we marched daily, taking my regular place in the column according to the order of march, without any incident of note till the 20th instant when, near West Point, Miss., the advance came up and skirmished the enemy . My regiment had been 3 miles from the line of march to the left in charge of General Grierson, and returned just as the regiment in front had repulsed the enemy and drove him from the field. One battalion of my regiment, under command of Captain Webster, sent to the left and skirmished the enemy, who fled, and the battalion went as far as the town of West Point. By this time it was night, and we went into camp near the town.
Next morning reveille sounded at daylight; boots and saddles soon after. About 7 o'clock to horse was sounded, and we formed in close column of squadrons on the West Point road, and near the town, and remained there until nearly noon. During this time the regiments in front had been skirmishing, and a couple of companies of my regiment went to the left; had a skirmish with the enemy. A little before noon we started, taking the road to return. About 3 o'clock we were called to the rear; had some slight skirmishing. Camped that night, at 12 o'clock, near Okolona.
Started next morning in advance, but had not gone far when the report was brought to the front that they were fighting in the rear. We were formed in line of battle on the left of the road and remained about half an hour, when we were ordered to proceed with the pack train other encumbrances. We accordingly started, and proceeded about 4 miles, when, we were ordered to halt. Shortly after we were ordered to the rear to help support that part of the line. We went back on double-quick, found the different regiments in some little confusion, occasioned by the breaking up and stampeding of a regiment. We immediately formed on the extreme rear, where the enemy were pressing hard, and held them in check until there was a line formed in our rear. We then fall back to another position. The fighting continued until after dark, when the different regiments withdrew from the field. My regiment was the last to withdraw from position on the field. As we came off met General Grierson, and Colonel Hepburn was assigned position by General Grierson, which we maintained till the column was in motion, and then followed in the rear to within 4 miles of Pontotoc, where we stopped two hours, and distributed our ammunition and the remainder of rations.
Started again at sunrise, my regiment again taking the rear. The enemy had been crowding the rear from the time I left the battle-ground near Okolona, and at Pontotoc they charged my rear guard again, but were repulsed at every advance with such havoc in their ranks that they became chary of approaching us, and after leaving Pontotoc they only came up two or three times within range of our carbines.
On the 25th, we recrossed the Tippah and came on to this place, where we arrival on the 26th safe and sound.
Our loss was 4 men killed, 15 men wounded, 1 prisoner of war, and 6 missing. We lost also 200 horses.
I am, sir, your most obedient servant,
GEO. W. TRAFTON,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Seventh Illinois Cavalry.
Lieutenant W. SCOTT BELDEN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.