War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0202 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

Search Civil War Official Records

we had rallied at that place we could have checked the enemy sufficiently to have saved everything. After staying there some time I found that the mass of the infantry were passing by, and that I could not hold that position with the force I had. I accordingly directed Colonel Winslow to fall back to the first favorable position, and I started to find Colonel Waring to place him in the same position. When I found him he said that General Sturgis had ordered him to go ahead and open a way to the rear.

Question. Where did you next see General Sturgis, and what did he say to you?

Answer. I saw him two or three miles back from that point, and I told him that everything was in confusion, and that something must be done to organize the command and save the train. He told me that there were two lines formed in the rear, and I went back to see, but could find none. Colonel Winslow had formed and held his position as long as he could, and was then moving on the left flank. I went still back of him to see if I could find a lien of any organized troops, but could not. When I again overtook Colonel Winslow he had been ordered by General Sturgis to go on and form a line across the road and stop there to reorganize at some favorable point, and Winslow suggested Stubbs' plantation. I then went on and overtook and halted Waring beyond Stubbs'. Soon after General Sturgis came up and ordered me to go with Waring's brigade to Ripley or send it there as rapidly as possible. After giving the order to Waring I remained with Winslow's brigade.

Question. What efforts were made at Ripley by General Sturgis, or any one else, to reorganize the command?

Answer. I tried to find General Sturgis when I got there, but he had left. I then formed Winslow's brigade, and faced the enemy, who were then on both of our flanks. I also halted a negro regiment, placed them in position, holding them in check some time. We fought the enemy there until our ammunied. The infantry having all passed on, we then fell back.

Question. enemy follow you on the retreat?

Answer. They followed us to the vicinity of Davis' Mills, or Spring Hill, in great force.

Question. To what causes do you attribute the defeat of our forces at Brice's Cross-Roads?

Answer. First. I think the enemy was there in large force than General Strugis expected. He did no expect to fight them at that point, nor before reaching the railroad. Second. The slow march that we had, giving the enemy time to ascertain our strength and concentrate. THIRD. On account of the infantry not coming up so as to get into action sooner. Fourth. From want of instructions to my command. If I had used my own judgment I should have fallen back when I found the enemy there in force; but I could not do that as my instructions were to go on to Baldwyn, and those instructions were renewed after I had been fighting two hours. Fifth. If the cavalry had been with the infantry, and marching on their flanks, and they had gone into action together, the result would have been different.

Question. At what time did you march on the morning of the 10th, and what delays, if any, did you make on the march of that day?

Answer. We moved about 5 o'clock, and after marching four or five miles I halted an hour. When I learned that the infantry were coming up I moved forward very slowly to the cross-roads.

Question. Do you know of any general officer or brigade or regimental commander being intoxicated at any time on that expedition?

Answer. No, sir; I do not.

Question. At what time did you arrive at Collierville on the retreat, and at what time did you leave there?

Answer. We arrived there in the forenoon, I can't tell exactly at what time, and left there just about dusk.

Question. What re-enforcement did you find there?

Answer. Colonel Wolfe's brigade of infantry and 100 mounted men of the Seventh Kansas; about 1,800 men.