War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0200 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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rain, and considering that the command was encumbered with a large train, and that we were marching directly toward the line of the enemy's communications, and that our march had been so slow that the enemy would have ample time to know our whole force, and concentrate his--under these circumstances any advance from that point I deemed hazardous, and if he did advance beyond there I advised him not to advance with the train. I think, but am not positive, that General Sturgis was of the same opinion with me. Colonel McMillen referred to the previous expedition, and upon account of their failure at that time to find the enemy, he was in favor of going on, if we did get whipped. It was understood that the train was to be considerably reduced before we advanced much farther. Previous to this I had understood we were to take the Ellistown road. General Sturgis informed me then that we would take the Fulton road, as that was the best road that led out of Ripley. As I was leaving the conference I told General Sturgis I supposed we would have to go on and fight whatever we came to; but that if I were he, I would take the responsibility of stopping there and not going farther with the train, giving my opinion that we would be attacked there of we waited for the enemy. He did not show me his instructions, but gave me to understand that he was to go farther, and said he wished to go on so long as there was a feeling int he command that he ought to do so.

Question. At this time what information had you in regard to the strength and movements of the enemy?

Answer. At this time we had already received information that Rucker's brigade, with which we had been skirmishing the day before, was being drawn up from Oxford toward Tupelo, and that a part of Buford's DIVISION was sent up toward Rienzi on account of Colonel Karge's movement, and that the force lately at Corinth was ordered down to Tupelo, where all the rest of Forrest's command was concentrated. Forrest's force was variously estimated at from 7,000 to 12,000 men.

Question. Did General Sturgis have this information?

Answer. This information was obtained by myself and command, and was all given to General Sturgis as soon as received.

Question. Do you think the march from Ripley was made as quickly as it could beslow. The roads were had, but I think we could have made the march in less time.

Question. At what time in the day and at what place did you encounter the enemy on the 10th?

Answer. Our advance encountered the enemy's pickets at about 9 o'clock at Tishomingo Creek, a little this side of the cross-roads.

Question. Was the first line of battle of the cavalry formed under your direction?

Answer. The first thing done after arriving at the cross-roads was to halt the command and send out strong patrols on all the roads. Pretty soon the patrols on the Baldwyn road reported that they had struck quite a force of the enemy about a mile and a half beyond the cross-roads. When we reached the cross-roads we found evident signs of a large column having lately passed there in the direction of Baldwyn. Then we learned from citizens that Forrest's whole command, consisting of 7,000 or 8,000 men and six pieces of artillery, had passed in that direction two or three days previously, and that the day before we were there a small portion had passed with a train. I sent this information immediately to General Sturgis. When the patrols reported the force on the Baldwyn road I immediately sent a battalion out there to hold them in check and develop their force. They reported back very heavy skirmishing and that the enemy were in strong force. I immediately sent this information to General Sturgis and then ordered Colonel Waring's whole brigade out on that road, and also ordered Colonel Winslow's brigade up to the cross-roads. I went out in person to the line of skirmishers and viewed the ground all around the cross-roads and on both the Baldwyn and Guntown roads. I selected a position for Colonel Waring about a mile beyond the cross-roads and in the open timber beyond the clearing, with instructions to hold the position as long as possible, and, when necessary, to fall back to the edge of the timber this side of the clearing, where his reserve was formed, with the open ground in front, and take new position. The firing increased, and Colonel Waring informed me that there was a considerable force of the enemy in his front, and he would probably be compelled to fall back to the reserve. I immediately sent this information to General Sturgis. The patrol