and to gather up prisoners, arms, &c., that could be found. All the troops were ordered back, and details made to gather up prisoners and spoils. Before reaching the battle-field on the return march several hundred prisoners were taken from their hiding places in the woods. My entire command moved to Guntown, and thence to this place.
My available force in the engagement was 3,500. From the reports of the prisoners captured, corroborated by official documents captured on the field, the enemy had in the engagement 10,252.
The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded is not less than 2,000, 250 wagons and ambulances, 18 pieces of artillery, 5,000 stand of small-arms, 500,000 rounds of ammunition, and all his baggage and supplies. I regret to say that during our pursuit the abandoned wagons, &c., of the enemy were pillaged and plundered by citizens and stragglers of the command.
I herewith forward reports from the chief quartermaster and commissary,* showing the amount of property belonging to their respective departments received; and but for fire and robbery the entire outfit could have been saved.
A report of the DIVISION provost-marshal, showing the prisoners captured and sent south, is also herewith forwarded. Quite a number were captured too far WEST to be returned to this route, and were sent south via Holly Springs and Grenada. The whole number captured and in our hands is not less than 2,000.
Our loss in the engagement in killed and wounded is, as will be seen by report of chief surgeon, 493. +
Colonel Rucker, commanding brigade, reported directly to me, and I take pleasure in speaking of his uniform good conduct. His attack was made with vigor, rapidity, and precision. Captain John W. Morton, chief of artillery, moved with great promptness, and did admirable execution with his guns. My medical staff, under the direction of Chief Surg. J. B. Cowan, were assiduous in attention to the wounded on the field and in their removal to comfortable hospitals. My chief quartermaster, Major C. S. Stevenson, and Major G. W. Rambaut, commissary of subsistence, were highly serviceable and useful in gathering up and taking care of captured property belonging to their respective departments.
Thus did my troops in the hour of need rally to the defense of their country. They deserve well of her gratitude. Notwithstanding the great disparity in numbers, they repulsed the foe and achieved a victory as imperishable as it is brilliant.
My obligations are hereby returned to Brigadier-General Buford, commanding DIVISION. He was prompt in obeying orders and exhibited great energy both in assaulting and pursuing the enemy. The high praises he bestows upon his brigade commanders, Colonels Bell and Lyon, are truthful and just. They exhibited coolness, skill, courage, and ability. Colonel Johnston, commanding brigade from General Roddey's command, exhibited throughout the engagement the qualities of a gallant officer.
This victory may be justly considered one of the most complete of the war, and for it I feel indebted to the valor of my troops and the
*Commissary's report not found.
+See p. 230.
15 R R-VOL XXXIX, PT I