Taking the advance we passed through Ripley early next morning and encamped at sundown one mile south of Orizaba, having had some skirmishing with a small force of the enemy. The THIRD Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel Noble commanding, made a reconnaissance toward Kelly's Ford, finding some force of the enemy near that point. Followed the THIRD Brigade during the next day, and encamped at New Albany until the morning of the 10th, when the command taking the advance of the cavalry (Fourth Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel Peters commanding) in front marched to Cherry Creek, driving before us some force of the enemy's cavalry. On the morning of the 11th moved into and encamped at Pontotoc, THIRD Brigade in front. At daybreak on the 13th instant, taking the advance of the army, and driving steadily the enemy's cavalry before us, we marched to Tupelo, THIRD Iowa having the lead. While balance of command halted to feed, Major Williams with his regiment, Tenth Missouri, and two companies of THIRD Iowa, entered the town at noon, finding no enemy. The several regiments were immediately employed in picketing the position and in destroying the railroad north and south of town. About 4 p. m. a detachment of the Fourth Iowa, under Lieutenant- Colonel Peters, went to the rear of the army to aid in repelling attacks of the enemy's cavalry on our trains, and were severely engaged for some hours; encamped at Tupelo.
During the battle on the 14th the brigade was assigned position on the right flank and rear, and performed picket duty for the army. Just before dark Major Duffield, THIRD Iowa, with four companies of his regiment and four companies of the Fourth Iowa, made a reconnaissance to the front and found the enemy in force, strongly posted behind temporary breast-works.
On the morning of the 15th the army commenced moving toward Ellistown, and my command was sent to reconnoiter in front of Harrisburg. The enemy was found in large force, and after a brisk skirmish lasting two hours, by order of general commanding DIVISION, I retired to the infantry line, about one-half mile in my rear. I was then ordered to guard the left flank and rear while the infantry engaged the enemy, who had advanced upon our fires in front. When the infantry retired my brigade was ordered to take the rear of the army. On reaching [Old] Town Creek my rear was fiercely and very suddenly assaulted by a strong body of the enemy. Our position was held until re-enforced by the infantry, when the two arms uniting charged upon and drove the enemy entirely off the ground. We bivouacked on the north side of [Old] Town Creek. On the morning of the 16th we moved at daylight in rear of THIRD Brigade, and encamped that night two miles north of Ellistown. On the 17th we had the advance of the army, and, passing through New Albany, encamped on the Holly Springs road, four miles northwest of first- named place. No firing during the day. On the 18th we moved to Vaughn's Ford, on Tippah River, and encamped. On the 19th we marched to and encamped at Salem, and on the following day reached La Grange about noon. The command arrived at Memphis on the 23d, having in charge the army wagon train and artillery.
Although not permitted to take part in the heaviest fighting during the expedition, my command was constantly on duty of an arduous nature, which was always performed with cheerfulness and alacrity.
While officers and men all did their duty, I would mention Lieutenant-Colonel Noble, Lieutenant-Colonel Peters, and Major Williams, commanding regiments; Captain Brown and Abraham, commanding batteries; Lieutenant Gilpin and Sergeant-Major Kanada, as deserving special notice for the promptness and efficiency with which they performed the duties devolving upon them during the expedition.