No. 71.-report of Maj. James W. Paramore, Third Ohio Cavalry, of skirmish near Corinth, Miss., May 9.
camp Third Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, May 10, 1862.Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the skirmish in front of General Wood's division on Friday, May 9, 1862: I left camp at 7 o'clock of said day, in command of the Third Squadron of the Third Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, composed of Companies E, Capt. T. D. McClelland, and F, Capt. O. G. Smith, with orders to report to General Wood. I did so, and received verbal instructions from him to proceed to the outpost of his division and relieve the two companies sent out on the 8th instant, in command of Maj. J. H. Foster, also of our regiment, and station my vedettes the same as his, and await further orders. I proceeded accordingly to the outpost, and found the reserve of the squadron, under Major Foster, stationed at an old deserted house on the left of the road, through the open space shown in the diagram. I halted my command, and was informed by Captain Flanagan that Major Foster, with a detachment of his command, had gone down the Corinth road to make a reconnaissance. I waited until he returned, when I informed him that I had come with my command to relieve him, and asked where his vedettes were stationed and for  instructions, &c. He informed me that he had just been down within 2 miles of Corinth, and had “waked up the gentlemen in force, and thought we would see some fun, and that he would not return till he saw the result.” He then sent back a small patrol on the road to watch their movements. They had not been gone long before they were fired upon and returned the fire, and sent back for re-enforcements. Major Foster then assumed command of all the forces, and sent out Company L and a part of Company M and 5 or 6 of Company E, in command of Captain Flanagan, as skirmishers, to re-enforce the patrol. I then asked him for permission to station the two companies under my command in the edge of the woods on the north side of the open field, in a position to command that in case our men should be driven back and the enemy follow them. “No,” he replied, that would not do, for, in case they were obliged to retreat, they could not cross the marsh below, but for me to fall back with them to some point on the road and station them as a reserve. Accordingly I took them back across the bridge where the slough crossed the road, and stationed them in line of battle at the side of the road, in a position to command it. About this time a sharp fire was opened up in the woods along our whole line of skirmishers with the enemy, who appeared to be in force, with infantry. Major Foster, who was then stationed near the barn in the open field with a small reserve of Company M, Captain Marvin, sent down and ordered my command forward into the open field, and stationed it to the right and front of his reserve, on the high ground, and within 20 or 25 rods of the upper edge of the woods, with a small detachment of Company E on another rise of ground at the farther end of the field. We remained in that position without any command to forward or retreat, until a small party of infantry (which had come up from a working party in General McCook's division, and deployed in the woods to assist our cavalry) had all retreated and left the woods, some in the direction from which they came and others to the woods in rear of us; and the cavalry skirmishers, under Captain Flanagan also, with great coolness and good order, were compelled to retire from the woods before a superior force of infantry, which, with all the advantage of thick woods, had fallen back to our right and rear, thus leaving no force whatever between us and the enemy, who were rapidly advancing to the edge of the woods and sending their leaden messengers thickly around and among us, and reported by our skirmishers to be a much superior force. Then seeing the danger of our position, where the enemy could advance, under cover of thick woods, within 20 or 25 rods of us without our being able to see them and they could us, I took the responsibility of ordering my squadron to about wheel and retreat down to the lower side of the field, which they did on a walk. I then ordered them to halt and about wheel again in line of battle. Captain Flanagan, with his company, had formed on my right, and also brought his men down to the woods, and at the same time faced about in line on my right, which brought us in position to command the open field. Almost simultaneously Major Foster came down with his reserve of Company M and ordered us to retreat across the swale or slough, which order was obeyed, and he led the column across the swale to the rising ground, where he formed his squadron in line on the left of the road and I formed mine on the right. General Wagner, who was in command of a reserve of infantry and section of artillery, a short distance to the rear of us, then came up and inquired who was in command of that cavalry. I told him that I had been sent to relieve Major Foster, which I was ready to do. He then  ordered me to station vedettes to connect with those of General Mc-Cook, and extend across to the Purdy road. Accordingly I immediately took Company F and went back across the swale to the north side ol that open field, and there stationed them as vedettes in the edge of the woods, where they could view the field, and extended them across to the Purdy road, which position I held till regularly relieved to-day, the 10th instant. This skirmish occurred between 10.30 and 11.30 o'clock of the 9th instant. The enemy did not advance farther than the edge of the woods on the south side of the field, where they remained a short time, and then fell back to their old position. The casualties were 1 man of Company L slightly wounded. All the officers and men of the command behaved with uncommon coolness and bravery, executing and obeying every order given with promptness and good order. All of which is respectfully submitted.