War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0340 KY., SW., VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

Search Civil War Official Records

distance and bivouacked until 8 o'clock, when we were ordered to mount and report to Major-General Forrest, who placed us in position near Harrisburg, where we remained on horseback until daylight the 14th, when we were dismounted and moved forward, driving the enemy's skirmishers and outposts before us. After passing through several fields and skirts of woods the enemy was discovered in position behind breast-works which they had thrown up during the night, upon seeing which the ardor of the men was such that they could not be restrained. They raised a yell and charged them, the enemy holding his fire until we arrived in close range, when they opened upon us terrible volleys of musketry, at the same time playing upon us with artillery, both upon our flanks and front, with such destructive precision that orders were given for the regiment to retire, which it did in tolerable order, though exposed to the fire of the enemy's batteries during the entire retrograde movement. The men were so much exhausted and overcome by the oppressiveness of the heat that they were not again ordered into action, but very soon received orders to move, with the brigade, on the road leading from Verona to Tupelo. Arrived at Verona about 12 o'clock, and immediately moved out one mile and half toward Tupelo, and remained there guarding the road until the morning of the 15th instant. About 10. 30 a. m. received orders to move, with the brigade, toward Tupelo. Advanced to within about two miles and a half of Tupelo, when the regiment was dismounted and moved toward the enemy's position, encountering his skirmishers. They were quickly driven back upon his main line. Still pursuing, his main line was encountered and engaged for one hour, when firing ceased upon both sides, except skirmishing. After a short time we were ordered in pursuit of the enemy, who was ascertained to be retreating in the direction of Ellistown. Followed him on horseback rapidly five miles beyond Tupelo. Here Bell's brigade had brought him a halt and was fighting him. The regiment was quickly dismounted and placed in position to support Rice's battery, Colonel Crossland, commanding brigade, personally superintending its movements and position. While engaged near us reconnoitering the enemy's position he was wounded and left the field. After our brigade commander was wounded we remained where we were placed by him until the enemy advanced to within FIFTY yardserous fire that staggered him and sent him back in confusion. He took shelter under the brow of the hill covering our front, where we fought him for half an hour. Here Lieutenant-Colonel Sherill fell mortally and Major Hale severely wounded. Being the senior officer I immediately assumed command, and finding the regiment flanked both right and left I gave the order to fall back, which was done in good order, after which the regiment was withdrawn and the engagement ceased.

I cannot close without expressing my admiration of the courage, patient endurance, and fortitude of both men and officers.

The loss of the regiment was very severe during these several engagements, carrying into the fights 172 men, 73 of whom were killed and wounded. A list of their names will be found in surgeon's report, already forwarded to DIVISION headquarters.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,


Captain, Commanding Seventh Kentucky Regiment.

Captain W. D. McKAY,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.