War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0182 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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ment was ordered to retreat by Major Lowe, who was wounded just about that time. He turned the command over to me, and we retreated about a quarter of a mile and formed on the left of the FIFTY-ninth Colored Troops, which we found in line. Our right rested on the right of the road and covering the road. We held this position for probably from a half to three-quarters of an hour, and until we were flanked by a heavy infantry force on our left, when we moved by the right of companies to the rear, by order of Colonel Bouton, and across an open field for a distance of sixty or eighty rods, about the last half of which distance we were obliged to make on double-quick to escape the punishment of the enemy. We formed in the edge of the timber on the brow of a small hill immediately after crossing a field, and put every man in line that was able for duty. Many of the men were nearly exhausted. Our left just covered the road. We fought there from a half to three-quarters of an hour, a little ammunition having been sent us to that point; I don't know by whom, but I think from General Grierson. We were able to keep the rebels from crossing the field in our front until a force of them came around on our left. Nearly all of our officers and many of our men were unable to do their duty from sheer exhaustion. We fell back to avoid being flanked, a distance of about eighty rods, where Captain Lamberg's section of artillery was in position, and formed immediately on his left. We were in that position but a few moments before we were attacked in front and on the left so heavily that we were unable to hold our position. This position was in the woods, and such that, from Captain Lamberg's position, he couldn't see the enemy on the left on account of the brush. When I saw that we were unable to protect his guns, I rode up to him and told him that he would have to move his guns as quick as possible, as there was an overwhelming force on my left. He succeeded in moving his guns, leaving, I think, one caisson. We moved into the road, which was considerably blocked up with wagons and teams; most of the wagons were without mules; some tipped over; two I saw with the covers on fire. We moved back a short distance, perhaps sixty or eighty rods, to a white house, where some of the white infantry had halted, and formed a line on the left of the road. As we were leaving our last position we were again nearly out of ammunition, and met some cavalry bringing us ammunition. I learned that it was sent by General Grierson. We smashed the boxes in the road, and I ordered my men to take enough to fill their cartridge-boxes as they passed along. We rested a few moments in the rear of this line of white infantry, and moved back as they were forced back. From this time I saw nothing that acted very much like an organization, but it looked like a regular stampede. The last line of cavalry formed by a force. It was now becoming dark. During this retreat I don't know that there was any cavalry acting on our flanks. I gathered up what I could of my men during the night, stopping occasionally when the men were tired out to rest, and calling out the number of my regiment as the troops passed by. On reaching Ripley at sunrise the next morning I reported a total of 300 men to Colonel Bouton; probably 250 of them were fit for fighting. At this time we had about forty rounds of ammunition. Many of my men secured ammunition when it was sent back to us, and many others from the train as we passed it.

Question. During the night while retreating to Ripley what was your position in reference to the rest of the troops?

Answer. We were mixed in, near the rear.

Question. Where was this train from which some of your men got ammunition, and was it moving or was it stuck in the bottom?

Answer. I don't know exactly, but I think they got it before the train got to the Hatchie bottom.

Question. How many armed men had you in your regiment when you got to Ripley?

Answer. I judge I had about 250.

Question. Was the FIFTY-ninth there at Ripley with you?

Answer. It was. They reached there about the same time, about sunrise on the morning of the 11th.

Question. What did you do at Ripley?

Answer. We remained at Ripley about three-quarters of an hour, when I received an order from Colonel Bouton to fall my men in and move out on the Salem road, immediately in rear of the FIFTY-ninth Colored Troops. Before we were able to move, as our men were falling in, General Grierson rode in on the Guntown road and told me that I must get these men out as soon as possible; that the enemy were closing