War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0251 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION TO TUPELO, MISS.

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the front if it could be flanked. I, therefore, caused demonstrations to be made on the Okalona road during the day, and held the skirmish line during the night.

On the morning of the 13th I moved all the cavalry except the Seventh Kansas toward Tupelo, making nearly a right angle at Pontotoc, and followed the cavalry with the infantry and train, leaving the colored brigade and the Seventh Kansas to bring up the rear, and disposition one brigade of the First DIVISION, SIXTEENTH Army Corps, so at to cover the flanks of the train. These dispositions being made I withdrew my skirmish line on the Okolona road and commenced to march toward Tupelo, a distance of about eighteen miles. Colonel Winslow's brigade of cavalry was in the advance of the column, and kept up a running skirmish for nearly ten miles, with two regiments of the enemy in their front, killing 7 and wounding many. Almost immediately upon leaving Pontotoc skirmishing commenced in the rear, but as my object was to secure Tupelo, thus gaining possession of the railroad, and giving me the opportunity to choose my own ground for the battle, I directed the column to keep well closed up and move steadily forward without halting, unless absolutely necessary. Three different charges were made by the enemy upon the rear of the column, which were handsomely repulsed by the Seventh Kansas Cavalry and the brigade of colorehen within about six miles of Tupelo the enemy made a charge, with four brigades of cavalry, upon the train. A sharp fight occurred, lasting about half an hour, and the enemy were repulsed with heavy loss on their side, being ambushed by the brigade of colored troops in the rear, and received with a withering fire from the brigade of the First DIVISION on the flank of the train loss at this point at 500 killed, wounded, and missing. Our loss was 27 mules killed, 7 wagons broken by the carelessness of the teamsters and burned by order, after removing all stores from them and taking off the wheels and parts that could be of any service. The Fourteenth Wisconsin Volunteers, of Colonel Ward's brigade, Seventeenth Army Corps, captured 1 stand of colors from the enemy during this engagement. Immediately after this attack I learned from General Grierson that he had possession of Tupelo. I immediately passed the train to the front through the First DIVISION, and parked it about two miles WEST of Tupelo, at the same time forming line of battle with the THIRD DIVISION on the left of the road, making Pontotoc the objective point. The First DIVISION on arriving was placed on the right of the road, with a front of two brigades and having two brigades in reserve. The colored brigade was placed in the rear of the THIRD DIVISION, facing the left flank, which disposition, with the cavalry in the rear, completely protected the train. The troops encamped in this position in line of battle during the night.

On the morning of the 14th the battle opened by the enemy attempting to secure a commanding position on our left. Advancing the THIRD Brigade of the THIRD DIVISION into line with the remainder of the DIVISION and throwing out the brigade of colored troops on the left of the THIRD but facing nearly to its flank, we easily drove the enemy from the hill and retained possession of it during the entire battle. At about 7. 30 the enemy advanced in line upon the right of the THIRD DIVISION, near the Pon drove in our skre allowed to come to within about 100 yards of the main line (which was the First Brigade of the THIRD DIVISION at this point), when they rose and delivered one