War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0297 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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Numbers 49. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Henry B. Burgh, Ninth Illinois Cavalry, of operations February 11-26.

HEADQUARTERS NINTH ILLINOIS CAVALRY,

Germantown, Tenn., February 28, 1864.

SIR: In obedience to orders received from brigade headquarters, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the late expedition:

I left camp at Germantown, Tenn., February 11, 1864, as a part of the Second Brigade, Cavalry Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.

On the morning of the 13th, Major Bishop, with one battalion, was ordered to make a demonstration at Abbeville, crossing, where he found a large force of the enemy and skirmished with them for an hour, resulting in a loss to the enemy of 4 men wounded, after which he rejoined the regiment.

On the 18th, I was ordered to proceed to Okolona and Aberdeen. At Okolona we met a small party of the enemy and drove them before us, taking the town by surprise, and capturing a large mail and Lieutenant Barber, depot quartermaster.

From there we marched on Aberdeen, where we found two companies of State Militia, drove them back, taking possession of the town, killing Captain Rogers, commissary of subsistence, C. S. Army, wounding a lieutenant, and taking prisoners 1 major, 1 captain, 1 surgeon, 1 lieutenant, 1 hospital steward, and 13 privates, and destroyed about 3,500 bushels of corn, 300 saddle-trees and machinery for making the same, one 10-pounder cannon, a large amount of leather, whisky, beans, &c.

All along the route from Okolona to Aberdeen large numbers of negroes, horses, and mules were brought in and turned over to the proper officers.

On the arrival of the brigade my regiment was ordered on provost duty, and remained in possession of the town until the troops passed through, when I rejoined the command.

On the 20th, participated in the engagement with the enemy near West Point, capturing Major Dyer, of the C. S. Army, at this place. I destroyed about 200 bushels of white beans that were in store.

On the evening of the 21st, my regiment was ordered to take the rear, which at that time was hotly pressed. I succeeded in ambushing the enemy and checking his advance for the night, with a reported loss to him of 14 killed and 39 wounded.

On the 22nd, was in the several engagements on the hills back of Okolona.

On the 24th, made a rapid march to the support of the First Brigade.

On the 25th, a forage party from my regiment captured a captain and private of the rebel army.

My loss in the several engagements is as follow: One killed, 20 wounded, and 10 missing. I captured 2 majors, 2 captains, 3 lieutenants, 1 surgeon, and 33 privates, 140 horses and over 200 mules.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

H. B. BURGH,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Ninth Illinois Cavalry.

Lieutenant W. S. BELDEN,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.