War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0137 Chapter LI. EXPEDITING INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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skirmish with a portion of Bell's (rebel) brigade, in which we lost 1 man killed and 3 wounded, 2 of whom were captured by the enemy. The enemy left 6 men dead on the ground.

On the morning of the 10th instant the enemy was met in force at Brice's Cross- Roads, twenty- three miles from Ripley and about six miles from the railroad. My command, by order of Brigadier-General Grierson, was placed in position to defend the Fulton and Pontotoc roads, which occasioned the following disposition of forces at 12. 30 p. m., viz: THIRD Iowa, Lieutenant- Colonel Noble commanding, and eight companies of the Fourth Iowa, Major Pierce commanding, on the Fulton road, dismounted and in line half a mile from the intersection of the roads. Our left joined the right of the First Brigade, the two command s forming a quarter of a circle and covering the Baldwyn and Fulton roads. Skirmishers were deployed well to the front of my command. The Tenth Missouri and Seventh Illinois, in all 200 men, were thrown forward to protect our extreme right via the Pontotoc road, while the four rifled guns were held in position at the cross- roads to defend each approach. At the same time four companies of the Fourth Iowa, Captain Dee commanding, were sent back to the rear to communicate with the train, and took position with it for the purpose of defense. Requesting the general commanding the DIVISION to take charge of my artillery and communicate any commands to me at the front, I proceeded to the line on the Fulton road, and remained with my troops in position until twice ordered back by Brigadier- General Sturgis. At the moment of receiving the first order to fall back the enemy had fiercely attacked the infantry which had been sent to my relief under Colonel McMillen, and I deemed it best to hold my troopers in support. I immediately informed the general commanding of my action and asked further instructions. Being again ordered to the rear I withdrew my command and directed the regimental commanders to mount and move to the WEST side of the creek, which was three- quarters of a mile in the rear of our line of battle. Though fiercely assailed by the enemy, who advanced steadily, I could have held our original position had not the retirement of Colonel Waring's command obliged me to fall back in order to keep up communication to the left. At the time we were relieved by the infantry the line had retired about 400 yards. At the request of the general commanding exploitation I directed the detachments of the Seventh Illinois and Tenth Missouri, who had been forced to retire from their position on the Pontotoc rad, to dismount, send their horses WEST of the creek, and assist in repelling the attack of the enemy on our extreme right. The THIRD Iowa having mounted and proceeded over the bridge, which I had directed to be repaired at the commencement of the engagement, I left orders fro my guns and the Fourth Iowa to follow, and proceeded with the general commanding the DIVISION toward the rear. I halted the THIRD Iowa about on- THIRD of a mile WEST of the creek, and formed in column of squadrons, with intent to protect the train, which in the mean time had commenced crossing to the east of the creek. A shell bursting near where General Grierson ad myself were standing gave me the first intimation of defeat, and I immediately galloped to the front to look after the Seventh Illinois, Tenth Missouri, ad Fourth Iowa Regiments, finding all the way to the bridge one indiscriminate mass of wagons, artillery, caissons, ambulances, and broken, disordered troops. The Fourth Iowa was forced to dismount at the bridge and take position on a small hill at the front to check the enemy while their horses passed the creek. Two infantry regiments which wee retreating in disorder were by this maneuver saved from destruction or capture. The enemy now vigor-