Numbers 50. Report of Major Datus E. Coon, Second Iowa Cavalry, of operations February 11-26.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND IOWA CAVALRY,
Germantown, Tenn., February 28, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report in regard to the part taken by the Second Iowa Cavalry on the recent raid the State of Mississippi:
On the 1st day of this month I turned over my camp and garrison equipage at Memphis, and remained with my command and in bivouac on my camping-ground, exposed to the cold weather until the morning of the 5th instant, when I was ordered to Germantown, Tenn. At this place my command was in bivouac until the morning of the 11th.
In accordance with orders from brigade headquarters, my command, consisting of the Second Iowa Cavalry, 860 strong, and 4 pieces of artillery, 12-pounder mountain howitzers, left this place at 3 a.m., moving on the Mount Pleasant road; at 10 a.m. reached the Coldwater at Miller's Mills, and after some trifling repairs on the road passed the swamp and took the Bylahia road, arriving at that place at 3.30 p.m. At this place found Captain Charles C. Horton, commanding First Battalion, Second Iowa Cavalry, armed with Colt revolving rifles, who had been sent to make necessary repairs at the crossing of the Coldwater, in advance of the command. From Byhalia we took the Chulahoma road for 5 miles and turned east some 4 miles, where we camped for the night.
At 8 a.m. of the 12th, Captain C. C. Horton, commanding First Battalion, was sent to Chulahoma and to Wyatt Ferry, on the Tallahatchie, if necessary, to communicate with Colonel McMillen, commanding a brigade of infantry. At 8 a.m. the brigade was in motion, the Second Iowa Cavalry having the advance. During the forepart of the day there was very little skirmishing with a party of scouts, who were placed in the vicinity of Tallaloosa, 8 miles southwest of Holly Springs, to watch the movements of our cavalry. Passing to the right of Tallaloosa, we took the road to Cox's plantation, thence turned east, taking the Waterford road. Parties were sent in all directions to ascertain the whereabouts and probable force of the enemy, but no information could be gained of a large force at any point on the Tallahatchie River; but that night pickets were placed at all available crossing on that river, with small scouts or patrols on all roads running north to the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
During the afternoon it was pretty well understood that General Forrest's main force had left Oxford, Miss., his late headquarters, and gone supposed to Grenada. At sunset we reached Old Waterford; at dark the depot and new town of Waterford. A citizen of the place informed us that the telegraph had been in operation up to one hour previous, and of course the enemy had been well posted as to our numbers and all movements made during the 11th and 12th. The Second Brigade camped 3 miles southeast of Waterford, on Brooks' plantation, finding plenty of forage for animals and provision for men.
At 11.30 o'clock of the 13th, the command moved on the road to the Tippah River, crossing at Callahan's Mills and taking the road