marched in the rear the entire distance to Collierville, manfully defending the rear of the column, which, during all the afternoon of Sunday, the 12th, from La Grange to near La Fayette, was closely pursued and constantly engaged by the enemy' cavalry. saturday we stopped eighteen miles from Ripley; Sunday night about three miles east of La Fayette, and Monday, about 3 p. m., met the train about four miles WEST of Collierville, and reached this place Monday evening. Of the column that took the Salem road eleven officer and FIFTY-six men reached this place Sunday evening.
I went into the engagement with 27 commissioned officers and 577 men. My loss in killed, wounded, and missing is, up to the present, 3 commissioned officers and 143 enlisted men. The officers missing are, First Lieutenant Timothy H. Ward and Second Lieutenant Seth Wheaton, both known to be prisoners, and First Lieutenant William Herring not heard from.
Where every man did his whole duty is was impossible to discriminate, but Captain Foster requests special mention be made of First Lieutenant Andrew J. Henderson and Second Lieutenant Jacob K. Kleinknecht, who commanded the rear guard on Sunday, for their coolness and courage in successfully and continually beating back the insolent foe for more than twenty miles of the march.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding FIFTY-ninth U. S. Colored Infantry.
Lieutenant A. F. AVERY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Report of Major James C. Foster, FIFTY-ninth U. S. Colored Infantry, of expedition from La Grange, Tenn., to Tupelo, Miss., July 5-21, 1864. *
HEADQUARTERS FIFTY-NINTH U. S. COLORED INFANTRY,
Memphis, Tenn., July 24, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the late expedition into MISSISSIPPI under command of Major-General Smith:
In obedience to orders received from headquarters District of Memphis I left camp at 5 a. m. June 27, and marched to Memphis and Charleston Depot, where I embarked at 8 a. m. and proceeded by train to Moscow, Tenn., and reported to Colonel E. Bouton, commanding First Brigade, U. S. Colored Troops, who instructed me to go into camp and await further orders. On the morning of the 28th of June I received orders to break camp at 8 o'clock the following morning and march to La Grange, which I did, reaching that place at 11 a. m., and went into camp south of town in the bottom. Here I remained until July 5, when I was ordered to break up camp at 5. 30 p. m. and march to Davis' Mills, five miles south. The march was resumed next morning and continued daily, passing through Ripley, Miss., on the 8th instant, crossing the Tallahatchie on the 9th, reaching Pontotoc on the 11th, where the entire force rested on the 12th.
On the morning of the 13th the entire expedition started out, taking the Tupelo road. The Sixty-first U. S. Colored Infantry was in rear of all a except cavalry, my regiment next to Sixty-first. Soon after leaving camp the enemy attacked our rear, and about 11 a. m. I was ordered into position on the left of the road to check his advance. Battery I, Second U. S. Colored Artillery, was on my right, and the Sixty-first U.
* See p. 247.