his regiment for their relief.

During the day the regiment was in action five different times. The limited number of cartridge-boxes and belts precluded the carrying of more than 40 rounds of ammunition. This amount having been expended before 5 p.m., the regiment was not engaged until dark, when General Grierson requested its assistance with or without ammunition. The men responded cheerfully to his call, and remained in position about half an hour, until relieved by the Fourth Missouri Cavalry of the First Brigade.

At about 11 a.m., February 23, I was ordered to relieve the Fifth Kentucky and Third Illinois Cavalry, then covering the retreat. The regiment marched in the rear a distance of 9 miles to New Albany without exchanging a shot. On the night of the 23rd February, at 8 p.m., in obedience to orders, I sent one battalion, under Major Whitsit, to encamp at Potts' plantation, with instructions to scout well the Hollow and King's Bridge road; also the road to Tippah River. This was accomplished by daylight in the morning, the battalion halting at the Tippah until the column had passed. The regiment marched with the brigade from that point to Germantown, Tenn., where it is now stationed.

The loss of the regiment is 7 wounded and 5 missing.

Respectfully submitted.

M. H. STARR,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Sixth Illinois Cavalry.

Lieutenant W. SCOTT BELDEN,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 48. Report of Lieutenant Colonel George W. Trafton, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, of operations February 11-26.

HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH ILLINOIS CAVALRY,

Camp near Germantown, Tenn., February 28, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with previous instructions, I started with the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, 700 strong, from camp near Germantown, at 3 a.m. of the 11th instant.

My regiment took the advance, and marched first day through Byhalia to Dick's plantation, about 4 miles south of that place. There we camped for the night.

Started from there next morning, my regiment still taking the advance; marched this day (12th) about 20 miles. From this time