War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0697 Chapter XLIV. EXPEDITION TO RIPLEY, MISS.

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guard against a threatened movement from the direction of Estenaula crossing. I am moving the whole of Colonel Waring's column to Bolivar, which place it will reach by 1 p. m. I have again ordered Colonel McMillen to come up with all possible dispatch. Had Colonel McMillen joined me yesterday I am confident that the entire force of the enemy at Bolivar might have been destroyed.

Colonel McMillen said yesterday that his bridge was very inferior and broke down at the early part of the crossing.

I have quite reliable information that the railroad is completed to Corinth, and that General Polk is collecting his army there. Our loss yesterday is estimated at 2 killed and 10 wounded; that of the enemy had not been ascertained.

S. D. STURGIS,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major-General WASHBURN.

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,

Salem, Miss., May 7, 1864.

GENERAL: In reaching Ripley yesterday, I found that the rear of Forrest's command had passed through that place nearly two days before. It was there that I had hoped almost against hope to intercept him, but as he was abundantly supplied with forage he was enabled to travel night and day and thus elude our most strenuous exertions. Still I should have continued the pursuit had it not been for the utter and entire destitution of the county from Bolivar to Ripley, a distance of 40 miles. My horses had scarcely anything to eat, and my artillery horses absolutely nothing. Had I penetrated one day's march farther and found the forage equally scarce, as all my information led me to conclude, I should have not only failed to overtake Forrest but would have been compelled to abandon my artillery and a great many cavalry horses, as they could not have returned over that increased distance. I need hardly assure you that it was with greatest reluctance and after mature deliberation with myself and my principal officers that I resolved to abandon the chase as hopeless. I will remain to-morrow in camp near this place for the purpose of feeding and resting, and the meantime can hear from you. Though we could not catch the scoundrel we are at least rid of him, and that is something.

S. D. STRUGIS,

Brigadier-General.

Major-General WASHBURN.

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, ROBINSON'S HOUSE, 2 MILES FROM SALEM, ON SALEM AND MOSCOW ROAD,

May 8, 1864-2.30 p. m.

GENERAL: Your dispatch of this a. m. is received. This command will reach the vicinity of Moscow to-morrow night. If you can send some forage there by that time it would be well to do so.

Very respectfully,

S. D. STURGIS,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major-General WASHBURN.