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“ [476] from Memphis via Corinth to engage Forrest. . . . Smith has nine thousand infantry and three thousand cavalry.” General Smith moved slowly and cautiously; Generals S. D. Lee and Forrest were concentrating forces and fortifying at Okalona to meet him. The first division was thrown forward above Pontotoc, to watch Smith, with orders to skirmish with him slightly, but let him come on. Smith reached Pontotoc on the 11th of June and halted until the 13th, as if hesitating what to do. On the 13th Smith turned east and moved rapidly towards Tupelo, as if alarmed, but repulsed, with promptness and severe loss to us, two flank attacks made on him during the day. During the night Smith entrenched himself at Harrisburg, the site of an old town on the hill above Tupelo, with nine thousand infantry, three thousand cavalry and twenty pieces of artillery. Major-General S. D. Lee, now in command of the Confederate forces, had seven thousand cavalry, twenty-one hundred dismounted cavalrymen acting as infantry and twenty pieces of artillery.

The enemy had greatly the advantage in force and position. General Smith, with a splendid corps of infantry, hardened by long and active service, was in an entrenched position on a hill covered with timber. General Lee, with dismounted cavalry, was in an open field where every man he had and every movement he made could be plainly seen.

The enemy would not come out of his entrenchments. General Maury from Mobile was telegraphing for help against a threatened assault, and General Lee determined to attack the enemy in position. Brave men never marched more fearlessly to death than did Forrest's cavalry on that occasion, as the terrible slaughter testified, including among the killed and wounded three brigade commanders and almost every regimental commander engaged. We were badly defeated, and in a very short time, but the enemy never moved from his entrenchments to improve his victory, and on the next day moved off rapidly again as if in retreat. General Forrest dashed after the rear guard in his usual style of pursuit, when just under the hill beyond the little prairie, above Town creek (where it is said De Soto fought the Indians, and where old bayonets and musket balls were found in the earth, mingled with Indian arrow heads), Forrest suddenly came upon the enemy's infantry drawn up in line to receive him. He attacked at once, and was driven back with heavy loss, and severely wounded himself. Thus ended two sharp defeats in two successive days, for which General Lee has been somewhat censured, as he was in immediate command. General Jordan, the biographer of Forrest, who wrote under his supervision (and to whose valuable book I am greatly indebted for many details used in preparing this address), leaves the impression that General Lee made the fight from supposed necessity and without the concurrence of Forrest.

I know that this is not the true statement of the case.

Lee, Forrest, Buford and I were riding to the front when the

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