War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0158 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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Question. What became of Colonel Waring's cavalry after that?

Answer. At the next place I saw it was in the open field near the bridge, where the reorganization was supposed to be going on.

Question. What order did you make for the safety of the trains?

Answer. When I went to the rear to provide, amongst other things, for the safety of the train, the train had been reported to me, on inquiry, to be one mile ang at the bridge, about a half to three-quarters of a mile in rear of the line, I met the head of the train, to my surprise. The whole column appeared to have made a general move to get up. I then directed an aide-de- camp, Lieutenant Calkins, to see that the train was turned around and held ready to move to the rear in case that it became necessary.

Question. When the retreat actually took place did or did not the train obstruct the retreat?

Answer. It did not obstruct the retreat proper, nor would it have done so on ordinary roads and in ordinary weather. But the road became jammed with those flying from the field, the teamsters became panic-stricken, and the moment they had any trouble with the wagons they jumped down and cut out a mule and let the wagon stand, which soon blocked the road. I had strong hopes, and ordered it parked on the first open ground that could be found beyond the white house, a mile and a half in rear of the battle-field, and where I hoped to be able to make a stand, with a view to issuing rations and ammunition and then destroying the train, thinking we could hold the enemy in check until night and then do it. But the enemy pushed us so hard that I was obliged to move the train on again, with the hope of parking it farther on that night. This was the main train; at this time some of the wagons were stuck near the battle-field.

Question. How far from the line of battle was the train captured?

Answer. It was not captured at all in a proper sense of the word. It was left standing, a wagon here and a wagon there, or wherever the teamsters would desert it, for ten miles, especially in the bottom of the Hatchie, which was a very bad place.

Question. Did or did not your train fall into the hands of the enemy?

Answer. I presume it did, as we did not bring it away. Many of the wagons were burned by orders. I ordered that they should be burned wherever they obstructed the road.

Question. How many wagons did you return to Memphis?

Answer. None that I know of; I think none.

Question. During the retreat to Collierville were the regiments restored to good order, or did they retreat in confusion?

Answer. No, sir; the regiments were restored to order at Ripley by 7 o'clock the next morning. The brigades were reorganized and restored to a respectable condition.

Question. Were you closely pursued on the retreat, and with what results?

Answer. The column moved out of Ripley on the retreat, on the Salem road, at 7 o'clock on the morning of the 11th, preceded by the cavalry. I moved out myself to the infantry. All was quiet in the rear as far as we could hear. When we had got half a mile probably from town we began to hear the firing of the enemy at the rear, but it was distant and desultory and the column moved on in good order. The rear of the infantry column was pretty heavily attacked at Ripley, as I learned afterward by the report of officers. From time to time the word came to me that the rear was being strongly pressed, and I would re-enforce it with such companies or parts of regiments as I could find had ammunition, and once they pressed so strongly that I ordered a brigade of infantry to form line, which was not done, however, because Colonel McMillen reported, after trying, that he found it impossible to do so for the want of ammunition. All that we could do therefore to protect the rear was to keep the column so moving that the enemy could not accumulate upon it.

Question. How many guns did you lose?

Answer. Fourteen in all. We had sixteen guns and four mountain howitzers. I think the ammunition train was lost in a body with the exception of one wagon.