been developed, he returned, recrossed the [Sakatonchee] River about 3 miles above Pikeville, and reached the camp of the brigade at 7 p.m., reported at brigade and division headquarters, and received the thanks of the general commanding the expedition.
The day following, the regiment marched south with the brigade, but was ordered back to picket the [Tombigbee] river at Gladney's Mills, where some slight skirmishing took place with the enemy. We remained there until 5 p.m., when we were ordered to rejoin the brigade, which we did at 12 o'clock midnight, near West Point.
On the return of the command from West Point, nothing of interest occurred with the regiment until the morning of the 22nd instant, when it was assigned as the rear guard of the column from the camp occupied by the command the preceding night, 3 1/2 miles south of Okolona. The moment the advance of the rear guard, under the command of Major Prosser, was sounded, a furious attack was made upon it by the enemy, but being prepared to receive them they were repulsed with considerable loss, as they were in every attack made upon us until we reached Okolona; the gallant and steady behavior of the men preventing the enemy from making any impression upon our column.
At Okolona the regiment, having but 275 men for duty, exclusive of details, was relieved by the Fourth U. S. Regulars, who were ordered to bring up the rear, and my regiment was ordered to join the column then in line of march on the Pontotoc road.
This change had scarcely been made when a heavy column of the enemy was discovered moving upon the rear through the town of Okolona, while another column moved rapidly on the left flank with the evident, intention of cutting off two or three of our regiments in the rear, if not the whole brigade. The Fourth Regulars charged into the head of the column advancing upon them, but were immediately repulsed and driven back with considerable loss, Major Prosser in the mean time moving six companies, or about 130 men, out of the column into line to support their retreat, as they were retiring rapidly before the enemy, and throwing the rear of the column, as they struck it, into confusion.
Here, while endeavoring to check the progress of the enemy, the regiment lost Lieutenant-Colonel Cook and 14 men killed and wounded in a few moments; but we succeeded by great exertions in checking the enemy while the Fourth Regulars retreated upon the column. Although we were obliged to fall back rapidly before the enemy in consequence of his movements upon our flanks as well as rear, we continued to keep up a spirited fire upon his advancing columns, until the disorder produced by the retreat of the Fourth Regulars partially destroyed the organization of the regiment. No demoralization, however, took place, and as soon as the first supporting line was passed the regiment at once rallied, was immediately reorganized, and did good service throughout the day, particularly in the evening, when 100 men, dismounted, reported to Major Carr, Seventy-second Indiana, for duty as skirmishers, remaining with Major Prosser on the ground in the face of the enemy until the line gave way on their right and left.
The next day the regiment again supported the Seventy-second Indiana when in line of battle, but no fighting afterward occurred worthy of mention in which we were engaged.