act on a moment's notice; that it was impossible to gain any accurate or reliable information of the enemy, and that it behooved us to move and act constantly as though in his presence; that we were now where we might encounter him at any moment, and that we must under no circumstances allow ourselves to be surprised.
On the morning of the 10th the cavalry marched at 5. 30 o'clock, and the infantry to follow immediately in rear of the cavalry, as it would take the cavalry a full hour and a half to clear their camp. The habitual order of march was as follows, viz: Cavalry, with its artillery, in advance; infantry, with its artillery, next; and lastly the supply train, guarded by the rear brigade, with one of its regiments at the head, one near the middle, and one with a section of artillery in the rear. A company of pioneers preceded the infantry for the purpose of repairing the roads, building bridges, &c. On this morning I had preceded the head of umn and arrived at a point some five miles from camp, where I found an unusually bad place in the road, and one that would require considerable time and labor to render practicable. While halted here to await the head of the column I received a message from General Grierson that he had encountered a portion of the enemy's cavalry. In a few minutes more I received another message from him, saying the enemy numbered some 600 and were on the Baldwyn road; that he was himself at Brice's Roads, and that his position was a good one, and he would hold it. He was then directed to leave 600 or 700 men at the cross-roads to precede the infantry on its arrival, on its march toward Guntown, and with the remainder of his force to drive the enemy toward Baldwyn, and then rejoin the main body by way of the line of the railroad, as I did not intend being drawn from my main purpose. Colonel McMillen arrived at this time, and I rode forward toward the cross-roads. Before proceeding far, however, I sent a staff officer back directing Colonel McMillen to move up his advanced brigade as rapidly as possible without distressing his troops. When I reached the cross-roads I found nearly all the cavalry engaged, and the battle growing warm, but no artillery had yet opened on either side. We had four pieces of artillery at the cross-roads, but they had not been placed in position, owing to the dense woods on all sides, and the apparent impossibility of using them to advantage. Finding, however, that our troops were being hotly pressed, I ordered one section to open on the enemy's reserves. The enemy's artillery soon replied, and with great accuracy, every shell bursting over and in the immediate vicinity of our guns. Frequent calls were now made for re-enforcements, but until the infantry should arrive I had, of course, none to give. Colonel Winslow, Fourth Iowa Cavalry, commanding a brigade, and occupying a position on the Guntown road a little in advance of the cross-roads, was especially clamorous to be relieved and permitted to carry his brigade to the rear. Fearing that Colonel Winslow might abandon his position without authority, and knowing the importance of the cross-roads to us, I directed him in case he should be overpowered to fall back slowly toward the cross-roads, thus contracting his line and strengthening his position. I was especially anxious on this point, because, through some misunderstanding that I am yet unable to explain, the cavalry had been withdrawn without my knowledge from the left, and I was compelled to occupy the line temporarily with my escort, consisting of about 100 of the Nineteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. This handful of troops under the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Hess, behaved very handsomely, and held the line until the arrival of the infantry. About 1. 30 p. m. the