War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0214 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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engaged with the enemy, and my whole line was warmly engaged as soon as our retreating troops had to the rear, which was about twenty minutes after the battery was first opened. We held that ridge, I think, about twenty minutes after that. They charged forward with their infantry to within fifteen paces of my battery and shot down many of the horses, so that I was obliged to retire the battery, leaving one caisson. My line fell back about 100 yards, the battery, by my orders, moving to the rear. We fell back, forming one position after another, till we reached the ridge this side of the white house, where we formed line for the fifth time at about sundown. This position was about 800 yards in the rear of our first position. Colonel Wilkin, with parts of the Ninth Minnesota and One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, had been during this time on my left, conforming more or less to my movements. I did not see him after this, but I think he moved to the rear. I don't think we staid in this last position over fifteen minutes. We then charged them and drove them back 500 yards, to within 300 yards of where we first formed. It was dark and they outflanked us on both flanks and we were obliged to falls there cut off from my brigade and surrounded by the enemy, and did not get clear from them until about 9 o'clock, when, by making a large circuit, I rejoined my brigade, which was retreating along the road, at about 10. 30 o'clock, and at 11 o'clock I overtook General Sturgis and Colonel McMillen as they were crossing the Hatchie bottom.

Question. At what time on the 10th and at what point did you first see the enemy, and where were they?

Answer. It was about 8 o'clock in the morning when we had marched about one mile and a half from the camp near Stubbs' I saw a squad of rebel cavalry on a road about a mile to the right of the road we were on. Back of this squad I saw a column of rebel cavalry passing. I saw similar squads of rebel cavalry two or three times subsequently on our right before we got to the battle-field.

Question. What did you learn about there being a parallel road on the right near where you saw this rebel cavalry?

Answer. I learned from the forage party of our cavalry and from several citizens that there was a parallel road on our right. I think they said it was called the ridge road to Baldwyn. The citizens said we might have struck it shortly after leaving Ripley, and it was distant from one to four miles from the road we were on, and that it led to Baldwyn Station. I was told the crossing over Hatchie bottom on this road was a better crossing than the one on the road we were on.

Question. When you saw General Sturgis at the Hatchie bottom, what orders did he give you and what did he say?

Answer. When I first came up to General Sturgis I said, "General, for God's sake don't let us give up so. " He said, "What can we do?" I told him to give me the ammunition that the white troops were throwing away in the mud and I would hold the enemy in check until we could get those ambulances, wagons, and artillery all over that bottom and save them. I told him that if he would give me one of those white regiments to help me lift the wagons and artillery over, that I would stake my life that I would save the whole of them. He said, "For God's sake, if Mr. Forrest will let me alone I will let him alone. You have done all you could and more than was expected of you, and now all you can do is to save yourselves. " As I moved on my troops picked up ammunition which had been thrown away by the white troops during the night. At early dawn, just about five miles from Ripley, the rebels came on and fired into the rear of our column and also into the flanks. We formed and repulsed them and continued doing so while falling back the next mile, in about an hour's time. We were then relieved by a battalion of cavalry, for which I had asked General Grierson when we were first attacked. We then moved on to Ripley, where I commenced to reorganize my brigade so as to be able to send on my wounded and disarrders from Colonel McMillen for my brigade to move out in the rear of the infantry column on the Salem road. Just as I commenced reorganizing my brigade for this purpose the enemy came charging in furiously at the lower end of the town, broke the line of cavalry which had held them in check, which compelled me to throw my brigade ammunition we had, and using the bayonet and clubbed musket whenever opportunity offered, we held them in check until nearly all of the other brigades had moved out. The troops got separated and retired by two separate roads.

Question. What officers were in charge of the supply train during the expedition?