War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0307 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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to flank on Red Land road, and Company B on road leading to the right. Dismounted Companies F and H to skirmish in swamp, and Company C to support them mounted. Advanced my skirmishers, under fire from the enemy, 200 yards in the swamp, and found that the enemy were in force superior to mine. Being in danger of being flanked, I reported the fact by an orderly to Colonel McCrillis, who ordered me to retire, the object of the reconnaissance being accomplished. Learnt from Colonel Thornburgh, who advanced through the swamp next morning, that we killed 7 of the enemy. My loss 1 man, prisoner.

On 18th, ordered by colonel commanding brigade to march at 3.30 o'clock, with my command and Captain Kilborn's company of scouts, to go back to Pontotoc and learn if any enemy was there, and thence proceed direct to Okolona; did so, met but few of the enemy, and drove them. Arrived at Okolona at 2 p.m.; ordered out on Red Land road to join the brigade, and camp 3 miles out; did so, joining the brigade at sundown.

On 22nd, Colonel McCrillis commanding when line of battle was formed I was ordered to form my command to the left of the Pontotoc road, in the edge of first timber out of Okolona; did so. As column was passing out of town, I was ordered to move my command on left flank in column. Found, on account of thick brush and rapid movement of main column, rather difficult, but did so. Ordered to form line of battle on first ground that I could do so on the left of road. Moved out to form and was forming, when a mass of troops, moving very rapidly, passed thorough my line, who carried my men away by main force. Collected part of Colonel H and a few men of other companies under Lieutenant Davis, of the Fourth Regulars, and Lieutenant Sullivan, adjutant of same regiment, doing the same, and in conjunction with them we endeavored to stay the progress of the enemy, that our dismounted and wounded men might get away.

A mile or two back found Lieutenant Shellenberger with a mixed command, mostly Third men, formed in line, who had been rallied by himself and Captain Perkins, acting assistant inspector-general of brigade. Took command and fell back in rear of Seventh Indiana in a very orderly manner, where we formed. Reported the fact to you and received permission to fall back in rear of column road reorganize my command. On my way back reported to General Grierson, who ordered me on right flank. Went there, and, the column being in rapid retreat, was forced after an hour or two to fall into road.

Ordered by General Smith to dismount and fight on foot; did so, forming my men in line with Second Iowa. Enemy being reported to have flanked us, I rode out to see. While in my momentary absence some officer unknown ordered the troops to rally on their horses and move to the rear. On learning the back I sent Lieutenant Lucas to bring them back, but it growing dark, the enemy fell back and the fight was over. I may state that during the absence of my command I did all I could to encourage and rally other commands.

On 23rd, the column being in line of march from Pontotoc to New Albany, I was dropped out of brigade in center of column to act as rear guard for division, with Fifth Kentucky for support. Ordered not to fight the enemy, only sufficient to keep him from molesting column and staying the march.

The column having passed, my command was attacked by about