Brigadier-General Chalmers, who had been fully instructed by the major-general commanding, and to co-operate with him. I did so.
The enemy made his appearance Monday morning, 11th instant, in Pontotoc. His force consisted of 13,000 infantry (including one brigade of negroes), 2,500 cavalry, and 24 pieces of artillery, under command of Major General A. J. Smith. This force was admirably equipped, commanded by an officer of experience and skill, and moved with great caution, always prepared. Colonel McCulloch's brigade and Colonel Barteau's regiment were gradually driven, and fell back three miles on the Pontotoc and Okolona road. Dispositions were made to hold the enemy in check.
On Tuesday morning the enemy advanced and Lyon's brigade met them. The enemy's cavalry dismounted and moved against the position taken in the road by this brigade, but were handsomely repulsed. Tuesday night Generals Lee and Forrest arrived on the field, bringing with them the entire force of infantry and dismounted cavalry. I reported to them all the information in my knowledge, and the fact that up to that time I had discovered no evidence of the demoralized condition of the enemy, but had found him ever ready for action.
On Wednesday it was discovered that the enemy had left Pontotoc that morning and was marching on Tupelo. I was immediately ordered to move on his flank on the Pontotoc and Carmargo Ferry road, known as the Chauappa Valley road, leaving via Doctor Calhoun's house to Verona. I did so, moving on his right flank, Colonel Bell's brigade in advance. General Lyon was relieved from his brigade and ordered to take command of the DIVISION of infantry. The command of the Kentucky brigade then devolved on Colonel Crossland, Seventh Kentucky Regiment. General Forrest, with Mabry's brigade, followed immediately in rear of the enemy. About 5 o'clock Wednesday evening (13th), under the order of Lieutenant-General Lee, with Bell's brigade and a section of artillery from Morton's battery, I attacked the enemy on his right flank during the march. At no time had I found the enemy unprepared. He marched with his column well closed up, his wagon train well protected, and his flanks covered in an admirable manner, evincing at all times a readiness to meet any attack, and showing careful general-ship. After fighting him about an hour, suffering considerable loss, the enemy was heavily re-enforced and I was compelled to withdraw the brigade from action. They fell back and reformed across a creek. The Kentucky brigade having by this time arrived at the scene of action, I formed the two brigades to repel any attack that might be made, but the enemy being pushed in the rear moved on to Harrisburg. I followed him to within two miles of that place, when I joined General Forrest at the intersection of the Harrisburg and Verona and the Pontotoc and Tupelo roads. The enemy formed his line at Harrisburg, where he had a strong, natural position, and during the nigh threw up a line of fortifications and awaited an attack from us. I camped for the night, throwing the Kentucky brigade forward on picket.
During the night I received orders to bring up my DIVISION to the cross-roads by daylight next morning, about a mile and a half from Harrisburg. The troops were there formed for the attack-Mabry's brigade on the left of the road from Pontotoc to Tupelo, the Kentucky brigade on the right, and Bell's brigade immediately in rear of Mabry's brigade as a support. Brigadier-General Roddey's DIVISION was formed on the right of the Kentucky brigade. Chalmers' DIVISION of cavalry and Lyon's DIVISION of infantry were held as reserves. About 7 p. m. I was ordered to move forward to the attack, when I modestly expressed the opinion that the attack should not be a direct one, but the majority