War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0139 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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the One hundred and twentieth Illinois Infantry, which was the only organized force I saw, to move in front of my cavalry. Having proceeded about seven miles, I learned that the remnant of an infantry brigade was in my rear. I halted and allowed it to pass. Shortly thereafter the enemy, coming up, assailed my rear guard, and on our arrival at Ripley attacked us in rear and on both flanks in considerable force. The general commanding DIVISION, being with me from Stubb's, is conversant with all our movements thereafter, an can fully appreciate the character of the severe engagement at Ripley, and for five miles on this side. At one time (this side of Ripley, THIRD Iowa in the rear) some cocreated in my column by the enemy charging my rear guard, when we were nearly out of ammunition. Two companies of the Fourth Iowa, under Captain Abraham, of the at regiment, aided by a portion of the THIRD Iowa, succeeded in checking the enemy. The enemy followed in force to a creek five miles from Ripley. Henceforward there was little difficulty in the rear, though my entire command was out of ammunition. The Second New Jersey Cavalry, Colonel Karge commanding, was now drawn from the First Brigade (which was in front) and assigned the rear, our animals and men being nearly exhausted. Marching continually without rest or forage until 9 a. m. on the 12th instant, Collierville was reached. Here the command was rested until about dark, when on some rumor that the enemy were coming the men and animals, exhausted by forty- eight, hours' fighting and marching, were again hurried forward to White's Statim, seventeen miles notwithstanding 2,000 fresh infantry had joined us at Collierville. Captain Neet, commanding detachment of Tenth Missouri, had been directed by me while at Stubbs' to proceed to Ripley, together with Captain Joyce, of the same regiment, commanding the battery of two guns. On their arrival at Ripley the were ordered by General Sturgis to push through to Memphis. This command had been nearly dismounted by the severe marching, under Colonel Karge, toward Corinth.

Captain Neet is a brave officer of energy and perseverance.

Captain Joyce saved his guns, though they were the first and lasting position on the field of battle, and deserves the highest meed of p\raise for gallantry, energy, and determination.

Captain Lee, of the Seventh Wisconsin Battery, took into Ripley the only other gun brought through the swamp, but his horses giving out he was forced to abandon it at that point.

Major M. H. Williams, Tenth Missouri Cavalry, rendered very valuable services, and on every occasion was cool, brave, and possessed of admirable judgment. I request the general commanding DIVISION to give him special mention for his good conduct and gallantry, and especially for services of the highest character on the field of battle and on the retreat through Ripley.

Forage was very scarce, ad only secured by searching the country for miles along the line of march After the 6th instant the animals were not supplied with more than half rations grain, and during the last two days none was secured, though the labor of the horses was exceedingly severe. Our animals are much reduced, badly jaded, and many of them troubled with sore backs, rendering them temporarily unserviceable. The continuous rain added to this evil

The conduct of the entire command was creditable in the highest degree. That portion dismounted at Brice's repulsed the enemy three times, with severe loss. The men were at no time defeated or driven from ground which they were ordered to hold.