War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0375 Chapter XLIV. THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.

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eral Jackson directing me to move my brigade to Reynolds' Ponds, on the road leading from Queen's Hill to Clinton, and to be there by daylight. As soon as the order reached me I moved my command and took position at the ponds a little after sunrise. A short time afterward I was notified by the pickets at Queen's Hill that the enemy were approaching in force. I threw forward the First Mississippi Regiment and one piece of artillery, under command of Colonel Pinson, of First Mississippi Regiment, to Colonel Joseph E. Davis' place, 1 mile in advance of my position, to force the enemy to develop his strength as far as practicable. A short time after they had taken position the pickets were driven, in and about 10 o'clock they became hotly engaged with him, and after a spirited resistance against his infantry, artillery, and cavalry, deployed in line of battle, they were forced to fall back in rear of position taken in the morning, which was held by the Twenty-eighth Mississippi Regiment (under Major McBee), Ballentine's regiment (under Lieutenant (under Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell), and Croft's battery, until the enemy [moved] against them in line of battle 10 to 1 in number across an open field and their skirmishers forced the withdrawal of the battery and of the Twenty-eighth which, was dismounted, and were being flanked on both sides. I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell with his regiment (mounted) to hold the position until those troops were withdrawn and had taken position in the rear.

In the mean time they were exposed to a heavy fire from the artillery and infantry and a rapid advance of the enemy's whole line. Night coming on, I withdrew the command to the ponds near the Wells place and bivouacked for the night, the enemy having halted at Reynolds' Ponds.

He commenced his advance at daylight the next morning and attacked my pickets. I ordered forward Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell with his regiment to re-enforce them, who became hotly engaged upon arriving on the ground, and were forced back to the position which I was occupying at Wells' with the other two regiments and battery. The enemy with a heavy force advanced rapidly in line of battle upon this position and a brisk engagement took place.

At this time General Jackson came on the field from the Bolton Depot and Clinton road, running parallel with the one I was on, where General Adams with his brigade had been resisting the approach of the other army corps of the enemy, and directed in person the firing of my artillery. The enemy here had pushed on their column on the Bolton and Clinton road until they came opposite my position, the roads here converging closely together, and opened a cross-fire on me from that road. While they were playing on my position with their artillery from the front they were still advancing with the same force I had been contending with on the evening before with their center, and deploying their wings forward on the right and left of my position.

At this moment I was ordered by General Jackson to withdraw my command 2 miles east of Clinton, on the Jackson road, and take position there, ordering at the same time my artillery to Clinton. By the time I had taken this position the columns of the enemy's forces had united at Clinton, where they became engaged with General Adams' brigade. I was the ordered by General Jackson to move my command nearer to Clinton, which was done, and held the position until General Adams' command retired and took position at the Tombstone, about 1 1/2 miles in my rear, when I was ordered by