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[436] fifty-six miles from Boonville, where it was first struck. The enemy had concentrated a considerable force at Okolono, which, upon our approach, fell back to Egypt. Having tapped the wire at Okolono and intercepted despatches from Lieutenant-General Taylor and others, indicating that reinforcements would be sent from Mobile and other points, and learning from deserters who came in on the night of the twenty seventh, that the reinforcements would not be likely to arrive before eleven o'clock A. M. the next day, I accordingly, on the morning of the twenty-eighth, attacked the enemy, variously estimated at from twelve hundred to two thousand strong, consisting of cavalry, infantry, and one battery of four guns on platform cars, at Egypt. While the fight was in progress two trains with reinforcements, said to be under command of General Gardner, came in sight, but I threw a force between them and Egypt, which succeeded in capturing a train of cars, tearing up the track two and a half miles south of that point, and engaged the trains with reinforcements, preventing them from joining the garrison at Egypt.

After an engagement of two hours, we killed, captured, and dispersed the enemy. Among the rebel killed were Brigadier-General Gholson and several other officers. Having secured about five hundred prisoners, cared for the dead and wounded, and destroyed all government property, I moved due west to Houston, crossing the Sookatanuchie and Houlka rivers, to both of which streams I sent detachments in advance to secure the bridges. Here the Second Wisconsin, Major Woods commanding, was detailed to take charge of the prisoners; and the officers and men of this regiment deserve much praise for the cheerfulness with which they performed this arduous duty during the balance of the march.

From Houston demonstrations were made to the north toward Pontotoc, and south-east toward West Point, while the column moved south-west via Bellefontaine to the Mississippi Central road, striking it at Winona. From Bellefontaine a demonstration was made southeast toward Starksville, threatening again the Mobile and Ohio railroad. At the same time a detachment of one hundred and twenty men of the Fourth Iowa, under Captain Beckwith, was sent south via Greenboro to Bankston, to destroy large cloth and shoe factories at that point, which employed five hundred hands for the manufacture of those articles of prime necessity to the army.

From Winona Colonel Noble, with detachment of three hundred men of Colonel Winslow's brigade, was sent north to destroy the railroad and all government property between that point and Grenada. Colonel Osband's brigade was sent south on the line of the railroad to destroy it as far as practicable. With the main column I moved south-west, via Lexington and Benton, to Vicksburg. At Benton Colonels Osband and Noble rejoined us, having been highly successful; Colonel Osband met and engaged a detachment of Wirt Adams' command, about five hundred strong, under Colonel Woods, in which the enemy were defeated, with a reported loss of fifty killed and wounded. I reached Vicksburg with my entire command in good condition, with about six hundred prisoners, eight hundred head of captured stock, and one thousand negroes, who joined the column during the march. For particulars I refer you to the report of the brigade commanders herewith enclosed.

The average distance marched was four hundred and fifty miles.

The entire loss in the command during the expedition was four officers and twenty-three enlisted men killed, four officers and eighty-nine enlisted men wounded, and seven enlisted men missing. The destruction of property may be summed up as follows:

Twenty-thousand feet of bridges and trestle-work cut down and burned.

Ten miles of track, (rails bent and ties burned.)

Twenty miles of telegraph, (poles cut down and wires destroyed.)

Four serviceable locomotives and tenders, and ten in process of repair.

Ninety-five railroad cars.

Over three hundred army wagons and two caissons.

Thirty warehouses filled with commissary, quartermasters' and ordnance stores.

Large cloth and shoe factory, employing five hundred hands.

Several tanneries and machine shops.

A steam pile-driver.

Twelve new forges.

Seven depot buildings.

Five thousand stand of new arms.

Seven hundred head of fat hogs.

Five hundred bales of cotton, marked C. S. A.

Immense amount of grain, leather, wool, and other government property, the value and quantity of which cannot be estimated.

Over one hundred of the prisoners captured at Egypt formerly belonged to our army, and were recruited from Southern prisons into the rebel service, and most of whom, I believe, were induced to join their ranks from a desire to escape a loathsome confinement. I commend them to the leniency of the government.

I take pleasure in bearing testimony to the uniform good conduct of the officers and men of my command, and desire to express my thanks to Colonels Karge, Winslow and Osband, for their cheerful support. I also take occasion to make honorable mention of Major M. H. Williams and Captain S. L. Woodward of my staff, for their untiring energy and gallantry in the discharge of their duties.

This, one of the most successful expeditions of the war, undertaken as it was, at a period when roads and streams were considered almost impassable, could not have met with such extraordinary success without the patient

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