sixth miles on the 10th. The force that escaped from Brice's Cross- Roads returned to the railroad terminus in one day and two nights, with the exception of that portion brought in by Colonel Wilkin. The facts attending the disaster are now undergoing an investigation, which will doubtless exhibit fully the causes of our failure, and I do not desire to express my opinion as to those causes, further than to call attention to the fact, which appears in General Sturgis' report, that he expected to be defeated, and had no confidence in the success of the expedition, a feeling which could not fail to have an important bearing upon the actual results.
Of the conduct of the troops on this occasion I can only say that from all I can learn it is deserving of the highest praise. Oppressed by the intense heat, and completely exhausted physically, they went into action as I learn, in the highest and most soldierly spirit possible. The enemy was met under circumstances not unfavorable to us, the troops fought well, and inflicted upon the enemy a loss equal to if not greatly exceeding our own, and had they been properly brought into action I am confident the result would have been a most triumphant success. The colored troops made for themselves on this occasion a brilliant record. Their gallant and soldierly bearing, and the zeal and persistence with which they fought, elicited the warmest encomiums from all officers of the command. Their claims to be considered as among the very best soldiers of our army can no longer, in my opinion, be seriously questioned.
I have the honor to be, colonel, your obedient servant,
C. C. WASHBURN,
Numbers 2. Reports of Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis, U. S. Army, commanding expedition.
Five miles southeast of Ripley, Miss., June 9, 1864.
GENERAL: I regret exceedingly to record our position here, after being out eight days, but it has rained incessantly from the first hour, and our train has scarcely been able to get along at all. This was especially unfortunate, as it compels us to move at a snail's pace over a desert region where there is absolutely nothing for the animals. I have endeavored, however, to have a little grazing done when possible, and we are still alive. The weather looks clear this morning, and I hope we shall not be long in reaching Tupelo. Had it not been for so much rain there is little doubt but that we should have found Forrest's force very much divided and weakened. As it is, they have had abundant time to concentrate, if they wish to do so, and I presume they will. At Salem I fitted out a party of 400 men, under Colonel Karge, Second New Jersey, and sent him to Rienzi, via Ripley, with orders to destroy the railroad, &c., then to move up to Danville and seize and hold the bridge over the Tuscumbia.
On Tuesday, when near Ruckersville, I received information from General Grierson, then beyond that place, which left no doubt in my