War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0323 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION TO TUPELO, MISS.

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several hundred yards. I ordered immediate construction of temporary fortifications, and in a short time the men along my entire line were protected behind strong works erected out of the rails, logs, and cotton bales which the premises of Mrs. Sample so abundantly furnished. The approach of the enemy was anxiously awaited, but he still remained behind his fortifications. About night he commenced burning the houses in Harrisburg. General Chalmers advanced with one piece of artillery, and McCulloch's brigade, which was still in front, and did good execution by throwing shells among the enemy, who could be plainly seen by the light of the burning houses. At the approach of darkness I ordered Rucker's brigade to report to me mounted. With it I moved to the right and cautiously approached the enemy's left a view of ascertaining his position and strength in that direction. By meandering through the woods I approached very near his camps before he discovered my presence. I ordered my men to open fire upon him, when the first line fell back to the main body and opened upon me one of the heaviest fires I have heard during the war. The enemy's whole force seemed to be concentrated at this point. There was unceasing roar of small-arms, and his whole line was lighted up by a continuous stream of fire. Not a man was, however, killed, as the enemy overshot us, but he is reported as having suffered much from the fire of my men, and still more from their own men, who fired into each other in the darkness of the night. On returning to camp I ordered General Buford to move to the right with his DIVISION, to occupy the road between the enemy and Verona, and to oppose any advance in that direction.

On the morning of the 15th, finding the enemy could move not be driven from his fortifications, General Bufford was ordered to move up the Verona road and attack his left flank. General Buford pushed forward his troops and drove the enemy back about one mile, where he was protected by this main line. But few men were killed or wounded in this engagement, but I found the road strewn with men fainting under the oppressive heat, hard labor, and want of water. General Chalmers, who had been ordered to the left in the morning, reported the enemy retreating on the Ellistown road. I immediately proceeded to Harrisburg with General Roddey's command and attacked the enemy's rear guard, which, after a short engagement with Colonel Warren's regiment, retired. I ordered General Buford to press forward in the direction of Tupelo and engage the enemy there, if he still the place.

On reaching Harrisburg Lieutenant-General Lee ordered me to take command of the troops and to pursue the enemy. I ordered Mabry's brigade on the Chesterville road, and General Chalmers and Buford to pursue the enemy retreating on the Harrisburg and Ellistown road, and to make a vigorous assault upon his rear as soon as it could be overtaken, while I moved with Lieutenant-General Lee to Tupelo for the purpose of consulting and receiving orders. Having learned General Lee's desires I started from Tupelo to join my command. Three miles from Tupelo I heard heavy artillery firing, and as farther advanced I could also hear the firing of small-arms. On arriving at Old Town Creek I found General Chalmers and General Buford hotly engaged. The enemy had selected a strong position on the crest of a hill, but was driven to the creek bottom by Bell's and Crossland's brigades, where he was heavily re-enforced, which enabled him not only to hold his position, but to press back these two brigades. I ordered General Chalmers to move up with McCulloch's brigade, and Rice's battery to be placed in position, which for a time held the enemy in check. While riding across the field and endeavoring to press for-