War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0109 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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directed to remain until we had passed, and then proceed to the front. I then moved forward the command until I joined the colored brigade.

The progress was slow, and I was informed that we were delayed by the train which was slowly passing the bottom land and creek some distance ahead. About midnight I was informed that the portion of the train in front had been abandoned, its farther progress being impossible. Finding this to be the case, I directed the animals remaining with the rear of the train to be taken out and the wagons abandoned. The train was not burned, as I thought it probable that our line of battle had been reformed beyond, and that it might yet be saved. Moreover, I feared the conflagration might lead the enemy to believe that we were in full retreat and lead to their immediate advance in force.

About daylight the Fourth Iowa Cavalry passed us going to the front. Shortly after our rear was fired upon by small parties of guerrillas. At the Llewellen Church we found Colonel Winslow's brigade of cavalry formed in echelon by squadrons, who were skirmishing sharply with the enemy on the opposite side of the stream. Arriving at Ripley at 7. 30 a. m., I waited for orders, but receiving none, and perceiving other troops continue to pass on the road to the front, the cavalry remaining to protect our rear, I again took up the line of march. Hearing at the cross- roads, where I halted for an hour, that the enemy in force were falling upon a large detachment of our rear on the Salem road, and that a large cavalry force was about three miles in our rear, and being almost out of ammunition, I concluded to follow the Saulsbury road, and toward evening was joined by Captain Foster, FIFTY- ninth Regiment, African descent, with about 600 of his own and the FIFTY- fifth Regiment, African descent, he having crossed over from the Salem road, which he considered unsafe. That night we bivouacked near Brooks', about five miles from Saulsbury.

The next morning at daylight we resumed the march, and after proceeding about three miles turned to the left, taking a settlement road leading to Davis' Mills. Upon arriving at Davis' I found the bridge partially destroyed, and upon halting to repair it we were fired upon by a considerable number of the enemy, who were soon driven back, after wounding two of our men on the hill and one of the flankers of the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, and hitting the horse of Lieutenant-Colonel King while passing the swamp beyond the bridge. Soon after we were again attacked in front, but owing to the vigilance of the half- breed scouts of Company H, Ninth Minnesota, and the handsome conduct of the advanced guard of the Ninety- fifth Ohio, under command of Captain-, they were unable to do much execution. At one time our rear was charged upon by about 150 of Buford's cavalry, but they were repulsed by the negro troops and a few of the half- breeds. Our rear was, however, occasionally fired upon until long after dark, but the imperturbable coolness and steadiness of the colored troops under command of Captain Foster, kept them in check and prevented confusion.

At 12 o'clock on the night of the 12th the command bivouacked four miles east of Collierville, which place was reached about 9 a. m. next day. We found there neither cars, rations, nor re- enforcements. The command rested until noon. In the mean time, Lieutenant Hosmer, of the One hundred and thirteenth Illinois, brigade inspector, volunteered to proceed to some point on the railroad from which information could be communicated of our approach. He was joined by Captain -, of the One hundred and eighth Illinois, Sergeant-, and two privates. Within three miles of Collierville they were attacked by