as Okolona, destroying the railroad as you ago. Here, should it be prudent, you will detach your cavalry and send it down the road as far as Macon, effectually destroying the railroad. You will detach a body of cavalry sufficient for the purpose, who will proceed to Columbus, Miss., and destroy and Confederate property there. The infantry will rest for two days at Okolona, and will then strike for Grenada by the shortest route. The cavalry, after proceeding south as far as prudent, will leave the railroad and proceed direct to Grenada, where the forces will meet and return to Memphis. You will have in your train 150,000 rations of bread, coffee, sugar, and salt, and 75,000 of meat. This will enable you to make a campaign easily of twenty days. Take your time; subsist on the country when you can. Do not scatter your forces any more than necessary. This is a general outline, but you [may] vary as circumstances may require. The whereabouts of Forrest will, of course, have much to do in regulating your movements. I send with you two colored regiments. See that they have their proper position in march and take the advance in marching whI am, general, your obedient servant,
C. C. WASHBURN,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Collierville, Tenn., June 12, 1864.
Major General C. C. WASHBURN,
Commanding District of WEST Tennessee:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that we met the enemy in position and in heavy force, about 10 a. m. on the 10th instant, at Brice's Cross-Roads, on the Ripley and Fulton road, and about six miles northwest of Guntown, Miss. A severe battle ensued, which lasted until about 4 p. m., when, I regret to say, my lines were compelled to give way before the overwhelming numbers by which they were assailed at every point. To fall back at this point was more than ordinarily difficult as there was a narrow valley in our rear, through which runs a small creek, crossed by a single narrow bridge. The road was almost impassable by reason of the heavy rains which had fallen for the previous ten days, and the consequence was that the road soon became jammed by the artillery and ordnance wagons. This gradually led to confusion and disorder. In a few minutes, however, I succeeded in establishing two colored regiments in line of battle in a wood on this side of the little valley. These troops stood their ground well and checked the enemy for a time. The check, however, was only temporary, and this line in turn gave way; my troops were seized with a panic and became absolutely uncontrollable. One mile and a half in rear, by dint of great exertion and with pistol in hand, I again succeeded in checking up the flying column and placing it in line of battle. This line checked the enemy for ten or fifteen minutes only, when it again gave way, and may whole army became literally an uncontrollable mob. Nothing now remained to do but allow the retreat to continue and endeavor to force it gradually into some kind of shape. The night was exceeding dark, the roads almost impassable, and the hope of saving my artillery and wagons altogether futile, so I ordered the artillery and wagons to be destroyed. The latter were burned and the former dismantled and spiked-that is, all but six pieces, which we succeeded in bringing off in safety. By 7 o'clock next morning we reached Ripley, nineteen miles. Here we reor-