previous next

[166] new line, under Colonel Wilkins, also gave way soon after, and it was now impossible to exercise any further control. The road became crowded and jammed with troops; the wagons and artillery sinking into the deep mud, became inextricable, and added to the general confusion which now prevailed. No power could now check or control the panic-stricken mass, as it swept toward the rear, led off by Colonel Winslow, at the head of his brigade of cavalry, and who never halted until he had reached Stubbs', ten miles in rear. This was the greater pity, as his brigade was nearly, if not entirely, intact, and might have offered considerable resistance to the advancing foe. About ten o'clock P. M., I reached Stubbs' in person, where I found Colonel Winslow and his brigade. I then informed him that his was the only organized body of men I had been able to find, and directed him to add to his own every possible force he could rally as they passed, and take charge of the rear — remaining in position until all should have passed. I also informed him that, on account of the extreme darkness of the night, and the wretched condition of the roads, I had little hope of saving anything more than the troops, and directed him therefore to destroy all wagons and artillery which he might find blocking up the road and preventing the passage of the men. In this way about two hundred wagons and fourteen pieces of artillery were lost, many of the wagons being burned, and the artillery spiked and otherwise mutilated; the mules and horses were brought away. By seven o'clock A. M., of the eleventh, we had organized at Ripley, and the army presented quite a respectable appearance, and would have been able to accomplish an orderly retreat from that point but for the unfortunate circumstances that the cartridge-boxes were well-nigh exhausted. At seven o'clock the column was again put in motion on the Salem road, the cavalry in advance, followed by infantry. The enemy pressed heavily on the rear, and there was now nothing left but to keep in motion so as to prevent the breaking up of the rear, and to pass all cross-roads before the enemy could reach them, as the command was in no condition to offer determined resistance, whether attacked in front or rear.

At eight o'clock A. M. on the twelfth the column reached Collierville worn out and exhausted by the fatigues of fighting and marching for two days and two nights, without rest and without eating. About noon of the same day a train arrived from Memphis, bringing some two thousand infantry, commanded by Colonel Wolf, and supplies for my suffering men, and I determined to remain here until the next day, for the purpose of resting and affording protection to many who had dropped by the roadside through fatigue and other causes. Learning however, toward evening that the command at White's Station had information of a large force of the enemy approaching that place from the southeast, and knowing that my men were in no condition to offer serious resistance to an enemy presenting himself across my line of march, I informed the General commanding the district by telegraph, that I deemed it prudent to continue my march to White's Station; accordingly, at nine P. M. the column marched again, and arrived at White's Station at daylight next morning.

This report having already become more circumstantial than was anticipated, I have purposely omitted the details of our march from Ripley to White's Station, as they would extend it to a tiresome length, but would respectfully refer you for them to the sub-reports herewith enclosed.

First Brigade 22 51 134 207
Second Brigade 122521593123
Total 34210311933330

Casualties — Infantry.
First Brigade238101452581137994
Second Brigade554  1840723441
Third Brigade11093131816012400

Total Infantry and Cavalry.

Total Killed, Wounded, and Missing.

Enlisted Men.2,165

It is difficult to furnish any accurate estimate of the losses of the enemy, but they are supposed, by the principal officers of my command, to be fully as great as our own in killed and

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
E. F. Winslow (2)
Stubbs (2)
Wolf (1)
A. W. Wilkins (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: