that if he found to his satisfaction that that portion of the road included within his former instructions was being run under a truce between Major-General Thomas and General Forrest - conditioned, as I had learned it was, that the road should not be used for military purposes - then he should not destroy it. He found it under this regulation, and returned to camp on the evening of the 8th at 5 p. m. A copy of his report* I herewith inclose and make part of this report. There were a number of cars loaded with corn for citizens carried under this arrangement. Colonel Seley deserves credit for the promptness with which he moved under these orders through the worst of roads with a scarcity of forage, the distance and return being near eighty miles.
March 8, I sent Major Simonson with 200 men of Guntown road to junction with Baldwyn road to support Lieutenant-Colonel Seley, and on Colonel Seley's return I ordered Major Simonson to return. He reached camp at 10 p. m. this day. I kept all approaches thoroughly scouted, turning the scouting party into a return forage detail whenever no enemy had been discovered within the limits of their instructions. In this way I got forage and kept my camp strong at the same time. No enemy was found in force.
March 9, finding no enemy north of the Tallahatchie, and the tenor of my orders, amount of my rations, condition of streams, bridges, and roads, with the great scarcity of forage in my rear and, in fact, north of that river, and the arrangement of neutrality upon the Mobile and Ohio Railroad rendering it unsafe to destroy it, thus at once depriving me of the power to materially injure the enemy, I judged it proper to return my command in as good condition as possible. Called camp at 5 a. m. and marched at 7 a. m. on Saulsbury road. Road narrow, washed in places, and streams and low ground very muddy. Order of march: Second Brigade, Third Brigade, First Brigade, Twelfth Illinois Cavalry in front and forming advance guard and provost guard. Weather bad. Captured Captain - and Lieutenant Hammond, adjutant Fourteenth Tennessee. Camped on Gray's farm, two miles southwest of Saulsbury. Distance marched, twenty-nine miles. Found forage sufficient for command by scouring the country from noon.
March 10, called camp at 4 a. m.; marched at 6 a. m. Roads muddy; bridges gone. Compelled to march by twos. Order of march: Third Brigade, First Brigade, Second Brigade, Second Wisconsin Cavalry in advance. Advance and provost guards from this regiment. Reached Grand Junction at 9 a. m.; La Grange at 10 a. m. Captured three men at this place. Crossed Wolf River; crossing bad, bottom overflowed, and very miry. Marched to Soho's farm. Distance marched, twenty-four miles.
March 11, called camp at 4.30 a. m.; marched at 7. Order of march: First Brigade, Second Brigade, Third Brigade, Second Arkansas Cavalry in advance. Advance and provost guards from this regiment. Issued stringent orders that no foraging be permitted. Having opened my left flank to the only possible forces which could be between the Coldwater and Wolf Rivers, I guarded that flank carefully, and learned from a citizen that Bill and Jesse Forrest were preparing to ambush me at some point near Collierville with a force stated at 800 men. I ordered Colonel Davis, with the effective force of his Second Brigade, over on the Holly Springs road, keeping his pack train and unserviceable [animals] with me. I hoped by this means to hold any force the enemy had between the Coldwater and Wolf, but found no enemy. My command reached Memphis at 9, and were in their respective camps at
* See p. 81.