War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0389 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION TO OXFORD, Miss.

Search Civil War Official Records

road bridge. Colonel Herrick's brigade (First Brigade, First DIVISION), dismounted, supported the Thirty-fifth Iowa Infantry. As soon as the enemy was driven back, the engineer corps of General Mower's DIVISION threw a bridge across the river, finishing it the same evening. Early next morning I advanced and found the enemy occupying the heights beyond the river. Opening on him with artillery and throwing a regiment on each flank, he was readily driven from his position. Skirmishing continued for eight miles, when, at Hurricane Creek, he made a stand, having a strong position on the other side, but was driven from it by a charge of colonel Winslow's DIVISION. This charge being made on foot, the enemy succeeded in mounting his horses and making good his escape. The pursuit continued to Oxford, where the enemy again made a stand and got his artillery into position. Ordering two regiments, under Lieutenant-Colonel Jenkins, Seventh Kansas Cavalry, to move to his rear and attack sharply, and having waited a sufficient length of time for Lieutenant-Colonel Jenkins to attack, I ordered Colonel Coon, Second Iowa, commanding the Second Brigade of this DIVISION, to charge the town. The enemy broke, leaving his caissons and camp equipage, and made good his retreat before the troops sent to his rear struck him, except in a weak attack on his flank. I followed him south of Oxford until night put an end to the pursuit. Hearing nothing of the enemy next morning, I moved back to Abbeville. On the 13th instant, in compliance with orders from Brigadier-General Mower, I moved my command toward Hurricane Creek, where General Forrest had taken up a strong position on the south side, with earth-works. Colonel M. H. Starr, Sixth Illinois Cavalry was ordered to take his regiment and the Ninth Illinois Cavalry and move on the enemy's left flank, crossing the creek two miles below, while Colonel Herrick was ordered to move his brigade across the stream two miles above and attack the enemy on his right flank. The Second Iowa Cavalry moved on the main road occupied by the enemy, and in advance of the infantry under General Mower. Both Colonels Starr and Herrick met the enemy in force before reaching the creek. Colonel Starr in three of four hours' severe skirmishing drove the force in front of him across the creek, and pressing it back on the main force captured the enemy's earth-works. In the mean time the Second Iowa Cavalry had driven the enemy's skirmishers across the creek, when a battery of General Mower's DIVISION opened, which was quickly replied to by the enemy. This artillery firing continued an hour or more. During this time Colonel Herrick, with heavy skirmishing, had driven the force in front of his across the creek, when they opened on him with artillery. Colonel Herrick having no artillery advanced no farther, but held his ground until afterward ordered to fall back. Colonel Starr still pressing the enemy closely, he finally gave way and rapidly retreated to Oxford. The infantry were not engaged. Colonel Starr's loss in this engagement was 6 killed and 14 wounded. General Mower then ordered me to move back to the Tallahatchie River, which I did that night. On the 19th instant I received orders from Brigadier-General Grierson to move with my command in the direction of Oxford. I moved forward, with light skirmishing, and encamped on the south side of Hurricane Cree, when I was directed to await further orders. On the morning of the 22nd instant, in obedience to orders from Brigadier-General Grierson, I marched to Oxford on the Wyatt road. On the same day I returned with my command to Hurricane Creek by the same road, and on the 23rd instant moved back to the Tallahatchie River. On the 25th instant I marched to Cox's Cross-Roads, and on