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[341] in motion, marching rapidly towards Bolton's, one mile beyond which I took position; sending Colonel Wood's regiment forward to reconnoitre and ascertain certainly whether the enemy was moving on the Raymond or Bolton Road.

Near Champion Hill, Colonel Wood encountered a dismounted cavalry force, which, after a brief skirmish, was gallantly charged by Captain Muldron's squadron, killing and wounding a number, and capturing eight (8) prisoners. Colonel Wood reported to me that the enemy's cavalry force was on the Raymond Road and consequently moving on my left flank. I at once detached Colonel Dumontiel, and instructed him to move his regiment, Fourteenth Confederate, down the road on which I had come to the junction of the two roads, and hold the enemy in check, reporting to me his numbers movements, &c. With this force he soon became engaged, skirmishing briskly for several hours. I also sent Major Stockdale directly across a field to the same road, to take the enemy in flank, but he encountered an infantry and artillery force, from which he was compelled to retire, bringing off several prisoners.

The main column of the enemy soon afterwards advanced upon the Bolton's Road, deploying a strong line of skirmishers and using one piece of artillery. He was held in check for several hours at this point by Wood's regiment and Stockdale's battalion, dismounted. Nothing could excel the unflinching courage and steadiness of these commands, eliciting at the time the commendation of the Major-General commanding.

About 3 o'clock P. M., the greatly superior force of the enemy having failed to dislodge them, a brigade of infantry, marching in column, was pushed across the creek on my extreme left, and moved rapidly towards some buildings which crowned an eminence on my left. At the same time he advanced in line of battle directly against my front.

The position being no longer tenable, I was ordered to withdraw my command across Baker's Creek Bridge, half a mile in my rear, and send two squadron's of Colonel Wood's regiment to check the enemy's advance on my left. Leaving Major Akin's Ninth Tennessee battalion to cover the withdrawal of the command across the bridge, I removed the remainder as promptly as possible. Major Bridges, with two escort companies, supported by Captain Muldron's squadron of Wood's regiment, soon became warmly engaged with the enemy on the left, driving him from the buildings on the hill, but strong reinforcements coming up he was obliged to relinquish them soon afterwards. At this point fell Major Bridges, Lieutenant Wilson and eight men.

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