Doc. 122.-Gen. Sherman's reconnoissance on the Corinth (Miss.) road.
Official report of General Sherman.
Corinth road. The abandoned camps of the enemy lined the road, with hospital flags for their protection. At all of these we found more or less wounded and dead. At the forks of the road I found the head of General Wood's division. At that point I ordered cavalry  to examine both roads, and found the enemy's cavalry. Colonel Dickey, of the Illinois cavalry, asked for reinforcements. I ordered Gen. Wood to advance the head of his column cautiously on the left-hand road, whilst I conducted the head of the Third brigade of the Fifth division up the righthand road. About half a mile from the forks was a clear field, through which the road passed, and immediately beyond it a space of two hundred yards of fallen timber, and beyond that an extensive camp of the enemy's cavalry could be seen. After a reconnoissance, I ordered the two advance companies of the Ohio Seventy-seventh, Col. Hildebrand, to deploy as skirmishers, and the regiment itself to move forward into line within intervals of one hundred yards. In this order I advanced cautiously until the skirmishers were engaged. Taking it for granted that this disposition would clear the camp, I held Col. Dickey's Fortieth Illinois cavalry ready to charge. The enemy's cavalry came down boldly to the charge, breaking through the line of skirmishers, when the regiment of infantry, without cause, broke, threw away their guns and fled. The ground was admirably adapted to a defence of infantry against cavalry, it being miry and covered with fallen timber. As the regiment of infantry broke, Col. Dickey's cavalry began to charge with their carbines, and fell into disorder. I instantly sent orders to the rear for the brigade to form in line of battle, which was promptly executed. The broken infantry and cavalry rallied on this line, and as the enemy's cavalry came up to it, our cavalry in turn charged and shoved them from the fire. I then advanced the entire brigade upon the same ground, and sent Col. Dickey's cavalry a mile further on the road. On examining the ground which had been occupied by the Seventy-seventh Ohio, we found fifteen dead and twenty-five wounded. I sent for wagons and had all the wounded carried back to the camp, and the dead buried. I also ordered the whole camp to be destroyed. Here we found much ammunition for field-pieces, which was destroyed, also two caissons and a general hospital, with about two hundred and eighty confederates wounded, and about fifty of our own troops. Not having the means of bringing them off, Col. Dickey, by my order, took a surrender signed by the medical director, Lyle, and all the attending surgeons, and a pledge to report themselves to you as prisoners of war, and also another pledge that our wounded would be carefully attended to and surrendered to us to-morrow, as soon as ambulances could go out. I enclose the within document, and request you to cause to be sent out wagons or ambulances for the wounded of ours to-morrow; also that wagons be sent out to bring in the many tents belonging to us, which are pitched all along the road for miles. I did not destroy them, as I knew the enemy wouldn't move them. The roads are very bad, and are strewn with abandoned wagons, ambulances, and limber-boxes. The enemy has succeeded in carrying off the guns, but has crippled his batteries by abandoning the hind limber-boxes of at least twenty guns. I am satisfied that the enemy's infantry and, cavalry passed Lick Creek this morning, travelling all last night, and that he left behind all his cavalry, which has protected his retreat. But the signs of confusion and disorder mark the whole road. The check sustained by us at the fallen timbers delayed our advance, so that night came upon us before the wounded were provided for and the dead buried; and our troops being fagged out by their three days hard fighting, exposure, and privation, I ordered them back to camp, where all now are. I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General W. T. Sherman, Commanding Division,