At 12 o'clock I moved southeast on the Fulton road, encamping at night at Stubbs' plantation, fourteen miles from Ripley, and moving again soon after daylight on the morning of the 10th. Abut 10 a. m. we reached the junction of the Ripley and Fulton and Baldwyn and Pontotoc roads at Mr. Brice's house, six miles from Baldwyn. Just before reaching this point my advance struck a small picket of the enemy, who attempted to destroy a bridge an field. Arriving at the forks of the road, I halted and sent heavy patrols on the different roads. That on the Baldwyn road had scarcely proceeded a mile when they came upon a heavy force of the enemy, and brisk skirmishing ensued. I immediately moved Colonel Waring's entire brigade out upon that road, and engaged the enemy heavily to develop his force. I also moved Colonel Winslow's brigade to the forks, and threw a portion of it out on the Fulton road to connect with the right of Waring, and held the remainder, about 600 men, in reserve. I now communicated with General Sturgis, and informed him that I had an advantageous position and could hod it if the infantry was brought up promptly. The enemy advanced upon us in large numbers, with double line of skirmishers and line of battle, with heavy supports; we succeeded, however, in holding our own and in repulsing with great slaughter three distinct and desperate charges. Upon the arrival of the First Infantry Brigade my First Brigade was withdrawn and mounted, but I was soon after compelled to dismount the greater portion of it for the purpose of meeting an assault of the enemy upon our left. Upon the arrival of the balance of the infantry an attempt was made to relieve Colonel Winslow's brigade, but at this moment the enemy made a fierce onslaught upon that part of our lines, and it was obliged to remain about an hour longer. Colonel Winslow finally succeeded, howevergood order an mounting it, with the exception of the detachments of the Tenth Missouri and Seventh Illinois, which were on the Pontotoc road, and which acted for some time under the direction of Colonel McMillen, commanding Infantry DIVISION; also, one section of the Fourteenth Indiana Battery, which was continued in action, by order of the general commanding, after the remainder of my command had been withdrawn. Scarcely had I succeeded in mounting ad reforming my command, after their desperate fight of four hours, when the enemy pushed forward in overwhelming numbers an compelled the infantry to fall back in confusion. By direction of General Sturgis I now threw my First Brigade in advance of the retreating forces, with instructions to check the retreat and open the road to the rear, and in person marched with the Second Brigade upon the flank and rear of the forces to Stubbs' plantation, where I halted with it, allowing al stragglers and disorganized force to pass.
This brigade was now engaged during the remainder of the expediting in protecting the unarmed an disorganized troops who had been thrown into confusion in the engagement to the 10th. Their ammunition at length becoming exhausted, I drew the Fourth Missouri, detachments of the Ninth and THIRD Illinois, and the Second New Jersey from Waring's brigade, which was in advance, and used them to assist Colonel Winslow in the protection of our rear. We returned to Collierville, arriving on the 13th, via Ripley and Salem, with men and horses worn out and ammunition entirely expended, having fought the enemy on our rear during the entire retreat.
I returned in person to Memphis on the 15th, having employed two days in rendering all the assistance in my power in bringing in the worn- out and wounded stragglers who came within my patrol lines.
9 R R- VOL XXXIX, PT I