Numbers 38. Report of Lieutenant Colonel John H. Peters, Fourth Iowa Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH IOWA CAVALRY,
Near Memphis, Tenn., July 23, 1864.
COLONEL: Agreeable to your order of the 20th instant, I have the honor to submit the following report:
The Fourth Iowa Cavalry left their encampment near Memphis on the 24th day of the June ultimo, numbering 625 enlisted men and 23 officers.
The regiment continued their march on the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, reaching Saulsbury on the evening of the 28th. The regiment remained at this point, doing picket duty, until the morning of the 5th instant, when they marched in the direction of Ripley near which place, on the 7th instant, they supported the Second Iowa in a brisk for about two hours.
On the 8th the regiment moved at daylight and made Orizaba.
On the 9th we marched to New Albany.
On the 10th we left New Albany at dayLight, in the advance, and marched to within seven miles of Pontotoc. During the day we had a brisk skirmish for about three hours, in which we killed 1 and wounded 3 of the enemy, captured 1 horse and equipment and 10 stand of small-arms.
On the 11th we reached Pontotoc about noon and remained there until the morning of the 13th, when we marched at daylight and reached Tupelo about 3. 30 p. m., and immediately went to work to destroy the railroad in that vicinity. In about an hour I received an order to move back on the Pontotoc road and assist the infantry then being engaged with a strong force of the enemy. The Second and THIRD Battalions having been sent down the railroad to destroy the same, I immediately marched with the First Battalion, and on arriving upon the battle-field was assigned a position on the left flank, where we received the compliments of the rebels in the shape of shells from one of their batteries for about an hour without the loss of a single man. After the battle was over I was ordered to hold the rear of the column back to Tupelo.
On the march back the enemy pressed us heavily at times, and on one occasion brought their artillery to bear upon us. We reached our bivouac about 11 o'clock in the evening with the loss of 1 man wounded. During the night of the 13th four companies of the regiment were ordered to the front as pickets, and in the morning took part in the general engagement of that day, sustaining a loss of 6 men wounded. The remainder of the day the regiment was engaged in guarding and supporting positions on the right and left flank and rear. In these movements we lost 1 man killed and 4 or 5 wounded.
On the morning of the 15th the regiment moved out in rear of the brigade on the Pontotoc road, and took part in the engagement that followed, with a loss of 2 men wounded. Later in the day we were ordered to take the rear of the army on the line of march toward Saltillo. During the afternoon the enemy were frequent and obstinate in these attacks, and followed our column closely until they were repulsed and driven back at the battle of [Old] Town Creek. In this last engagement a portion of the regiment was warmly engaged and inflicted a severe punishment upon the enemy, firing from twenty- five to forty rounds to the man in the short space of time the battle lasted. This was the last engagement of the expedition.