No. 73.-report of Col. Joseph Wheeler, Nineteenth Alabama Infantry, of skirmish near Fiarmington, Miss., May 10.
Hdqrs. Advanced camp, Withers' Division, May 10, 1862-4 p. m.Major: I have the honor to report that Colonel Buck arrived at this place about 2 p. m., with a body of infantry, to relieve my command. During the last four days a point on my outpost had been continually attacked by a force of the enemy's infantry and cavalry, who were so sheltered by a ravine as to force my vedettes back upon the main body and behind the line which they should occupy to make the outpost efficient, which line I was ordered, both by General Gardner and the inspector-general, to maintain. My force being too small to drive the enemy from the ravine without advancing the whole of it, and thus leaving the rear unprotected, I was unable to make any movement in that direction until Colonel Buck's arrival, upon which I had sufficient strength to detach a portion and still leave the rear well guarded. I therefore deemed it my duty, before leaving, to drive the enemy from this position, so that Colonel Buck might place his sentinels securely on the more advantageous ground. I therefore took that portion of the Nineteenth Alabama Regiment, under LieutenantColonel Tracy, which was not on post, and a small volunteer detail from the Twenty-second Alabama Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Marrast, of about 20 men, and proceeded to the ravine, with our front covered with skirmishers and our flank with cavalry. The skirmishers attacked the enemy, consisting of about 100 infantry and 25 cavalry, at two points, who after some firing fled with precipitation to their main body, leaving 1 man wounded (probably mortally) and 4 horses, with their equipments, in our hands. Others of the enemy were wounded, but escaped, and 2 were reported killed. No one on our side was injured. The arms, wounded man, and horses have been sent to Corinth. The prisoner reports the presence of Generals William T. Sherman's and Wallace's divisions about 2 miles from our pickets, the latter having just come up, and that both are intrenching. I think that Colonel Back will be able without doubt to preserve his proper line of outposts as ncrw established. From the persistent attempts of the enemy to occupy the point from which we drove them, and the proximity of two of their divisions, I conclude that they contemplate some important movement by way of the Corinth and Purdy road. I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,