War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0205 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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that our infantry had been driven back. In a few minutes afterward everything commenced going by me to the rear-artillery, ambulances, and men-all mixed up together. I then went back to the creek to see what had become of my command. I found that the Fourth Iowa Cavalry had dismounted and occupied a little hill near the bridge, to protect the withdrawal of their horses across the creek, which done they mounted and followed the THIRD Iowa. At the time I got back to the creek the most of our forces had fallen back this side of the creek in a great deal of confusion. Finding that the army was retiring in this manner, I directed the head of my column to proceed slowly to the rear, on a line parallel with the retreating column. I proceeded back to a point about one mile and a half from the creek and formed my command in form of squadron on the south side of the road in a field. The enemy soon commenced to shell us, and I was then directed by General Grierson to move according to my own discretion, which I did. I reported to General Sturgis about four miles this side of the creek. I reported my command in good shape and asked for orders. He directed me to go to Stubbs' and stop the retreating column, which I did. General Sturgis arrived there a few minutes after I did and told me to open the lines and direct everybody to push for Ripley as fast as possible. I remarked to him that would oblige the abandonment of the train and all the artillery, which could not be got through the swamp. He said that the artillery and train had already gone to hell, and that if they got through the swamp they could not eventually be saved, because there was no forage for the animals. He requested me to take the rear of the column and remain there until the larger part of it had passed by. I halted my command from 9 till 2. 30 o'clock and then took the rear of the column to Ripley.

Question. In your opinion, could the retreating column have been rallied at that point and the trains and artillery saved?

Answer. I think they could, and think that was the only place where it could have been done.

Question. What efforts were made to make a stand at Ripley?

Athe rear, and had considerable fighting with the enemy. Two negro regiments were also in position. The balance of the column had passed by before we got there, and I don't know where they went to.

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

Answer. I think that the main cause was the exhaustion of the infantry when it arrived on the field of battle. I think the position was a good one for infantry but not for artillery. I think there as a far better position about two miles this side of the creek, where, if the infantry had been halted and the cavalry had fallen back to the creek, we undoubtedly would have beaten them. I do not think that over three-fifths of the infantry got into the fight on account of exhaustion.

Question. Do you know of any general officer or brigade or regimental commander being intoxicated on the day of the battle?

Answer. I do not.

Question. What conversation had you with General Sturgis after the retreat had commenced about trying to stop it?

Answer. About four miles this side of the creek I expressed to General Strugis some surprise that there had not been an attempt made to stop the rout. He said that himself and other officers within his reach had made every exertion to reorganize the command, but that the troops were without discipline, and, although good soldiers when successful, when unsuccessful they were perfectly worthless. He said that they were nothing but a mob.

Question. Did you see any infantry that appeared to be organized during the retreat on the night of the 10th?

Answer. No, sir; I did not.

Question. How near to the cross-roads was the train brought up during the fight?

Answer. I think the main part of the train was brought up within three-quarters of a mile of the cross-roads, and a large of it was brought up nearly if not quite to the cross-roads.