War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0151 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

Search Civil War Official Records

miles south, where he understood there was some show of something to eat for the animals. I then turned the head of the infantry column on the Ripley road, and directed General Grierson to join me at Ripley that day with the cavalry by taking the direct road to Ripley. I directed him to send a message to direct Colonel Karge to move down by whatever route he found the most practicable and join the main column at Ellistown, or in any event not beyond Ellistown.

Question. Was it the information you received from General Grierson that determined you to relinquish the movement upon Corinth?

Answer. It was entirely.

Question. Did you communicate the fact of that change to General Washburn?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Why did you not?

Answer. In the first place, the routes I looked upon as simple incidental details, and they were left to my discretion; secondly, it was useless to communicate to General Washburn, for he couldn't change it. I could not wait for the answer, for I would starve, because I could not get an answer back from him short of from three to five days, if I sent my telegraph operator to the lines, and that could only have been done at the cost of a large escort.

Question. Were you annoyed by guerrillas on that day?

Answer. After determining to take the Ripley road in the morning, and being myself about a mile in advance of the column, I concluded rather than to go back to the cross-roads to cut across through the woods and intercept the head of the column. When I arrived within 200 yards of the Ripley road I happened on about forty guerrillas or scouts, whom we saw before, they saw us, and part of my staff and escort gave them chase. This party hung along in our front, gradually getting larger and larger, until we reached Ripley that day.

Question. How far were your cavalry distant from your infantry at that time?

Answer. I would suppose five or six miles, on a different road.

Question. Did you secure any forage on that day?

Answer. No forage in kind that I know of, as I myself directed the parties not to leave the road that day except for very short distances. In speaking of forage my remarks are confined chiefly to the infantry column and train, and I have no reference to individual cases of foraging or to what may have been done by the cavalry column, though informed by General Grierson repeatedly, when I called upon him to provide forage for the train and the artillery horses of the infantry, that he was willing to do all that he could, but that he absolutely could find nothing for his own horses.

Question. Had you any information concerning the enemy's supplies at Corinth at the time of the evacuation?

Answer. No, sir; on the contrary it was reported everything had been taken away.

Question. Did your cavalry inflict any damage upon the railroad below Corinth?

Answer. Yes, sir; the cavalry destroyed trestle-work and tore up rails, but to no great extent. This was at Rienzi. The object we had in destroying at that time was the hope of catching trains at Corinth and intercepting them on their way down.

Question. What distance did you make on the seventh day?

Answer. On that day we were unable to move out of Ripley as early as usual because it rained very hard--mired the wagons; and rations were again issued, so that we made ten miles that day. The cavalry and infantry camped about one mile apart.

Question. Did you secure any forage on that day?

Answer. I think some forage was secured that day, and I camped the wagon train in a wheat-field so the animals could eat the green wheat.