War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0211 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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regiments of infantry or parts of regiments as had not already passed, the cavalry, artillery train, and straggling mass still going to the rear. This new line consisted wholly of infantry, part of the First and part of the Second Brigade. Having established it, and thrown skirmishers forward, I sent a staff officer to Colonel Bouton with instructions for him to fall back. At this time I was notified by the general commanding that he had decided to continue the retreat as far as Stubs', and that he had directed General Grierson to send one brigade of cavalry to occupy and hold Ripley until such times as we could reach there the next day, and that the other brigade of cavalry had been sent to Stubbs' to hold everything belonging to my command, directing me in substance, after seeing that the rear was left in charge of good officers, to proceed to Stubbs' with as little delay as possible and reorganize and resupply my troops. I reached Stubb's about 9 or 10 o'clock, and was there informed by the general commanding that he had decided not to attempt any reorganization until our arrival at Ripley, and that he had directed Colonel Winslow, commanding the cavalry brigade, to remain at Stubbs' to notify Colonel Winslow when the infantry had all passed, reaching Ripley about 5 o'clock the next morning, and proceeded at once to the reorganization of my command, and which by 7. 30 o'clock of the same morning I succeeded in getting into good shape. The men, however, were exceedingly worn, having marched all night. Many of them had thrown away their guns, and those who had arms, were supplies with little or no ammunition. As soon as I notified the general commanding that the Dted me to put it on the road leading to Salem in the rear of Colonel Waring's brigade of cavalry. Whilst this was being done the enemy made an attack on the place, in which, on our side, Colonel Winslow's brigade of cavalry, left in town to bring up the rear, was engaged, and to whose assistance I ordered Colonel Bouton's brigade, a part also of Colonel Hoge's brigade becoming necessarily involved before it could clear the town. The enemy succeeded in getting possession of the Salem road, cutting off the negro brigade, and that portion of Hoge's brigade engaged, which brigades fell back in confusion, and retreated northward on the Saulsbury road, the greater portion of whom succeeded in reaching Memphis without having been seriously molested, the enemy having turned his attention to the main portion of the retreating column. In the rapid retreat of that day and the following night the already worn and wasted infantry column became gradually dissipated and the organization gradually disappeared.

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

Answer. The immediate cause of the defeat, in my opinion, was meeting the masses of the enemy with fractions of our forces. Winslow's brigade of cavalry, formed across the Guntown road, when relieved by me, was in good condition; and I am of the opinion that if it had been permitted to remain and I could have used both of my brigades on the Baldwyn road I could at least have held the field, and thus have prevented the necessity of a disastrous retreat. I wish to state that Colonel Winslow manifested a willingness and volunteered to remain with me and give what assistance he could with his troops, after having been ordered to withdraw, and he did so remain until, as he informed me, he had been ordered a second time to withdraw. The troops were tired from a long march, without rest, and the excessive heat of the day when they went into position. A number of men had been sunstruck, and I am informed that hundreds of others fell out by the way on account of the heat.

Question. About how many men had you in the first engagement?

Answer. Two brigades, numbering, I think, about 3,500 effective men, of which I suppose not more than 2,800 men were engaged.

Question. What was you estimate of the strength of the enemy in the first attack?

Answer. I can't give an estimate in numbers, but they largely exceeded that portion of my troops engaged. This I know from the fact that they attacked me along my whole line and outflanked me on both flanks at the same time. On our left their line extended to the creek, beyond the position occupied by the Seventy-second Ohio, which position was 300 or 400 yards from the left of my main line.

Question. Were you acquainted with the position of the enemy and the nature of the ground in front of where you formed your first line?

Answer. Very imperfectly. I put my troops in position without any assistance and without any exact knowledge as to the position of the enemy, except as he re-