War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0138 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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ously shelled with our own guns the dismounted men and the bridge. The infantry had relieved my command at the front and original ground at 3 p. m., and in less than half an hour it became necessary to dismount the Fourth Iowa and hold in check the enemy while the horses of that regiment, the Seventh Illinois, and Tenth Missouri crossed the creek. I put my command in the saddle in pursuance to orders from the general commanding DIVISION, and finding no order, no attempted efforts to reorganize the retreating troops, I took up a line of march for the new front, moving through the woods parallel to the road, now full of the debris of a routed army. About three miles from the battle- field I formed my command in close column with the intention of making a defense, but finding from the general commanding DIVISION to act as I thought best, I resumed my march toward Stubbs' plantation. Very shortly afterward I overtook the general commanding expedition, who requested me to proceed at once toward Ripley and endeavor to check the retreat of the army. I asked him is Stubbs' would do; he said "admirably, " when I at once gained the front of everything, except the First Brigade of cavalry, which had gone on in advance, and formed my command in such manner as to prevent any farther movement toward Ripley. I reported to General Sturgis, on the ground and in person, my dispositions, and that my command was intact, and had been. He directed me to open the road, allow all to go by, and to see that no impediment to the retreat existed; and asked me to take the rear of the command with my brigade, as I had "the only organized force in the army. " He said he would try to reorganize his troops just beyond Ripley, if possible; that his artillery and train had gone to hell, and if got through the swamp two miles east, it could not be eventually saved for want of forage. He also told me to direct the abandonment of all things which could not be got along, and ordered Colonel McMillen to leave a staff officer to help me organize for the defense of the rear any command with their officers which should come along; at the same time telling me that it would be useless to attempt to use small squads or commands not properly officered. I accordingly remained in position at that point from 9 p. m. until 2. 30 o'clock next morning. During this interval Colonel Thomas, of [Ninety- THIRD Indiana] Infantry, Captain Lee, of the Seventh Wisconsin Battery, and many other officers coming from the swamp, had reported to me that the swamp at the headwaters of the Hatchie was completely choked an clogged with abandoned guns, caissons, wagons, ambulances, and dead animals, so much so that it would be impossible for any such property to be got through; hence I had, in obedience to instructions from General Sturgis, directed the saving of animals and men, and the destruction of all a property abandoned, so far as possible. From here I sent an officer of the THIRD Iowa back to the swamp to report on the condition of matters, and inform me when all the troops had got by. His report confirmed that of all the other officers. He had failed to discover the remnant of the infantry brigade which was in the rear of the train. This command is entitled to much praise, and I learn that it has returned somewhat in unity to with six companies of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, which, under command of Captain Woods, Company L, was cut off from the main command at Ripley and came through safely to Collierville, arriving about 11 a. m. on the 12th instant. Believing all the troops had passed, I moved toward Ripley at 2. 30 a. m. on the 11th, having directed a portion of