ward my left I received a painful wound, which incapacitated me from further service. I sent one of my staff officers back to Tupelo to advise General Lee of my wound. I orders General Chalmers' to assume command and the withdrawal of the troops.
The next morning the enemy renewed his retreat and was for two days [pursued] by General Chalmers with Rucker's and Roddey's brigades. The enemy was thus driven back to the point from which he started and many a home saved from spoliation, and the country preserved from the desolation and ruin which everywhere marks the invader's tracks. But this achievement cost the best blood of the South.
My forces during these engagements did not exceed 5,000; that of the enemy was 18,000 or 20,000. He fought behind fortifications and in positions of his own selection. Notwithstanding the advantages of the enemy, my troops moved forward with a gallantry which has never been excelled on any field.
The long list of killed and wounded is a sad but truthful tribute to their valor. Three of my brigade commanders (Rucker, McCulloch, and Crossland) were severely wounded. Colonels were either killed or wounded. Two hundred and ten were killed and 1,116 wounded. The enemy's loss was equally to my own.
The battle of Harrisburg will furnish the historian a bloody record, but it will also stamp with immortality the gallant dead and the living heroes it has made. Prominent among the former the names of Colonel Isham Harrison and Lieutenant Colonel Thomas M. Nelson, of the Sixth Mississippi; Lieutenant Colonel John B. Cage, commanding Fourteenth Confederate; Lieutenant-Colonel Sherrill, of the Seventh Kentucky, and Major Robert C. McCay, of the Thirty-eight Mississippi, will shine in fadeless splendor. They were lion-hearted officers and courteous officers. It was a sad blow that struck down these gallant spirits. In unselfish devotion to the cause and high courage they leave no superiors behind among men. Their noble natures and ardent patriotism, it is hoped, will find in the soldier's grave that peace for which their country has thus far struggled in vain, and for the achievement of which they have sacrificed their lives. Future generations will never weary in hanging garlands upon their graves.
My staff on this occasion acted with their accustomed gallantry and promptitude in obeying orders, for which they have my thanks.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
N. B. FORREST,
Major P. ELLIS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Selma, Ala.
Numbers 46. Report of Brigadier General James R. Chalmers, C. S. Army, commanding First DIVISION, Forrest's Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, FORREST'S CAVALRY,
Oakland Church, July 23, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the action of the troops under my command during the late engagements with the enemy Pontotoc and Tupelo:
About 11 o'clock at night on the 9th of July I received a telegraphic order to send one of my brigades to Pontotoc, to precede the enemy there, and to move the other to a point four miles WEST of Tupelo, known as the infantry camp, at the crossing of the Tupelo and Pontotoc with the Chesterville and Okolona roads. I had not been connected with the