War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0224 KY. SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

Search Civil War Official Records

attack in that quarter had withdrawn the cavalry from the enemy's flank and created confusion and dismay to the enemy's wagon train and the guard attending it. The cavalry was sent back for its protection, and the enemy now in front made a last attempt to hold the cross-roads; but the steady advance of my men and the concentrated, well directed, and rapid fire from my batteries upon that point threw them back, and the retreat or rout began. He endeavored, after abandoning the cross-roads, one piece of artillery, several caissons, and a quantity of ammunition, to protect his rear and check pursuit, taking advantage of every favorable position along his line of march, but he was speedily driven from them. Pressing forward he was forced to abandon many of his wagons and ambulances. Before reaching Tishomingo Creek the road was so blockaded with abandoned vehicles of every description that it was difficult to move the artillery forward. Ordering up my horses, they were mounted and the pursuit was then continued and the enemy were driven until dark. He attempted the destruction of his wagons, loaded with ammunition and bacon, but so closely was he pursued that many of them were saved without injury, although the road was lighted for some distance. It being dark, and my men and horses requiring rest, I threw out an advance to follow slowly and cautiously after the enemy, and ordered the command to halt, feed, and rest.

At 1 a. m. on the 11th the pursuit was resumed. About 3 o'clock we came again upon the enemy's rear guard of cavalry; but moving forward he gave way and did not attempt to check our advance. In the bottom on the south prong of the Hatchie they had abandoned the balance of their wagon train, all their wounded, and 14 pieces of artillery. We came upon them again about four miles east of Ripley, where they had prepared to dispute our advance, but made only a feeble and ineffectual resistance, the Seventh Tennessee and my escort driving him from his position. He made another stand two miles east of Ripley, but it was followed by another characteristics retreat. On reaching the town of Ripley, about 8 a. m., the enemy was found in line of battle and seemingly prepared for determined resistance, occupying all favorable positions for that purpose. I had but few troops present. My escort was sent to the left and engaged the enemy, and Colonel Wilson's regiment was thrown forward, dismounted, as skirmishers, expecting they would be driven until the balance of my forces calson and the escort was spirited and determined, and at the first appearance of additional force he again retreated, leaving 21 killed and 70 wounded, among whom was Colonel McKeaig; also leaving another piece of artillery, 2 caissons, and 2 ambulances; and from this place to the end of our pursuit the enemy offered no organized resistance, but retreated in the most complete disorder, throwing away guns, clothing, and everything calculated to impede his flight. Faulkner's (Kentucky) regiment, commanded by Major Tate, and the Seventh Tennessee, Colonel Duckworth, made repeated charges, mounted, and captured many prisoners. I ordered General Buford to continue the pursuit, and taking with me my escort and Colonel Bell, with his brigade, endeavored by taking another road to cut them off at Salem, but reached there an hour after their rear had passed. General Buford had pursued them rapidly and their infantry saved themselves by scattering on all by-roads leading toward the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, retreating through the woods in squads and avoiding capture in that way. Regarding all further pursuit of the enemy's cavalry useless, I ordered General Buford to move in the direction of Mount Pleasant and La Grange, and to scour the country on his return