War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0135 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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position but a short distance from us on the left hand road. The cavalry forces were moved into position. This regiment was placed, by direction of Colonel Wring, on the right of the road, supporting the battery of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, which was upon our immediate left. The position was well selected, being in the edge of a grove, on elevated ground, in the rear of a fence, and having a large open field between us and the enemy. Over this open space the enemy would have to pass to attack us. The regiment was dismounted and placed in the rear of the fence, and skirmishers thrown out into the open field in front. The enemy occupied a very strong position on a wooded hill, immediately in front of which was a swamp, so that to have attacked them with a cavalry force only would have been disastrous. We awaited them in our position, our skirmishers and the battery in the mean time keeping up a very lively fire. Colonel Waring instructed me to hold the position occupied by us to the last extremity. The men were directed to lay close to the fence and to reserve their fire until the enemy should be at short range. While this was taking place quite a demonstration was made by the enemy upon the extreme left, and by order of the colonel commanding, Captain John M. Moore, with Company H of the is regiment, was ordered to that point. Soon after the Second New Jersey Cavalry, which was upon our right, was moved to another position, leaving this command on the extreme right of the First Cavalry Brigade. At 1. 30 p. m., and after we had held this position some two hours and a half, the enemy approached our front and right in heavy force. They had two lines of skirmishers and a line of infantry supporting them. In a mtion could not be long held by us without re-enforcements, as they would overwhelm us with numbers. At this time my command only numbered about 280, one-fourth of whom were holding horses. I dispatched an orderly to the colonel commanding asking that a force be sent to my right, but was informed in reply that he had already disposed of every available man in the brigade, and that to give me assistance was impossible. By this time the enemy were advancing rapidly and attempting to turn our right. The regiment was rallied to the right and soon the conflict became desperate. But a few yards intervened between their line and ours, and, indeed, so close did they approach us that our men in a few instances employed the butts of their carbines in resisting their advance. At this point the enemy suffered severely, as we could see many of the fall before our fire. It soon became evident that we were being flanked on our right, and that to hold our position much longer would be impossible. We had maintained our ground for near three hours, and the enemy's fire at such short range had become murderous. As our infantry were coming up and going into position we were ordered to fall back, which we did in tolerable order. While this was transpiring on the right the force of Captain Moore was by no means idle. He was constantly engaged skirmishing with the enemy until he rejoined the regiment near the wagon train in the rear of the cross-roads. Upon leaving the field at the cross- roads, feeling too weak to continue longer in command, I turned it over to Major Simonson, to whose judgment, coolness, and bravery, both on the field and in the subsequent retreat, I am greatly indebted. Upon falling back upon the Ripley road Major Simonson was directed to take the regiment and rejoin the brigade at the rear. Arriving at the brigade, by Colonel Wring's order two battalions, under the command of Captains Wright and Hubbard, were dismounted and thrown forward in line on the crest of a hill to the left of the road. The remaining battalion, in command of Captain Ryan, was ordered to the left to hold the