War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0303 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

Search Civil War Official Records

2 men killed and 2 wounded on picket that night, and captured 4 prisoners, which I sent immediately to Collierville.

February 12, by order of General Smith, I marched at daylight toward Holly Springs. Passed through that place, crossed Chewalla Creek, at Boatwright's Mills, and camped near burn mill on Tippah Creek. My advance guard were skirmishing with a few rebels nearly all day, with a loss of 3 killed, 2 wounded, and 1 taken prisoner.

February 13, I crossed Tippah Creek at daylight, and pushed forward to within 2 miles of New Albany, and ordered the Second Tennessee Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Cook, to march rapidly to New Albany, secure the bridge, and make all repairs necessary for crossing the troops. This order was executed immediately. By your order I sent back from this point one company to communicate with Colonel Waring and deliver your order to move to New Albany with all possible dispatch.

On the morning of the 14th, I moved my whole brigade across the Tallahatchie, and awaited orders. I soon received your order to move toward the Rocky Ford and Pontotoc road and camp from 3 to 5 miles front New Albany, and accordingly moved out and camped at the plantation of a Mr. Duncan, and remained there till the morning of the 16th instant, when I moved, by your order, to Sewell's plantation, 1 mile east of the New Albany and Pontotoc road, and 8 miles form Pontotoc.

On the morning of the 17th, in obedience to your orders, I moved out my brigade in advance of the division, and marched on Pontotoc. Arriving there, sent strong detachments toward Oxford, Coffeeville, and Okolona, and moved south on the Houston road, 8 miles from Pontotoc, with slight skirmishing. Camped at the plantation of Robert Puliman, and sent Captain Kirkbridge, with the Third Illinois Cavalry, to push the enemy 3 or 4 miles in advance. Captain Kirkbride drove the enemy into a swamp about 4 miles in advance, killed 7 rebels and wounded many, and returned to camp at 9 p.m.

February 18, at 3.30 a.m., by your orders, I sent Captain Kirkbride, with the Third Illinois Cavalry, and Captain Kilborn, commanding scouts, back to Pontotoc, thence to Okolona, and Lieutenant-Colonel Thornburgh, with the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, to press the enemy toward Houston, which he did until the division had passed on the road east to Okolona, when he fell back and closed up to the rear of my brigade, which was the rear of the division.

February 19, in obedience to orders from General Smith, I sent a detachment of the Second Tennessee Cavalry, under Major Prosser, toward Houston. He proceeded to within 6 or 8 miles of Houston, fell upon and engaged the rear guard of Chalmer's brigade, then moving southward, drove them as far as Buena Vista, then fell back on the Pikeville road, and rejoined the brigade at midnight, 7 miles southeast of Pikeville. At 7 a.m. I moved my brigade direct to Pikeville, thence on the road 7 miles toward Aberdeen, and camped.

February 20, I marched to within 2 1/2 miles of West Point.

February 21, by General Smith's order, I moved out at 8 a.m., and marched back to within 3 1/2 miles of Okolona.

On the 22nd, the brigade was ordered to move in the rear of the division. We moved at 10.30 a.m. toward Okolona, and were immediately attacked in the rear by about 400 of the enemy and an equal number of the flanks, which were successfully kept in check by the