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[166] Wyatt, in which the loss was considerable on both sides. The expedition of General Lee's which Chalmers covered was made along the Memphis & Charleston railroad in Alabama, with orders from General Johnston to cut the railroad between Chattanooga and Nashville; but the cooperation of General Wheeler, which was desired, was delayed on account of the exhaustion of his command consequent upon the famous McMinnville raid.

On October 14th, General McPherson, commanding at Vicksburg, started on an expedition toward Canton with 6,500 infantry and Winslow's cavalry brigade. His advance was gallantly checked by Cosby's brigade under Col. Wirt Adams, and Logan's brigade, on Bogue Chitto creek, and the expedition turned back considerably short of its destination. On October 26th, Gen. Samuel F. Ferguson, with a small command, attacked and routed the First Alabama (U. S.) cavalry, near Bay Springs.

Gen. Leonidas L. Polk was assigned to the command of the army of the Mississippi, October 23d, General Johnston retaining his position at the head of the department. Early in November, when Grant, now in supreme command of the United States forces between the Mississippi and the Alleghanies, was making a desperate effort to hurry Sherman to the relief of Chattanooga, besieged by Bragg, Chalmers was ordered by Johnston to harass the rear of Sherman's corps and destroy the railroad behind him. Chalmers sent Colonel Richardson, assisted by General Gholson, of the Mississippi militia, to tear up the road between La Grange and Corinth, while he made a demonstration between Memphis and La Grange. His force comprised Colonel Slemon's brigade, the Thirty-third cavalry, and George's Fifth cavalry; and Colonel McCulloch's brigade, the First Partisan Rangers, Eighteenth battalion and Second Missouri. Major Mitchell, with two companies of the Eighteenth, drove in the enemy's pickets at Quinn's mill on the night of the 1st, and Chalmers crossed there on the 3d,

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