War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0143 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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Deploying a battalion into line, I ordered it to the rear, and at the same time pushed another battalion in column to hold the road of retreat for the other troops. My advance in line was under sever fire and over fields broken by high fences and deep ditches, but officers and men were cool and kept a good and steady line. The enemy was checked and the position held until his object attained General Grierson ordered me to retire. To retire at this point was a matter of no little difficulty, for the enemy, having no resistance elsewhere, were flanking us as well as pressing from the rear. Their fire was redoubled as we moved again upon the road. I, in this stand, lost lieutenant Miller, Company D, who fell mortallyacing the foe, also Corporal Gilchrist, Company C, killed, with other wounded mentioned in accompanying report. I think it can be claimed with justice that by this effort of my command much relief was given to our fellow- soldiers of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, and to the infantry regiments who were retiring from Ripley, and I have the satisfaction of knowing that the enemy did not escape without punishment. His flag was seen to fall three times under our fire, and many of his men were killed and wounded. THE column passing on without stopping, my orders required my to continue on, making such resistance as possible to hold the enemy in check. To hold the rear of a rapidly retreating column against a superior and assailing enemy now became the task of my regiment, and resulted in considerable loss to us. Companies I and K were thrown to the rear and taken command of by Major Jones. A column of the enemy advancing through the surrounding thickets came upon them while they were gallantly holding another regiment at bay, charging them suddenly; after much resistance, by overpowering numbers, captured most of those who are reported in the accompanying tables. Some squadrons of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry aided my command at this time, and may have shared in the loss. The enemy, mounted on much fresher horses then ours, felt confident of capturing or routing the whole column. The confusion he was able to create was slight and of short duration; platoon after platoon was thrown out right and left along our road, and facing to the rear presented front to the rebels. The nature of the ground aided, as the road led along a ridge with hills and gullies on either hand. This method of defense was continued throughout the morning and afternoon. A cavalry force of our men and an infantry command finally appeared in our rear and gave my regiment temporary relief, but the enemy still pressing, the cavalry failed to hod their place, and a portion of the infantry [was] thrown into confusion and captured. Colonel Thomas, commanding the infantry, applied to me for relief, and I immediately formed another battalion line, supporting it with several squadrons placed at advantageous points. The infantry left passed through my line, ad I waadvance of the enemy. The duty was sever, and, in view of what had already been performed, somewhat unexpected, but as it had been assumed to help them it was persevered in without complaint as long a strength was left to resist. I was finally relieved by the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, and they by the Second New Jersey. After this this command was not again under fire. The rest of this day the column and advanced without food or rest, except a short halt at evening, when, the enemy approaching, the column was again put in motion and the march continued through the night an next morning to La Fayette. Halting her until obtained some forage. At dark we were again marched in advance of