to retire on that road as our rear guard moved on and protect that flank. These orders were well executed.
After the Second Brigade had passed the line of the Fifth Kentucky and Third Illinois these two regiments were vigorously attacked by the enemy, and maintained a severe fight, repulsing every charge of the enemy for 5 miles, when the enemy retired, and we marched to New Albany without further molestation.
After a few hours' halt at New Albany, by your order I moved out toward Holly Spring, and marched all night, except a three-hours' halt at Hickory Flat; crossed Tippah at Beck's Spring, 8 a.m., on the 24th. After marching about 5 miles farther, halted for the First Brigade to come up, and repaired the bridge over Tippah Creek to facilitate its crossing. About 2 p.m . I received a message from Colonel Waring that he was attacked at the creek by about 3,000 rebels, and immediately formed my brigade in line of battle, and so remained until about 9 o'clock in the evening, when the rear of the First Brigade passed me, and I immediately took up my line of march, and arrived in Germantown on the 26th instant.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. F. McCRILLIS,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade, Cavalry Division.
Captain S. L. WOODWARD,
Numbers 53. Report of Captain Andrew B. Kirkbride, Third Illinois Cavalry, of operations February 13-26.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD ILLINOIS CAVALRY,
Germantown, Tenn., February 27, 1864.
SIR: On the evening of the 13th February, I was ordered by Colonel McCrillis, commanding brigade, to proceed to Collins' Mill with my command, 7 miles out on Salem road from where brigade was camped at Widow Collins'.
Proceeded there immediately, and arrived at the mill at sundown. Ordered Company B to charge down the mill and catch any of the enemy who might be there. Lieutenant Shellenberger did so. The enemy, to the number of 20, being on the alert, made their escape in the woods. Found no meal or flour. Got forage for my command, and returned to camp at 9 p.m.
On 17th, my command being in advance of brigade and division, charged into Pontotoc at 11 a.m. No enemy there. Proceeded through town on Houston road, 2 miles out; found enemy's picket, who by hard running made their escape. Kept the road and flanks completely clear of all enemy. Camped within 2 miles of Red Land. Ordered out by colonel commanding brigade on Houston road to proceed 3 or 4 miles and learn of any enemy to be found in our front. Two miles out found Gholson's command. Lieutenant Lucas, in charge of Companies H and C, charged the rebels and drove them in a swamp immediately in our front. On examining the position of the enemy, I found that if I advanced with my whole force I would have been completely flanked. Ordered Company M