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[167] capturing the picket of 27 men. He then attacked the Federal force at Collierville, but found it heavily reinforced, so that the gallant charge made by his men was of no avail. Colonel George, leading the attack of Slemons' brigade and riding into town, was captured. The chief surgeon, Dr. W. H. Beatty, was also taken, and 24 others, and 69 were killed or wounded. Meanwhile a small force, under Col. J. J. Neely, destroyed the railroad near Middleton. On November 22d Major Ham's battalion of State troops skirmished with the First Alabama (U. S.) near Corinth.

Toward the close of November Chalmers was ordered by General Lee to demonstrate again between Memphis and La Grange, while Lee, with Ferguson and Ross, advanced to the east and united with General Forrest, who had been assigned to command in West Tennessee. The movement began on December 1st, and on the 4th McCulloch's brigade moved to support Ross in burning the Wolf river bridge near Moscow. A severe fight followed, in which McCulloch and his Mississippians were distinguished for gallantry. The Federal loss was heavy including Colonel Hatch—who had been conspicuous for a long time in Northern Mississippi raids—severely wounded. In the meantime Colonel Slemons had burned the railroad trestle over Grisson's creek.

About this time Loring's division was at Canton, Whitfield's and Cosby's brigades of cavalry were covering Vicksburg from Brownsville to Raymond, and Wirt Adams, promoted to brigadier-general, was operating at the south. The latter made a demonstration against Natchez, occupied by a considerable Federal garrison, early in December, but the Federals were promptly reinforced by the brigade of Gen. Walter Q. Gresham.

In the last days of the year Major-General Forrest, having gathered a force of about 5,000 men, fought several spirited combats with the enemy on the Memphis and Corinth line; and, cutting his way through into Mississippi

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