War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0204 KY., SW. VA, TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

Search Civil War Official Records

Question. At what time in the day did you encounter the enemy at Brice's Cross-Roads?

Answer. My command was ordered into position at 12 o'clock.

Question. Had there been any fighting by Waring's brigade previous to that?

Answer. There had been. I heard Waring's guns for about an hour previous to that.

Question. Describe the position of your first line of battle, and the character of the ground.

Answer. I sent the Tenth Missouri and Seventh Illinois Cavalry on the right hand or Pontotoc road. They were mounted. The THIRD Iowa Cavalry and two battalions of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry were dismounted and placed in position across the Guntown road, their left connecting with Colonel Waring's right, and their right about FIFTY yards south of the Guntown road. The ground was somewhat undulating, but thickly covered with small oak timber. There was no cleared land immediately in front of my line. I could not see the enemy until we got very close to them. There was open ground about a quarter of a mile in front of our line.

Question. How long did you maintain your position on that line?

Answer. I should judge it to be three-quarters of an hour. Colonel Waring's brigade then fell back about 400 yards, and I was obliged to withdraw my line on the left to connect with his. Before I discovered that Colonel Waring had fallen back the enemy had got between his line and the left of mine, and I lost some 8 or 10 men wounded in consequence. We held this last line for an hour or an hour and a half until relieved by the infantry.

Question. Were you attacked by the enemy in much force before the infantry came up?

Answer. Not in sufficient force to drive us from our position. I could not tell how strong the enemy was, because we could not see any of them.

Question. What orders did you receive, and what did you do after the infantry came up?

Answer. Just before the infantry arrived I received information from General Grierson that the infantry was arriving. When the head of their column came in sight I received orders from General Grierson to withdraw my men and mount them. I waited in person until two infantry regiments had arrived and had taken positions which I pointed out to them, directing the THIRD and fourth Iowa to retire and mount as speedily as possible. I went to the rear and reported to General Sturgis, who was about 200 yards in the rear of Brice's house, and told him what I had done. He said that was right, and that the cavalry had already done all the infantry labor which he should require of them, and wished them then to perform their legitimate duty on the flanks, where they belonged. I then went to the front. My men were just withdrawing from the bushes and there was no firing. Colonel McMillen was present superintending the movements of the infantry. When my men had got about twenty yards in rear of the infantry line the enemy and our men commenced firing very fiercely. I directed my men to remain in position where they where, and informed Colonel McMillen that I would not withdraw them until further orders, as he of the circumstances and asking further instructions, and received orders to retire at once and mount my men. I again went and reported to General Sturgis, informing him of the circumstances and asking further instructions, and received orders to retire at once and mount my men. I again went and reported to General Sturgis and General Grierson, who were together. They asked if my men were retiring, and seemed impatient for them to come. Presently they came out and I mounted them as soon as l Sturgis then asked me if I could send any men to the right. I told him that I had twe already. He wished to know if they could help the infantry. I told him that I could dismount 150 men with carbines if he said so. he instructed me to do so, and I immediately caused it to be done, instructing them to hold that position as long as possible. Four companies of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry had been sent back to the train before the infantry came up, by order of General Grierson. The THIRD Iowa Cavalry was mounted and formed in a field on the south of the road, about one-THIRD of a mile in rear of a creek. About this time General Sturgis came up to where I was, and remarked that Colonel McMillen was driving the enemy. He then rode off. This was about a mile in rear of the cross-roads. Two minutes after General Sturgis left one of the enemy's shells struck within FIFTY feet of where I was. I then discovered