War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0301 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION TO TUPELO, MISS.

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On the 12th day of July was in camp at Pontotoc, south of town, near the Okolona road. About 2 p. m. ten or fifteenth bush whackers approached my camp and fired on some men picking berries, wounding a private belonging to FIFTY-ninth U. S. Colored Infantry. Sent company C, FIFTY-ninth U. S. Colored Infantry, commanded by Captain H. Fox, and drove them off without casualties.

On July 13 the column moved at 4 a. m. going eastward in Tupelo road. At about 6 o'clock, in compliance with orders from Captain Hough, I threw forward the Sixty-first U. S. Colored Infantry to occupy the ridge, south of Pontotoc, occupying ground vacated by the THIRD DIVISION in moving out, and guarding the approach on Okolona road. A few moments after 7 the advance of the enemy's column came up on this road, and became engaged with the advanced guard of the Sixty-first Regiment, consisting of Company A, Captain Jean commanding, but were soon repulsed with loss of 2 men. The entire column, including supply train, having now gotten under way, I moved out with my brigade, Colonel Herrick with a portion of the Seventh Kansas Cavalry being in rear as rear guard to column. My column was only well out of town before the cavalry in rear were attacked, apparently in strong force. The rear of my column was about two miles out from Pontotoc, when Colonel Herrick sent me word that they were coming too fast for him, and he must have help. Company A, Sixty-first U. S. Colored Infantry, had at this time been back with the cavalry, skirmishing with the enemy's advance for nearly a mile. Seeing a desirable location close at hand, I ordered Colonel Kendrick, commanding Sixty-first U. S. Colored Infantry, to ambush them with two companies, which was done with perfect success, under the direction of Lieutenant - Colonel Foley, of that regiment. The enemy's column coming within twelve paces of this ambush received a well-directed volley, which emptied 15 or 20 saddles and threw his column back in confusion. About a mile farther on I ambushed them again with partial, but not so complete success. About five miles from Pontotoc, as the rear of my column had passed down a hill and forded a small stream, he came forward suddenly in heavy force, and driving the cavalry forward on my flank, planted a battery on the hill and commenced shelling my column furiously, doing, however, but little damage. I moved forward under this fire until I gained the ridge on opposite side of bottom, where I put my battery in position and answered them at about 800 yards range. I threw the FIFTY-ninth U. S. Colored Infantry in line on right of the battery and the Sixty-first on the left, holding the Sixty-eighth in reserve. The enemy approached this time very slowly, and only engaged it at long range. As the train was moving on so as to open quite a gap, a I sent forward the Sixty-eighth to close on the train, soon followed by the Sixty- first Regiment and one section of battery, finally withdrawing the other section of the battery and one wing of the FIFTY-ninth Regiment, having the other wing concealed by thick brush to ambush them as they advanced. The enemy quickly approached this line by moving forward in heavy force through a corn-field, feeling their way with scattering shots until within fifteen yards, when they were met by a deadly volley, quickly followed by others, which seemed to tell on them with terrible effect, throwing them back in confusion. This line was now withdrawn. In retiring it was fired upon from both flanks, which fire was promptly returned. At this point I discovered a heavy column of the enemy moving rapidly forward on my right on my right flank, showing three battle-flags, which information I immediately sent forward by an orderly