War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0127 Chapter LI. EXPEDITING INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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and fought, using ammunition that had been thrown away by the troops in advance and picked up in the dark. They repulsed the enemy and fell back, fighting in this way for an hour, and falling back a mile until relieved by cavalry, when they moved on tho Ripley, picking up every round of ammunition they could get. At Ripley I attempted to fully reorganize my brigade, but had hardly commenced when the enemy charged into the lower end of the town, breaking the line of cavalry formed to hold them in check, when my men were immediately formed and thrown forward against the enemy, almost without a round of ammunition. By using our ammunition sparingly and using bayonets and clubbed muskets at every opportunity, we succeeded in holding in check and forcing back those in our front until two heavy columns were thrown into our rear and a strong line of Grierson's cavalry still in rear of them. From this desperate situation we succeeded in breaking out to the right and left. I succeeded in bringing off about 170 on the Salem road, most of them being disarmed, and men severely wounded, with whom I reached Collierville, Tenn., June 12. The larger portion of my command made their way out to the left through a pine grove and out on the Lamar and old Corinth roads; the larger portion under Captain Foster, commanding FIFTY- ninth, took the Lamar road, coming through, in company with a large force of infantry under command of Colonel Wilkin, acting as rear guard, and defending them with guns and ammunition thrown away by the retreating column in advance. Moving and fighting in this manner they reached Collierville, Tenn., June 13. Still another portion under Captain Reeve, commanding FIFTY- fifth, being much harassed by overwhelming numbers of apparently fresh- mounted cavalry, were compelled to divide an scatter considerably, but finally fought their way through, reaching Collierville June 15.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Cowden, commanding FIFTY- ninth Regiment, was severely wounded in right hip about 4. 30 p. m. June 10, at the fifth position in which he formed his regiment, and was with difficulty brought off and saved from falling into the hands of the enemy. Captain Henry W. Johnson took command of this regiment, displaying great coolness and bravery until relieved by Captain James C. Foster, who was at the time in charge of a line of skirmishers. Captain Foster handled his men with great coolness and bravery, holding every foot of ground possible, hoping only to detain the enemy from pursuing our retreating column.

The officers and men of my entire command are deserving of great credit for the bravery with which they fought in the main engagement, considering the unfavorable circumstances under which they were thrown into action and the overwhelming numbers against whom they contended. I could not censure a single officer, or even suggest where they might have done more. I can scarce give the credit due to individual officers where all are so deserving of praise.

Our losses in commissioned officers are: Killed, 1 Lieutenant Price, FIFTY-fifth Regiment; wounded, 4 Lieutenant Colonel Robert Cowden, FIFTY-ninth, right hip; Major RE. M. Lowe, FIFTY- fifth Regiment, left arm; Captain Ewing, FIFTY- fifth, left leg; Lieutenant Lewis, FIFTY- fifth Regiment, thigh; missing, 11; total loss in commissioned officers, 16. Some 8 other officers were slightly wounded, but not so as to disable them from duty more than a few days.

Our loss in enlisted men, at present, is: Killed, 109; wounded severely, 243; missing, 160; total 512. Full 300 more were slightly wounded, but not sufficiently to keep them from duty but a few days.