War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0331 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION TO TUPELO, MISS.

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of the forces should be thrown on the Verona and Tupelo road, and a vigorous assault made on his left flank; that a direct charge was what the enemy most desired, and for which he was strongly posted both by nature and art. The ground moved over was open timber intersected by hills and ravines. In moving forward the Kentucky brigade oblique to the right, in order to connect with Roddey's DIVISION, Mabry's brigade oblique to the left. Observing these intervals, I reported the fact to General Lee, who immediately ordered Colonel Bell to move forward and form between Mabry's and Crossland's brigades. The accompanying plan* will show the disposition of my DIVISION for the attack. Immediately in front of the enemy's position, which was on elevated ground commanding the entire approach, the country was open, there being no timber in front for a distance of 100 or 200 yards at different points of his line. The enemy's skirmishers were driven in. When the Kentucky brigade arrive t the edge of the timber, discovering the enemy's position, raising a shout they charged his line of works. The enemy reserved his fire until our men were in close range, and poured upon them a galling fire. They continued, however, to advance. The enemy's artillery was fired with great rapidity, charged with canister, upon our advancing columns. Perceiving that the force on our extreme right (Roddey's) did not advance, the enemy turned the fire of his batteries, posted on an elevation in Roddey's front, on the advancing Kentuckians, and they, under a galling fire of musketry and artillery both in front and obliquely from the enemy in Roddey's front, were compelled, however, to the enemy's intrenchments. Some fell and were taken prisoners within his line, and several within thirty steps of his breast-works. Colonel Faulkner's horse was killed within sixty steps under him. The loss was very severe in this charge, and it was only under a fire that dealt death on every side and decimated their ranks fully one-THIRD that they were forced to fall back. Mabry's and Bell's brigades advanced to within close musket-range and engaged the enemy. Approaching gradually they poured a very destructive fire upon his line. Arriving at the open space and having to cross a corn-field, they slowly advanced, but so deadly was the concentrated fire that, after penetrating some FIFTY steps, they retired to the cover of timber, where they kept up a heavy and continual fire upon the enemy for three hours, dealing destruction in his ranks. General Calmer's DIVISION was ordered forward to relieve my command, and I was directed to fall back and hold my command immediately in rear of the position where the first line of battle was formed. During the night I was ordered to mount Bell's brigade and station it at Doctor's Calhoun's house, to be in readiness to oppose the enemy if an advance was made toward Verona, and the Kentucky brigade and station it at Doctor Calhoun's house, to be in readiness to oppose the enemy if an advance was made toward Verona, and Kentucky brigade to be thrown between the enemy and Doctor Calhoun's house. I was further ordered to send a mounted regiment from Mabry's brigade through Harrisburg, to ascertain what the enemy was doing, while the remainder of that brigade was left in its original position. I made the dispositions required by these orders, and the next morning (Friday, the 15th of July) I was ordered to attack the enemy on his left flank of the Verona road. I moved against him with Bell's and Crossland's brigades, and drove him back about one mile to the cover of timber upon his main line. I then halted, threw out a line of skirmishers to hold the enemy in check, and rested my DIVISION, who were exhausted from hard fighting, the excessive heat, and want of water. I had eighty men carried off the field that morning

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*See p. 334.

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