War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0299 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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to Potts' plantation on the Holly Springs road. Bivouacked for the night on Parson Cooper's plantation.

The command was again in motion at daylight of the 14th on the New Albany road, passing Hickory Flats, and reached New Albany at 2 p.m. At sunset bivouacked 4 miles from this place, on the road toward Pontotoc. Owing to the failure of Colonel Waring's brigade to close up, the whole command remained in bivouac during the whole of the 15th at this place.

On the 16th only 10 miles were made, when we halted at Cherry Creek for Colonel Waring's brigade to close up with the main column.

On the 17th the whole command being together, was put in motion at 8 a.m., and passed Pontotoc at 11 a.m., and took the Houston road running south. Halted for the night some 10 miles south of Pontotoc.

At daylight of the 18th, the column was again in motion, and, after march of some 4 miles, took the Okolona road running east. At 4 p.m. we reached that place, and camped 4 miles beyond on the Aberdeen road.

At daylight on the 19th, were again moving on the road to Aberdeen, at which place we arrived at 11 a.m. After a short halt orders were received for us to move on the Prairie Station road, which was obeyed.

From Prairie Station the whole command took, on the morning of the 20th, the West Point road, the Second Iowa Cavalry having the advance. Not over 5 miles had been gained when we came up with a light picket of the enemy, and continued to have light skirmishing for some 5 miles more, when we suddenly ran into a column consisting of about 250, which were quickly scattered by the three saber companies under Captain George C. Graves.

After a halt of two hours for the column to close up, the march was resumed. Light skirmishing continued for some 3 miles, when the advance encountered a force of about 250. Two companies of rifles were immediately dismounted, and in five minutes the whole party was dispersed. This was not done, however, without the loss of Lieutenant Dwire, Company F, killed, and 4 men wounded.

The enemy had, during this day's skirmish, 1 major seriously wounded, in the head, 2 men killed, and 3 wounded. On reaching West Point it was ascertained that the three Forests (general, colonel, and captain) had just left and passed west across the Sakatonchee River, some 3 miles distant.

Up to the time of reaching West Point the largest force encountered was reported to be 250 or 300. In no case they made demonstration of a formidable resistance. Having had the advance during the entire day of the 20th, I had good opportunities for gathering information of the location and numbers of Forrest's command, and had at no time placed the force at the Sakatonchee bridge above 2,000 men, and this force without artillery.

When the command was ordered to fall back to Okolona, on the morning of the 21st, I was ordered to take the Second Iowa Cavalry and make a demonstration at the bridge, which I did in the following manner: After dismounting four rifle companies, I advanced them as skirmishers under cover of fence and in close proximity with the enemy's sharpshooters; I then brought forward two of my 12-pounder howitzers and drove them easily from their fences and houses near the bridge. After some two hours' time used in skirmishing