War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0345 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION TO TUPELO, MISS.

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On the 12th I remained in camp until 3 p. m., when I made a reconnaissance of enemy's position, driving in his pickets on Tupelo and Chesterville road. Finding his entire force at Pontotoc I feel back to my camp.

About 4 a. m. of the 13th I started to make another reconnaissance of Pontotoc. At daylight I met advance of enemy five miles east of Pontotoc moving out on Tupelo. I promptly ordered the men in line and engaged the enemy, not knowing whether it was a movement in force or a foraging party. After a brisk engagement of twenty-five minutes the enemy threw a heavy column of cavalry around both my flanks and advanced their infantry immediately on my front. I then fell back in order, having had 1 man killed, the men moving off coolly and steadily, taking position one mile to the rear, and skirmished with their advance as they came up, and then continued a running fight until I reached the forks of the road, twelve miles at Pontotoc. Here I took the Verona road, the enemy the Tupelo road. Finding that they were going to Tupelo, I moved rapidly on to Verona. Stopping there an hour, I moved up toward Tupelo. One mile north of Verona met and repulsed a scout of 200 moving to that place. They retreated rapidly to Tupelo. I camped at Verona that night, extending my pickets in front on Tupelo road and on railroad.

At 4 a. m. of the 14th, in connection with Moreland's battalion, of General Roddey's DIVISION, Major-General commanding, I moved in direction of Tupelo to make a forced reconnaissance of enemy's position. Two miles and a half south of Tupelo found enemy's pickets. Hastily dismounting my detachment, I advanced at double- quick, driving pickets back half a mile upon a large body of the enemy posted in the houses and behind the fences on Mr. Thomas' place. Here posting my men behind crest of hill 300 yards in front of enemy's position they opened a heavy and rapid fire, warmly responded to by the foe. Major George failing, and, when by me requested, positively refusing, to bring his regiment or battalion into action, but keeping them full 600 yards in my rear mounted, I deemed it imprudent to advance farther or charge enemy's position with so small a force as my command. Receiving a dispatch from Lieutenant-General Lee to watch enemy's movements closely eastward, I fell back to Verona, having had 1 man killed and 2 wounded. From thence I moved across [Old] Town Creek, two miles east of Verona, and moved up to leave opposite Tupelo. After a brisk little engagement I gained possession of all the bridges except the slough bridge next to town; that the enemy fired. I here made all the display possible with my little force so as to decisive enemy as to my numbers, with, I think, complete success, as they immediately burned the slough bridge and massed a heavy force (fully a brigade) along its banks to prevent my crossing into town. remained on levee all day of the 15th until 3 p. m., when, learning that enemy were moving northward on Ripley or Birmingham road, I moved off on enemy's left flank, taking position at the Yaryngby Creek bridge, on Birmingham road, one mile from where it forks from Ripley road. remained there until 10 a. m. of the 16th, when I moved off parallel with enemy two miles from his flank, taking position late in the evening on Ellistown and Ripley road, via Kelly's Mill.

On the morning of the 17th enemy moved out from Ellistown on Albany road. Learning that the DIVISION was not in pursuit, and my horses being much jaded, I returned to the brigade.

In the series of skirmishes I lost 3 killed, 1 severely, and 2 slightly wounded. Enemy's loss could not be well ascertained, but I know was much heavier.