previous next

[202] away. They tried to prevent our getting it by shelling the party that was bringing it off. Our artillery was brought into play, and a duel was kept up for some time. We were successful in getting the gun.

On the morning of the fifteenth General Smith decided to move out on the homeward march. Our subsistence was almost exhausted, and our ammunition not abundant. The cavalry went out west on the Pontotoc road, while the train moved out towards Tupelo, turning off north on the Old Town road. The enemy was in force in the woods a mile and a half west of our position. They moved out and drove our cavalry back.

General Mower's division was formed in a line on the ground it occupied the day before, and partly on that held by the Third division, left of the road. The centre being on the Pontotoc road. Orders were given to fix bayonets and hold fire until the enemy advanced within fifty yards, the men lying low to conceal our position. The enemy advanced rapidly, with heavy musketry and shelling us vigorously, while only our artillery replied. It was a little trying to lie quietly and receive a heavy fire, but it did us little damage, owing to our defenses and lying low. They came to the crest of a ridge two hundred yards in our front, but the experience of the day before was fresh in their memory, and not a step further would they come. They discovered our purpose and were not to be trapped. When this was apparent. we were ordered to charge them, which was done with a yell, but they did not wait for us.

We pursued them nearly a mile and then shelled them with visible effect. In a line of skirmishers thrown out at this time, Lieutenant Louis Hardy, commanding company E, Seventh Minnesota, was killed. He was a gallant fellow, but went into the fight imprudently in full uniform, a conspicuous mark for sharp-shooters.

The Third division, with the train, had got miles away by this time, and the First division was called in and took up the line of march homeward.

The army went into camp on the Old Town road, about five miles from the battle field. As our rear was getting into camp, the enemy came up and opened on us with artillery. Colonel McMillan's brigade of the First Ohio was in the rear, composed of the rearmost regiments, the Seventy-second and Ninety-fifth Ohio, and One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, which charged the enemy with a rapid musketry fire, that made him pay fearfully for this last attack. If our men had not been so weary they could have taken his battery. This was the last of the fighting.

The enemy's dead in the aggregate, by count and careful estimate, was certainly five hundred. The usual proportions would give the wounded at two thousand to twenty-five hundred. We took about two hundred and fifty prisoners. This would make his loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners, nearly three thousand. Add to this an indefinite number of missing, stragglers, and conscripts, glad of an excuse to escape to their homes, parties of whom were heard of along our homeward march, and his total loss would swell to probably four thousand.

Wounded rebel officers said that the whole force of the enemy was about fifteen thousand. Lieutenant-General S. D. Lee commanded in person. Prisoners said that General Forrest and General Lee disagreed, and that if Forrest had his way we should not have been so successful.

The following are our losses, obtained from official resources;

In First division, General Mower's, First brigade, Colonel McMillen: killed, fifteen; wounded, seventy-four; missing, four. Total, ninety-three.

Second brigade, Colonel McClure, (succeeding Colonel Wilkin, who was killed): killed, four; wounded, twenty-two; missing, four. Total, thirty.

Third brigade, Colonel Wood: killed, twenty-four; wounded, one hundred and eighty-six; missing, seven. Total, one hundred and ninety-three.

The following is a detailed statement of losses in this brigade, which suffered the heaviest of any brigade in the battle, viz.:

Twelfth Iowa, Colonel Stibbs: killed, nine; wounded, fifty-three; missing, one. Total, sixty-three.

Seventh Minnesota, Colonel Marshall: killed, nine; wounded, fifty-two; missing, one. Total, sixty-two.

Thirty-third Missouri, Lieutenant-Colonel Heath: wounded, one; missing, twenty-eight. Total, twenty-nine.

Thirty-fifth Iowa, Colonel Hill: wounded, five; missing, thirty-four. Total, thirty-nine.

Fourth brigade, Colonel Ward: killed, six; wounded, forty-six; missing one. Total, fifty-three.

Total loss in First division, Three hundred and seventy-one.

Total loss of Third division, commanded by Colonel Moore, One hundred and thirty-nine.

I am unable to give the loss in detail of the Third division. The aggregate above is official.

Negro brigade, Colonel Bouton commanding; killed, fifteen; wounded, fifty-seven; missing, thirteen. Total, eighty-five.

Total loss of the army, (exclusive of cavalry loss), Five hundred and five.

The cavalry loss I regret I have not been able to ascertain. I am informed it is not large — probably does not exceed fifty. They experienced no hard fighting, but did good service in front, on flanks and in rear, and had frequent skirmishes with the enemy. They destroyed eight or ten miles of the railroad north and south of Tupelo, including considerable trestle work.


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)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: