Numbers 43. Report of Colonel Thomas P. Herrick, Seventh Kansas Cavalry (unattached).
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH KANSAS CAVALRY,
Memphis, Tenn., July 25, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Seventh Kansas Cavalry, in connection with the recent expedition into Mississippi, under the command of Major General A. J. Smith:
My regiment left Memphis June 17, and was on duty during the remainder of that month along the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, scouting and covering the operations of the force detailed to repair the railroad.
On the march of the expedition from La Grange to Pontotoc my command moved as the advance guard of the infantry column, and skirmished most of the time with a force of the enemy, which fell back before us.
On the flank march from Pontotoc to Tupelo, July 13, I was placed in rear of the entire column, and as the force of the enemy in rear, stated by prisoners to be Chalmers brigade, was relatively very large, the whole of my regiment was constantly required to cover the rear and flanks of the column. On this march the enemy received severe punishment from ambuscades, which I was obliged to arrange in the defiles and ravines of that hilly and heavily wooded country.
During the battle of Tupelo, July 14, my regiment constituted a portion of the cavalry force which held the extreme right of our lines, but was not engaged, except with the enemy's pickets; on the same day a detachment of my command, under Major F. M. Malone, proceeded north from Tupelo to Saltillo, thoroughly destroying the bridges and watertanks on the line of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.
On the 15th my command was in advance in the movement from Tupelo to [Old] Town Creek, skirmishing with the enemy and capturing a few prisoners.
On the 16th we were in rear of the column, and were engaged the entire day with McCulloch's (rebel) brigade, which followed the column as far as Ellistown.
On the 17th my command moved upon the left flank of the iwithout meeting the enemy. At Salem I was detailed to escort the train of sto La Grange, where we arrived on the 19th instant.
On several occasions during the expedition my regiment was engaged with the enemy, and severely punished him, without corresponding loss to ourselves. In the whole of my experience I have never known the enemy's firing to be so much at random and so far above range, as in the several engagements during the late expedition.
The total loss in my regiment was 2 killed, 2 wounded, and 6 horses shot.
The conduct of both officers and men was in the highest degree praiseworthy. I believe there was not a man straggling from the ranks at any time when my regiment was in the presence of the enemy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOMAS P. HERRICK,
Captain S. L. WOODWARD,