War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0124 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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No. 12. Report of Lieutenant Colonel George R. Clarke, One hundred and thirteenth Illinois Infantry.


Memphis, Tenn., June 15, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that on the 1st day of June, 1864, I moved with a portion of my command, numbering 12 officers and 293 men, with the late expedition commanded by Brigadier- General Sturgis, by railroad to a point four miles beyond Collierville, Tenn., where I left the cars and went into camp for the night.

June 2, went into camp near La Fayette, Tenn., after marching about five miles.

The next day we marched to a point near Salem, Miss. ; from thence we marched with the brigade commanded by Colonel George B. Hoge (Second Brigade, District of Memphis), of which my command formed a part; general course, southeast.

On the 9th instant twenty men were pronounced unfit for duty and were sent back to Memphis.

Came up with the enemy near Guntown, Miss., about 1. 30 p. m. on the 10th instant. I was ordered to advance with my command at a double- quick to support the cavalry, which was then fighting. We doubled-quicked about four miles, and one- THIRD of my men were so completely exhausted as to be scare able to stand; several were sun- struck. Firing commenced as soon as we were in line of battle and was kept up with great rapidity for nearly half an hour, but our ammunition was nearly exhausted and we were being overpowered by superior numbers, sower reluctantly compelled to fall back, which we did in tolerably good order, fighting as we gave ground. We formed a new line and fought the enemy until our ammunition was entirely exhausted, when we were compelled to retreat, knowing it would be useless to contend against the odds of four to one. I am sorry to say that our retreat was in great confusion. We continued to fall back all night until we reached Ripley, Miss., where we hated an endeavored to collector scattered forces, but before it was fully accomplished we were again attacked by the enemy's cavalry, which had followed us during the night. Our men were fatigued, and many of them were without arms or rations, and we were not in a condition to engage him, so we were again compelled to retreat. We were closely pursued by the enemy until we arrived with in a few miles of Collierville. My rear skirmished with him almost the entire distance.

A portion of my command reached Memphis during the night of the 12th, others on the 13th instant.

I am pleased to say that my whole command, both officers and men, behaved nobly; not a man flinched, although many of them were under fire for the first time, being recruits. Illinois soldiers always do their duty.


Lieutenant- Colonel, Commanding.

Lieutenant John S. LORD,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Brigade, District of Memphis.