headquarters military division West Mississippi, New Orleans, La., January 18, 1865.sir: Your communication of the eighth instant, giving a detailed account of the highly successful expedition led by Brigadier-General Grierson, and which resulted in the complete interruption of the enemy's communications by the Mobile and Ohio and the Mississippi Central railroads, has been received. The Major-General commanding desires to express to you his gratification at this glorious, and, I might say, almost unexpected success. The expedition was planned and started under very great disadvantages, and with anything but promising prospects; and but for the high degree of skill, bravery and good conduct, which was evinced throughout, such magnificent results could never have been accomplished. He desires me to convey to you, and through you to the officers and men composing this expedition, his warmest congratulations and thanks. We all feel that such blows are indeed deathblows to the rebellion. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
General Grierson's report.
headquarters cavalry division, Department of Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee, January 14, 1865.Colonel: In obedience to instructions from the Major-General commanding, I ordered Colonel James Karge, commanding First brigade cavalry division, to proceed, on the nineteenth of December, north-east from this point; cross Wolf river at Raleigh, demonstrate strongly toward the crossing of the Hatchie at Bolivar and Estenola; thence swinging south, destroy the telegraph between Grand Junction and Corinth, and join the main column, which was to move the following day at or near Ripley. Owing to heavy rains for several days, the roads were almost impassable, and, as a crossing of Wolf river could not be effected, Colonel Karge returned to Memphis. On the morning of December twenty-one I moved with the effective force of my command, consisting of detachments of the Second New Jersey, Seventh Indiana, First Mississippi rifles, Fourth and Tenth Wisconsin, Third and Fourth Iowa, Second Wisconsin, Fourth and Eleventh Illinois, and Third United States colored cavalry, in all about three thousand five hundred men, organized into three brigades, and commanded respectively by Colonels Karge, Winslow, and Osband; also, company E, Second Iowa cavalry, numbering forty men, Lieutenant A. Sherer, commanding, as provost-guard and escort, and a pioneer corps of fifty negroes, commanded by Lieutenant Luvis, of the Seventh Indiana cavalry, without artillery or wagons, and with twenty days light rations carried on pack-mules. The whole command moved east, along the Memphis and Charleston railroad, threatening Corinth, to a point three miles west of Moscow, from thence south-east through Early Grove, Lamar, and Salem, to Ripley. From Early Grove the Tenth Missouri cavalry, under Captain F. K. Neet, was sent to La Grange and Grand Junction, and destroyed the telegraph and stations at those points, rejoining the column near Salem. From Ripley a detachment of one hundred and fifty men of the Second New Jersey, under Major Van Rensselaer, was sent to destroy the Mobile and Ohio railroad and the telegraph at or near Boonville. At the same time the Fourth Illinois, under Captain A. F. Search, was sent to destroy the same road near Guntown. These detachments rejoined the main column, one at Ellistown, the other at Shannon's station, having destroyed four bridges, eight or ten culverts, several miles of the track and telegraph, and a large quantity of army supplies. With the main column I moved on Tupelo. Upon arriving at Old Town creek, five miles north of Tupelo, hearing of the existence of a rebel camp and large quantity of army stores at Verona, I ordered Colonel Karge to leave his pack train and proceed rapidly toward that point, and if his information would justify it, to make a night attack upon the place. Our movements thus far had been rapid, and the indications were that the enemy had no knowledge of our presence, as our appearance was a complete surprise to citizens on the line of march. When within two miles of Verona Colonel Karge struck the enemy's pickets. Notwithstanding the darkness of the night, his advance regiment, the Seventh Indiana, charged into the camp, dispersing the garrison, and destroying two trains, thirty-two cars, and eight warehouses filled with ordnance, commissary and quartermasters' stores; also two hundred army wagons, most of which were marked U. S., having been captured from General Sturgis in June last, and which were about being sent, loaded with supplies, to the army of General Hood. The bursting of shells which were contained in this immense depot continued until afternoon of the next day. Colonel Karge fell back five miles to Harrisburg, and encamped with the balance of my command on the same night. I encamped be tween Old Town creek and Tupelo. From this point I sent the Eleventh Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Otto Funk, commanding, with the pioneer corps, to destroy the extensive railroad bridge over Old Town creek, and the track between that point and Tupelo. The night was very dark and rainy, notwithstanding which Lieutenant-Colonel Funk and his command responded to my orders with alacrity, and before morning had rendered the railroad from Old Town creek to Tupelo a complete wreck. From this point I moved my entire command south along the railroad, destroying thoroughly to a point between Egypt and Prairie station,