Orders were issued accordingly for the wagon train to move at 3 A. M. I was instructed to send one of my brigades to escort the wagon train, and to remain with the other two brigades as rear-guard of the army.
Accordingly, before dawn I had occupied the commanding heights, referred to by Rosecrantz
in his last night's dispatch to Grant
, with the brigades of Moore
's brigade had gone on with the train.
I think Rosecrantz
must have thought our army was changing front to offer battle from those heights, and the concerted plans of Grant
and himself were so disconcerted that before they could rearrange any, the wagon train was safe on the road toward the Gulf of Mexico
The army, too, disappeared over the hill and into the forest-screened road, while the commanding heights were occupied by my line of battle with colors flying and guns unlimbered, offering battle to all their combined forces.
Soon after 8 A. M. Colonel Snead
galloped up to me and said: ‘General, I am ordered by General Price
to say that the train and army are now well on the road, and you will please follow at once with the rear-guard.’
We moved at once; Armstrong
covered my rear with his cavalry, and it was about 2 P. M., at a point eight miles from Iuka
, that the last collision occurred between us and Grant
's army during the Iuka affair.
I held the Second Texas Sharpshooters, Rodgers
commanding, and Bledsoe
's battery in rear of the rear-guard.
had been followed all day by the enemy's pursuing force, who were very cautious in their pressure upon him, but kept close up to his cavalry constantly.
About 2 P. M. the movement of our army had become quite slow.
The teamsters, having no longer the fear of the enemy before them, had relaxed their energies, and the rear-guard halted.
Just at this moment the enemy was coming confidently on; Armstrong
moved on with his cavalry past the rear of the rear-guard of infantry, Rodgers
were lying in ambuscade at a good point in the road, and Colonel
's’ cavalry regiment was formed ready to charge.
On came the confident Federals—I think a General Hatch
was commanding them—until they were within short range, when the Second Texas Rifles and Bledsoe
's canister and old McCulloch
's cavalry all broke upon them at once.
We laid many of them low, and then pursued our march to Baldwin
without a shot.
In my narrative of the battle of Iuka
I have related how General Price
, acting on information received from General Bragg
and from our own scouts, had moved as far as Iuka
on his way to prevent